Saints Open Baseball Season

Rookie LHP Evan Ferguson eyes the plate during an OCAA game against Humber on 9 September 2018. In his start against the Hawks, Ferguson pitched 5.0 innings, giving up 6 hits, 4 earned runs, striking out 3, and walking 3 while taking the loss in a 4-0 decision.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Rookie LHP Evan Ferguson eyes the plate during an OCAA game against Humber on 9 September 2018. In his start against the Hawks, Ferguson pitched 5.0 innings, giving up 6 hits, 4 earned runs, striking out 3, and walking 3 while taking the loss in a 4-0 decision.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

(TECUMSEH, ON) – The St Clair Saints opened the 2019 baseball season by dividing two double headers over the weekend at Lacasse Park in Tecumseh. In each set, the Saints took the 2nd game in order to salvage each split.

On Saturday, the Durham Lords helped St Clair to start the season by dominating in a 7-1 opening game win before the Saints rebounded in the replay with their own 7-1 win. The Saints mustered just 3 hits in game 1 while taking a 1-0 lead in the 3rd inning.

The Lords summoned some divine intervention and tied the game in the 5th before securing the win with 3 runs in each of the 6th and 7th innings.

Kingsville’s Darian Gray scored St Clair’s only run after a Durham error. Third year pitcher Micah Harris, of Cottam, took the loss after throwing for 5 innings and giving up 3 runs on 4 hits while striking out 1 and walking 1.

St Clair exploded for 5 runs in the 3rd inning of game 2 to take command of their comeback. Belle River’s Garik Godard spread 4 Durham hits over five innings and struck out 8 batters. The Saints completed the scoring with 2 runners crossing the plate in the 6th.

Belle River's Garik Godard lines up a Humber offering during OCAA baseball action on 9 September 2018. In 4 games on opening weekend, Godard had 1 hit and scored a run in 7 at bats.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Belle River’s Garik Godard lines up a Humber offering during OCAA baseball action on 9 September 2018. In 4 games on opening weekend, Godard had 1 hit and scored a run in 7 at bats.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Kevin Dion, of Newmarket, and Amherstburg’s Brendan Renaud paced the St Clair attack with a pair of hits each. Dion and Panama’s Roberto Duncan accounted for the run production at the plate, sharing 5 RBIs in the win.

Under threatening skies on Sunday, the Saints again started slow when hosting the Humber Hawks. St Clair was on the losing end of a 4-0 game 1 before walking off with a 6-5 win in extra innings in game 2.

The St Clair bats were essentially silent to start the series with Humber as they managed just 3 hits. Singles came from Dion, Gray, and Kyle Gagnon while rookie LHP Evan Ferguson earned the loss by giving up 4 runs on 4 hits over 5 innings.

The Saints dug deep to earn the win in game 2. After leading 2-1 in the 4th, St Clair was down 5-2 and with their last hope batting in the bottom of the 7th. The Saints loaded the bases and scored 3 to push the game into extra innings.

St Clair skipper, Dave Cooper, had little to smile about opening weekend as the Saints split two double headers to kick off the season 8-9 September 2018.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

St Clair skipper Dave Cooper had little to smile about opening weekend as the Saints split two double headers to kick off the season 8 and 9 September 2018.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

Neither team could get the job done in the 8th inning, but with a man on 2nd to start the 9th, Gray connected to drive the ball into centre field, sending Ryan Holmes in to score the winning run.

Saints starter Taylor Pappin was dinged for 6 unearned runs as St Clair committed 6 defensive errors over his 6 innings of work. Windsor’s Michael Beale earned the win in a 3-inning relief appearance, giving up just a hit and a walk.

St Clair (2-2) is tied for 3rd place with Durham on the OCAA ladder while Humber (3-1) is alone in first place.

Action continues this weekend with a 4-game road trip to Toronto to take on the Seneca Sting in a Saturday double-header followed by two against the George Brown Huskies on Sunday. Their next home stand will be the weekend of September 29 when the Sting and Huskies make the trip to Tecumseh.

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata