Concordia’s star pitchers came through in back-to-back games
The Concordia Stingers baseball team picked up a pair of wins in their double-header against the University of Ottawa on Oct. 1. The wins were supported by solid back-to-back performances from their duo of star pitchers. The win improved the team’s record to 9-6 on the season.
Pitcher Sam Belisle-Springer had his most dominant game of the season, throwing over 100 pitches in eight innings. Holding Ottawa to three hits in the first game of the afternoon, Belisle-Springer stayed cool under pressure, keeping the score tied at 1-1 late into the game.
“He was starting to get a little tired, although he’ll never admit it. He’s always good to go,” said Stingers manager Howie Schwartz.
Belisle-Springer kept the Stingers in the first game, denying Ottawa with timely strikeouts.
“He does have a lot of potential to come around when he needs to, when his mind’s right,” Schwartz said. “He now has confidence.”
Concordia still had difficulty building momentum in the first game though, with only one hit in the first seven innings. Ottawa pitcher Roberto Suppa pitched a strong game, getting eleven strikeouts.
The Stingers only managed to break the tie in extra innings, when Suppa was replaced with relief pitcher Justin Raymond. Raymond allowed four batters to reach base, and quickly lost composure, receiving two warnings from the umpire for complaining about strike calls. Stingers third baseman Sammy Fagan got the walk-off run batted in (RBI) in the eighth inning, sealing a 2-1 victory.
In the second game of the double-header, Concordia’s batters were able to adjust to the game.
“We had a talk at the end of the first game,” Schwartz said. “I explained to them that they have to have quality at bats, whether they’re gonna get a hit or not.”
The Stingers almost quadrupled their number of hits in the second game, building an eight-run lead by the end of the fourth inning. Stingers center fielder Roberto Zapata led the team with four hits in four plate appearances.
“He’s an extraordinary talent,” Schwartz said of Zapata. “When he focuses, he’s our number one guy.”
Pitcher Dan Connerty started the second game for Concordia, and although the Stingers had another strong defensive game, there was still room for improvement from Connerty. Ottawa batters earned five hits against him in six innings, and made contact on a lot of his pitches.
“We faced these guys last game. They were a little bit more prepared [for my pitching style],” Connerty said. “I like to get away with getting as much contact as I can.”
Still, Connerty allowed only one run, and with an improved offence, the Stingers won the second game of the afternoon, 8-1.
“They responded,” Schwartz said. “They’re a good, talented team, but sometimes, they’re young, and they don’t keep focus on what they’re supposed to do. This is a mental game, not a physical game.”
The Stingers now sit in second place in the Northern Canadian Collegiate Baseball Association division, and will close out their season on Oct. 6 against the Université de Montréal Carabins.