Champs Two Years in a Row
Men’s Baseball Team Comes out on Top Despite Early-Season Worries
The Concordia Stingers’ baseball team needed a gem from pitcher Andre Lagarde on Sunday and they got just that, beating the McGill Redmen 1-0 to win their second consecutive CIBA Northern Conference Championship.
Lagarde outlasted Redmen pitcher Conrad Hall, pitching six innings of shutout baseball and helping the Stingers close out the three-game series at Trudeau Park in dramatic fashion.
“Everyone did their part. It couldn’t have been any closer,” said Stingers manager Howard Schwartz. “McGill was great, but we were just a little greater. I definitely feel like I earned my pay this year.”
The win was not without its dramatic moments. With the Stingers needing one out to end the game, McGill second baseman Max Tierno sent fans of both sides to the edges of their seats with a well-hit ball towards deep outfield.
However, Concordia outfielder Marc-André Fleury managed to get to the hit in full stride, closing his glove on the ball and the series.
Fleury was also the only Stinger to make his presence felt on the scoreboard. In the bottom of the second, Fleury was caught in the side by an errant Hall pitch, immediately after ducking to avoid the prior pitch that seemed destined for his head.
After stealing second, the Stingers’ outfielder would go on to score on a fielder’s choice, providing Lagarde with the only run support he needed.
Lagarde managed to keep both batters and base-runners at bay from the outset of the game, striking out two to begin the second and picking off a number of the few Redmen that got on base.
“He’s a lefty so we wanted to take advantage of that. He picked off two guys,” said Schwartz. “Look, that’s just what we do.”
Lagarde’s counterpart, Hall, was not nearly as effective at the start, sending a number of wild pitches into the backstop. However, with the exception of Fleury’s second-inning run, the Stingers failed to capitalize.
Meanwhile, their cross-town foes, the McGill Redmen, left Trudeau Park Sunday beaten but not defeated as they earned the wildcard berth in the National Championships where they will be looking to exact revenge on Concordia.
With the win, the Stingers will head to Windsor, Ont., on Thursday, where they will face five other teams from across the country for the CIBA National Championships.
This article originally appeared in The Link Volume 31, Issue 10, published October 19, 2010.
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