For outsiders looking at the Concordia Stingers’ baseball team’s record, their first week of action in the 2006 season might seem a little shaky.
The team dropped four straight games after opening their season with a 6-5 win in extra winnings against the McGill Redbirds. The team lost double headers to the Carleton Ravens and McGill this past weekend. But the coach of the team sitting in last place is optimistic.
“This is obviously not the start we want from a competitive standpoint,” said head coach Howard Schwartz. “But one of the reasons we are 1-4 is because the guys are over anxious, leading to physical and mental breakdowns. Many of the rookies do not have an experienced baseball background. They were not coached or developed properly, and that is what we are doing right now,” he said.
In the first game of the double header on Sunday at Pierre Elliot Trudeau Park in Cote St-Luc, the Stingers had a 3-0 lead after two innings, but McGill chipped away and in the final inning scored five runs to win the game.
Ron Snell, one of the veterans expected to step up this season for the Stingers, had a two-run single in the second inning to give the Stingers the 3-0 lead. Edwin Archer took the loss in the game despite allowing only one earned run in 4.2 innings.
Chris Dyer, proved he was the ace of the Concordia staff in the opening week going 0-1 and allowing only three earned runs in 10.2 innings.
Schwartz, while dealing with the wins and losses in stride, has been very happy with the commitment the team is showing.
“There was one game where I showed up late to the pre-game warm-ups, and when I got there everyone was prepared and working on something. The pitchers were on the side stretching, there were players doing soft-toss and there were two lines of groundballs, even before the real warm-up had started,” he said.
Schwartz, who has a background in working with athletes to mentally prepare them for optimum performance, said that the team is working very hard on making themselves better, and “not making the same mistake twice.” They wish to hit their peak right in time for the end of the season and playoffs.
“On paper this is not the most talented team I have coached, but their desire encompasses them in a way that they always are trying hard and working to improve, and it makes me want to come back to the park all the time,” he said.