Concordia’s Baseball Team Sent Home After Semi-Final Loss
The Stingers’ stellar season came to an abrupt end this weekend with a 3-2 loss to the Durham Lords in the semi-final round of the nationals in Moncton, NB.
Winning their preliminary games against the Cape Breton Capers and conference rivals Carleton Ravens, Concordia managed to slip into the elimination rounds with one loss.
Their defeat at the hands of Durham cut ConU’s journey short, however.
Stingers head coach Howard Schwartz took the loss hard, but was proud of his team.
“We played better than I imagined—we had four solid games,” said Schwartz. “They were all one-run games and it always sucks to lose, but I’m incredibly happy with the team’s performance.”
The Stingers finished the regular season with a 13-3 record, making it to the finals of the Northern Conference, where they suffered a title loss to Carleton.
The top two teams of each conference were granted a spot in the Canadian Intercollegiate Baseball Association Championships, pitting Canada’s best student baseball teams against each other.
The Stingers won the title in 2009 in a 12-2 blowout against Cape Breton. This year, they just fell short of reclaiming their title.
“We were not a team who had a tremendous amount of depth. Lack of our depth didn’t allow us to do a couple of things, or do a couple of moves that would of put us in a much better position to win,” Schwartz said.
“We are a family, we’re there to win and have a great experience.” Stingers head coach Howard Schwartz
The Stingers will be saying goodbye to a few graduating players during the offseason. Matthew Jacobson, their most experienced man on the mound, will be graduating this year, alongside catcher Marshall Johnston and team captain Jason Katz.
“Pride hits the nail on the head when it comes to how I feel about my team,” Katz said. “I’ve got to experience things that a lot of people do not get to experience during the last four years. [The team] is a great group of guys and the other players who are graduating are some of my best friends.”
Also on the list of graduating players is Stingers shortstop Marco Masciotra, who rought in more runs during the playoffs than anyone in the Northern Conference. Schwartz considers Masciotra “probably the best shortstop who’s ever played for the Stingers.”
“After five years of unbelievable ball-playing ability, [Masciotra] is very very hard to replace. When you’re losing a guy who goes 5-0 for you, you’re losing a guy who was the bull that carries everyone on his back during key times and situations,” said Schwartz.
Schwartz believes there’s no doubt his team can pick up where they left off next year, though. He says their compatibility and camaraderie is what holds them above other teams.
“We are a family, we’re there to win and have a great experience. Our representation and record speaks for itself and we’re just having a great time doing what we’re doing,” said Schwartz.
As for ConU Athletic Director Katie Sheahan, she’s looking forward to a strong 2012 for the Stingers.
“I’m very proud of [the team]; it was so close, but I think if they bring the exact amount of team spirit and togetherness they had this year, we will do very well.”