Baseball Team Beats John Abbott, Notches Playoff Wins

Concordia 10
John Abbott College 1

Concordia’s men’s baseball team clinched a playoff spot on Oct. 7 with a 10-1 win over the John Abbott Islanders at Trudeau Park.

“What’s happening now is that the team is finally starting to gel. I think we’re finally starting to show some discipline,” said Stingers manager Howard Schwartz.

Schwartz believes his team’s success lies within his pitching. “I think we have the pitching to win it in a short series. I think we have three solid pitchers who can shut down. I mean, one is lights out, and a couple of others are there,” he said.

Stingers outfielder Alex Lusk, who scored a late run in Thursday’s game, had a similar opinion.

“If the hitting comes around in the playoffs, we’re going to have a good shot to win the first round and probably even more,” he said.

Lusk would turn out to be right, as Concordia promptly followed up the win versus John Abbott with victories over the McGill Redbirds and defeated the Ottawa Gee Gees in a best-of-three playoff series over the weekend.

The Stingers got to John Abbott pitcher Martin Gagnier early as Mark Nadler, Andre Lagarde and Richard Leibovitch all scored to put them up 3-0 in the top of the first.
In the bottom of that same inning, the Islanders snuck a run in after Stingers pitcher Matt Cuffaro allowed one too many players on base. That run would be Cuffaro’s only hiccup in an otherwise nearly-perfect game.

The Stingers continued their destruction of John Abbott, as Kevin Shelton stole a base and was later driven home by Marc-André Fleury for a 4-1 lead.

After a short fourth inning, the Stingers pounded more points out in the fifth as both Shelton and Lagarde added their second RBIs of the game.

Shortly after, Islanders relief pitcher Patrick Coyle hit ConU’s Marty Chambers with a pitch. Chambers eventually found his way to home plate. At that point, the Stingers had a commanding 8-1 lead. The Stingers closed out the game with two additional runs, effectively ending the Islanders’ season.

While the Islanders were playing against a more skilled Stingers team, manager Marc André Côté was in a kind mood, deciding to play his entire roster.

“If you talk about the results of the games, tonight everybody was playing. The result for us is that we knew we were out already. We wanted to be fair to every player who played for us this year and made sure everyone got into the game,” he said.

The game marked the end of an era for Côté, as he and assistant coach Dale Bradley have called it a career after 15 seasons.

“It was a special thing tonight to end our coaching career against these guys,” said Côté.

Meanwhile the Stingers were ecstatic with their victory.

“It always helps out a pitcher when your defence and bats come out to play,” said Cuffaro.

With the win over the Islanders, the Stingers are confident that they can repeat last year’s national championship win with the team they have.

This article originally appeared in The Link Volume 31, Issue 09, published October 12, 2010.

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