After beating McGill in a 3-game series last weekend to advance to the provincial championship for the fifth time in the last eight years, the Stingers took their show on the road against Laval.
Almost everything was pointing in favour of Concordia this weekend. Everything except their previous track record against the defending provincial champions whom they were 0-5 against in championship series.
Despite the adversity the Stingers came out sporting a well-prepared defensive unit, highlighted by an outstanding pitching staff.
In fact, not even the team itself could have expected as impressive of a performance as they got.
But alas, where the defence was nearly unhittable in their two losses, the bats came up empty.
The first game of the series saw pitcher Nate Thomas systematically pick apart the Laval batting line-up in nine-inning, complete-game performance.
Thomas accumulated an impressive nine strikeouts and scattered 4 hits over nine innings of play as the game went into extra-innings.
Despite numerous attempts to put the game away, the Stingers were unable to follow through on any of their opportunities.
One of the best chances to breakout came in the seventh inning with the bases loaded but the Stingers were unable to capitalize.
Another great chance came in the eighth inning as Dan Nathan hit a ball that looked to be a game-breaker with two outs and a runner on third base. Sadly, the ball went foul.
From there, Laval was able to put a run on the board in the ninth to take game one.
Although coming up short in the first game, Concordia still had plenty to be confident about at the start of game two.
Not only did the Stingers know that they were capable of beating them but they had another quality ace in pitcher Jameson Boulanger who brought his A-game to the ballpark. But so did Laval’s pitcher.
Unlike game one, the scoreboard got lit up early as Laval put up two runs in first inning on a lazy fly ball by the Laval batter.
The ball caught a gust of wind in the air and eluded the Concordia defence and allowed the runners to score as Laval took a 2-0 lead.
Form there the pitcher’s duel continued but Concordia was unable to mount any serious offensive attack.
The Laval ace managed to hold Concordia’s batters to just one hit over the course of the game, while Boulanger also went on a tear with seven strikeouts.
In the end, however, the Stingers weren’t able to manage to put any runs on the board and another so close but so far season came to an end for the ball club.
Despite the heartbreaking loss, Coach Howard Schwartz was optimistic about the team’s future.
“I promised a trip to the Nationals this year,” said Schwartz.
“Now I’ll have to promise one for next year.”