Despite solid pitching performance by Jackson Morgan, Concordia lost 5-3 to UdeM
The Concordia Stingers baseball team opened up the 2017-18 season with a 5-3 loss to the Université de Montréal Carabins on Sept. 6. Pitcher Jackson Morgan did what all starting pitchers should do—he gave the team a chance to win, going 5 2/3 innings and only giving up two runs.
Morgan ran into some trouble in the top of the sixth as he allowed a run, and had two men on base before he was pulled from the game with two outs.
“I was starting to tire a bit, and when that happens, the curve[ball] doesn’t curve as much, and the change[up] doesn’t change as much,” Morgan said. “So it became about finding outs, the best way I could.”
Morgan praised his defence behind him, calling them incredible all night long. It was a very defence-oriented game for both teams, as the Stingers scored three runs in total. Two runs batted in by Bruce Tejada and another by Miles Arecchi-Schuh drove in the Stingers’ runs of the night.
It was a rough night for Concordia pitcher Frederic Lalande, who entered the game in the top of the seventh with a 3-2 lead. He had a chance to pick up a save but took the loss instead.
He struck out the first two hitters he faced, but ran into issues locating his pitches, eventually loading the bases. The Carabins capitalized, getting a bases-clearing triple to deep centre field. This gave the Carabins a 5-3 lead, and handed Lalande a blown save.
“They got some cheap hits,” he said. “I felt really in control, confident, but that’s baseball.”
The Stingers had a chance to win with a walk-off in the bottom of the ninth, but failed to score, handing the win to the Carabins.
The Stingers inability to hit with runners in scoring position was a reason for their loss. The team went two-for-nine with runners in scoring position, an occurrence that manager Howie Schwartz said won’t be a common occurrence.
“It’s early in the season. These guys all played in the States, they’re major ballplayers, [but] their timing is off,” Schwartz said.
Aside from the lack of clutch hits, the Stingers struck out 12 times, all against UdeM starter Simon Brisebois, who threw a complete game. Schwartz said his team’s ability to hit will come with time.
“Brisebois is an excellent pitcher. We managed to take care of him last year, [but today] he kept us off balance,” he said. Schwartz added that the first five hitters in the lineup are fantastic, and he expects improvement from them.
Morgan also commented on his team’s offence: “We’ll get the bats going. [We] know how to swing … and I’m expecting them to put up 10 to 12 runs a game”.
The Stingers travel to Ottawa to face the Carleton Ravens for a doubleheader on Sept. 10.