McGill fans left Gary Carter Field in high spirits on Sept. 27 at the Redmen Baseball Fan Night, after the Redmen (10-3) defeated the visiting Concordia Stingers (6-6) in extra innings with a 4-3 final score.
The game began on a positive note for the Redmen: Third-year centerfielder Sasha Lagarde made a spectacular sliding catch facing the fence to register the third out of the first inning. The outstanding play saved two runs and proved to be the start of a fantastic night for Lagarde.
The second and third innings flew by, but the Stingers opened the scoring in the top of the fourth. First-year Redmen starting pitcher Zach Finkelstein opened the inning with a strikeout, but subsequently allowed three unearned runs and was replaced. First-year reliever Cole Millinger then took over on the mound and pitched 1.2 scoreless innings.
“It wasn’t our first time being down late in the game,” Redmen Hitting Coach Kendel McKenna said. “We have the bats to come back always. We were getting guys on base every inning, so it was only a matter of time before we [made a comeback].”
The Redmen got their offence moving in the bottom of the fifth, stringing key hits together to score three runs which tied the game. First-year third baseman Michael O’Toole redeemed himself from an error in the inning prior, driving in Emerson Dohm and Jonathan DuForest with a clutch single.
McGill kept the game tied at three in the top of the sixth, thanks to a heads-up play: After a sacrifice fly that should have scored the fourth run for the Stingers, the team successfully appealed that the runner left third base early and had the run negated.
Third-year left-handed pitcher Andre Lagarde threw 2.2 hitless innings to keep the Redmen in the game heading into extra innings. In the bottom of the eighth, pinch hitter Camden Lawhead walked, followed by a single from Dominic DeFelice. Sasha Lagarde then smacked a double into the left center, scoring Lawhead as the game-winning run.
“We had been struggling offensively for a small part of the season,” Lagarde said. “I just looked for something I could handle and shoot something in the gap. I knew that if I could get good wood on it, the runner from second would score, so I just cut down my swing and I got a pitch over the plate to hit.”
The Redmen extended their win streak to seven in a double-header against the last-place University of Ottawa Gee-Gees (3-12) at Gary Carter Field on Sept. 29.
Moment of the Game:
With two runners on base in the bottom of the eighth inning, Sasha Lagarde won the game for the Redmen with a walk-off double. Lagarde’s teammates celebrated by mobbing him at second base.
“We are [a] very superstitious [team….] When we have a rally going, [we watch from] the same spot, and try to do the same thing, and wear a rally cap.” – Redmen pitcher Thomas Mienkowski on the fifth-inning rally.
Twins Sasha and Andre Lagarde made their parents proud: Sasha went two-for-four and recorded the game-winning hit, while Andre pitched 2.2 hitless innings and was the winning pitcher.