Stingers stumble late to give Redmen a comeback win

Concordia’s pitching gave up seven runs in the last two innings in a tough loss.

The Concordia Stingers baseball team saw their four-game winning streak come to an end this Sunday afternoon as they dropped a 7-2 decision to the McGill Redmen.

The loss was the first game of a doubleheader against McGill played at Gary Carter Field in Cote Saint-Luc.

According to Stingers Manager Howie Schwartz, the loss against the Redmen doesn’t call for any adjustments.

“We’re 1-1 as far as I’m concerned against them, and we have three more games to play against them,” said Schwartz. “I have confidence in my team, I know my guys are great ball players and they’re really solid, and if they keep their focus, we should be fine.”

The first two innings saw both teams employ similar strategies. Concordia and McGill’s defenses both anticipated each play with high intensity, leaving hardly any room for an earned run, keeping the score at a 0-0 tie in the process.

Stingers starting pitcher Nick Harrison did his part early on, forcing the first out on a pop fly and earning two consecutive strikeouts for a McGill three-up, three-down first inning.

The bottom half of the inning began with a leadoff single from Stingers shortstop Matthew Litwin. Litwin attempted to steal second-base, but was picked off by McGill’s starter Ryan Kramer. Kramer would then walk outfielder Andre Lagarde, setting up first baseman Jean-Christophe Paquin for a two-run hit deep to right field, clearing the fence for a 2-0 Stingers lead.

The lead would stand steady until the sixth inning until McGill outfielder James Pavelick kicked off the top of the sixth with a leadoff single. Infielder Robert Sedin then sent a jack off a Harrison pitch, tying the ball game with a two-run homerun to left field.

McGill’s hot bats continued into the top of the seventh inning, with a leadoff double from first baseman James Vardy setting the tone. Outfielder Alexander Levis then drove a single past Concordia’s infield, sending Vardy to third.

Concordia called upon Lagarde, also a left-handed pitcher, to relieve Harrison from his duties. Following the single, Third Baseman Zachary Aaron hit an RBI double, allowing Vardy to trot home, giving the Redmen a 3-2 lead.

With two outs and the bases loaded after a Pavelick walk to first, center fielder Adam Gordon went deep to left field on the first pitch, earning a grand slam and extending McGill’s lead 7-2.  McGill’s defense capped off the game after Concordia’s last half inning, ensuring a 7-2 win.

“We had [McGill] on the ropes and we didn’t execute on a couple of plays, made a few key mistakes in a couple of key situations and McGill was certainly good enough to capitalize on that,” said Schwartz on Concordia’s seventh-inning collapse. “They didn’t beat us, we just didn’t finish our game plan.”

Although the loss came late in the game, Schwartz said that he is optimistic moving forward and doesn’t think that the score truly indicated what the game was really like.

“We’ve been rattled with injuries, we’ve done pretty good moving things around and I think it’s a tribute to the team to how well they are put together to be able to come under such adverse conditions, so I’m really happy with these guys,” Schwartz said.

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