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Stingers ousted in championship semi-final

by James Kierans October 31, 2016
Stingers ousted in championship semi-final

Concordia’s baseball team was unable to get into the CCBA finals

The Concordia Stingers baseball team lost to the Université de Montréal Carabins by a score of 11-2 in the semi-finals of the Canadian Collegiate Baseball Association (CCBA) National Championship on Oct. 30. It was the third time in four years that the Stingers made the national semi-finals.

After three games of round-robin play, the Stingers went into Sunday’s semi-final matchup with a 2-1 record, clinching the first place for the knockout stage of the tournament.

Pitcher Shane Mullen started the game for the Stingers, seeing his first action of the 2016 post-season. He struggled very early on, allowing two hits, a walk and two runs in the first inning alone.

By the top of the third inning, Mullen had allowed five runs and was pulled off the mound in favour of reliever Sami Brochu. However, Brochu did no better, retiring only two of the eight batters he faced before being pulled himself.

Still, despite his pitchers’ performances, manager Howie Schwartz stood by his decision to play them. “[Brochu] didn’t throw quality pitches—this wasn’t his day,” Schwartz said. “These guys are human. It wasn’t like nobody out there was working or trying. They just didn’t execute.”

Sam Belisle-Springer pitched the last four innings of the game for Concordia, limiting the Carabins to only three more runs. Belisle-Springer, one of the Stingers two star pitchers, had been slated to start in the championship finals, had the team made it.

The Stingers battled back offensively late in the game, loading the bases in the bottom of the fifth. However, they were only able to produce one run in the inning, despite getting three hits on Carabins pitcher Charlie Loignon.

The Stingers will now have to wait until next season for a shot at a title.

“We had a lot of hard hits. We just couldn’t string them together,” said Stingers right fielder Peter Zidros. After the game, Zidros received the award for best hitter of the tournament.

Although they produced eight hits and only struck out once at the plate over the course of the game, Concordia was not able to tire out Loignon as they had in past games.

“We were inconsistent at the plate,” Schwartz said. “I knew we could score a lot of runs against this team particularly—they don’t have [a relief pitcher] to close it down if they run into trouble.”

Earlier in the season, Concordia had mounted a five-run comeback against Loignon and the Carabins by scoring 15 runs in a single inning.

Université de Montréal went on to lose to the Mcgill Redmen in the finals of the CCBA Championship.

With Concordia’s season over, Schwartz now has to turn his attention to next year’s team.

“We’ve got a little bit of recruiting to do,” he said

While the 2016 season wasn’t a failure, Schwartz wishes he could have seen his veterans go out on top.

“This was their last game of university ball, and I’m disappointed they didn’t have another chance to get to a championship,” said Schwartz.

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