The McGill Redmen beat the Université de Montréal Carabins two games to one in the best-of-three CCBA Northern Division semifinal last weekend. The teams split the first two games at Gary Carter Field, with McGill taking the first game 5-0 before falling 12-5 in the second. On Monday night, the Redmen won the series-deciding game 7-6 at Ahuntsic Park.
In game one, Redmen starting pitcher Rocky Hroch shut the Carabins out, allowing four hits and striking out 10 batters over his seven innings of work. McGill capitalized on Montreal’s mistakes, scoring their first run on a wild pitch, and adding four more, only two of which were earned.
Unfortunately for McGill, the roles were reversed in game two. In the first inning, eight of Montreal’s first ten batters reached base safely.
“[That first inning was] a blip in our radar,” Head Coach Jason Starr said. “We lost focus for a bit, and made some errors [….] We still had a belief, and we clawed back, but we never got close enough to make it interesting.”
Centre fielder Sasha Lagarde’s solo home run put the Redmen on the board in the bottom of the third. McGill then put up runs in each of the next two innings and added a pair in the bottom of the seventh. However, the Redmen left fifteen men on base and were unable to catch up with the Carabins.
The theme of each team capitalizing on the other’s errors continued in game three. McGill jumped ahead early with right fielder Sam Groleau scoring the first run of the game on a wild pitch. Both teams made the most of their opportunities, but McGill held onto the lead until the bottom of the seventh inning. With the Redmen a strike away from sealing the game, the Carabins’ catcher Guillaume Morin hit a RBI double to tie it instead. Redmen Reliever Eric Broatch struck out the next batter to limit the damage. McGill took the lead again in the top of the eighth, when shortstop Louis-Xavier Labrosse scored on a botched double play. The Redmen went on to win the game and the series.
After their victory over the Carabins, the Redmen are looking forward to this weekend’s CCBA Northern Division finals against the rival Concordia Stingers.
“There’s a lot of excitement. We have one mindset and one goal of winning and we're ready to go win this series as a team,” sophomore pitcher Henry Dennis said.
They will host Concordia for two games games on Sunday afternoon, potentially playing a third game if necessary Sunday night. All games will be played at Gary Carter Field.
“[Game three] was a tight ball game and a great team win. It was a tough series against a very good Montreal team, and our guys showed a lot of fight and character to pull out a victory.” – Head Coach Jason Starr
Stat of the Series:
UdeM outscored McGill 19–16. Only 10 of those runs were earned, as opposed to 13 of the runs McGill scored.
Moment of the Series:
Tied 6-6 in the top of the eighth inning of game three, shortstop Louis-Xavier Labrosse drew a walk. The next batter was hit by a pitch before third baseman Jared Kersh hit into what should have been an inning-ending double play. Once again, the Redmen were able to make the most of an opportunity presented by a Carabins error, and Labrosse came home to score the winning run.