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The comeback kids

by James Kierans September 13, 2016
The comeback kids

The Concordia Stingers came back from five points down to defeat the Université de Montréal

The Concordia Stingers baseball team stunned the Université de Montréal Carabins on Sept. 12 with a comeback victory that saw the Stingers score 15 unanswered runs in one inning to force a mercy rule. They were down 5-0 going into the inning.

“I’ve been around baseball for a couple hundred years now, and that’s the wildest game I’ve ever seen,” Stingers manager Howie Schwartz said with a laugh.

Adversity hit early and often for the Stingers in their home opener against the Carabins. A fielding error in the top of the first inning by Stingers second baseman Nicolas Côté allowed the Carabins Pascal Grégoire to score from second base. An illegal motion by Concordia starting pitcher Shane Mullen would then bring opposing base runner Vincent Dion into scoring position. Dion would capitalize on his opportunity soon after.

Mullen’s fortunes did not improve over the first five innings of the game, as he and the Stingers defense allowed six hits, two errors, and five runs to the Carabins.

“They were hitting him, he wasn’t fooling anybody,” Schwartz said. “These [Montréal] guys are hitters. He was leaving some stuff up there, he’s gotta work on that. He can’t leave the ball up like that against other teams.”

Offensively, the Stingers had no luck as they were shut down by Carabins pitcher Charlie L’Oignon. L’Oignon was nursing a no-hitter through the first five innings of the game, allowing only one walk in the second.

“The pitcher kept us off balance, he had a nasty curveball. He kept our batters off balance completely,” Schwartz said.

Despite the 5-0 point lead, the Stingers stormed back and made the sixth inning the last one of the game.

At the top of the sixth, Mullen retired three Carabins batters in just six pitches. Then, L’Oignon conceded his first hit of the game to Côté. Stingers shortstop Matthew Litwin, taking advantage of the tired pitcher, drove the ball over second base for a single, loading the bases. After another walk by L’Oignon, the Stingers captured their first points of the game and never looked back.

L’Oignon came undone in the sixth inning and was eventually replaced by relief pitcher Pascal Desjardins, who allowed three additional runs. Desjardins was then pulled and Dion replaced him until the score was 10-5 in favor of the Stingers.

Dion was replaced by Carabins infielder Josh White. White allowed four more runs and cursed out the umpire on his way off the field.

The Stingers added one more run to bring the score to 15-5. With the ten point lead, the Stingers forced mercy rule and ended the game.

For Schwartz, there was no single turning point in the game, adding that the way the Stingers came out offensively in the sixth inning is something he has never seen from his team before.

“We’ve never had a 15-run inning, in the years that I’ve been playing,” Schwartz said. “Fifteen in one inning from a [no hitter]—you can add that on to what’s never happened before.”

The Stingers baseball team will be back in action on Sept. 15, where they will host the McGill Redmen at Gary Carter Field.

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