The Rocket season ends on a bitter note
As was the case in the second and third games of the series, the Rocket and the Warriors were tied at the beginning of the seventh inning. Once again, it was the Granbyens who showed the most opportunism, fleeing with a 4-2 win that ends the Rocket season.
The fourth game of this series was held in the image of the Rocket season: lack of opportunism and concentration errors. Result: a heartbreaking defeat. The Rocket started strong by scoring two points in the second run, but the Warriors immediately filled the gap on their next attacking lap.
The mark was still 2-2 at the end of the seventh inning. That’s when with two withdrawals on the board, two Warriors players reached the trails and came to cross the plate on two bad shots Samuel Girard, who had an excellent match despite this outcome. The Rocket put two men on goal late in the eighth inning, but Nicolas Neveu was pulled out to end the game.
“I feel all kinds of emotions right now, I’m really disappointed, says Frederic Lajoie, who completes his first year as a Rocket pilot on a bitter note. I really think we are better than that. I am disappointed for Samuel (Girard), I am disappointed for Joe Raymond, who launched an incredible match Sunday and whose junior elite career has just ended. They deserved better, we deserved better. We fought, we can not commit three, four mistakes per game and hope to win. ”
The coach does not hide his disappointment following the anti-climatic outcome of his first season at the helm of the Rocket. “There are things that will have to change, that’s for sure,” he says. He will have changes to make on the side of the players, their attitude and their presence. At least, they have gained a lot of experience during the season that will serve them in the future, it can not be bought. ”
“We gave Granby too many chances, you can not do that with a team like them, especially not in playoffs,” Lajoie concludes. They were able to take advantage of our mistakes, which we have not been able to do throughout the series and the season. We all have a lot of introspection to do for the next season. ”
The Big Bill does not take anything for granted
As described in his 16-16 record, the Coaticook Big Bill had a very ordinary 2019 season. The team demonstrated that it could defeat anyone, but it struggled to align the dominant performances. It is therefore out of the question for them to hold the Sherbrooke Expos lightly, even though they have won twice as many victories.
Big Bill coach Jonathan Breton is adamant. His team can not afford to take the Expos for granted and immediately think about the next round, which will pit the winner of this series against the mighty Shawinigan Waterfalls.
“Things can go so fast in baseball, especially in a two-of-three series,” says Breton, who led his troupe to the final round two years ago. We saw it last year against Victoriaville when we were eliminated in three straight games. Expos can score a lot of points, so if they hit early in the game, you can get into trouble quickly. ”
If there are two departments in which the Big Bill seems to have a clear advantage over their rivals, it is defensive as well as the mound. Both teams have delivered similar performances this season, but the Coaticookois are fourth and second in the league respectively for these categories, while the Sherbrookois are the last.
“It has always been our strength in Coaticook, at least since I was a coach,” confirms Breton. Our pitchers are very strong, Christopher Sauvé-Gebhardt had another great season and his arm should be relaxed enough to make the difference in the playoffs. Mathieu Boutin is also recovering from his arm wound, he can give us big sleeves. ”
The question posed by all the supporters of the Big Bill seems to be answered. The excellent pitcher and infielder Lachlan Fontaine, loaned by the Capitals of Quebec earlier this summer, should not be able to join his LBMQ team for the playoffs.
“I spoke to him last week and although he would have liked to come help us, he is currently on the payroll of the Capitals, confided Breton. His presence would have helped us a lot, the players are more confident when he is there. We would have liked to have it, but I have confidence in our players, who will all be present for the playoffs. It will make it possible to play baseball more strategically. ” – Maxence Dauphinais Pelletier
A chance to recover for the Expos
The Sherbrooke Expos have a chance to recover.
After another disappointing season where they have not been able to reach the top 10, the Expos could spoil their fans with a playoff win against their long-time rivals, the Big Bill. Coaticook.
With only eight wins in 32 games – the third year in a row that Sherbrooke has failed to win at least 10 games – the Expos will be the big underdog in this series.
Their difficulties, everywhere on the pitch, including the mound and defense (76 errors in 32 games), will be particularly difficult to close in the short term, confirms the player and coach of the team, Eddie Lantigua.
The Expos pitchers have maintained an average of 7.80 points per game in 2019, while the Big Bill gunners were half as generous (average 3.59).
Sherbrooke has struggled all season to find launchers worthy of the name; Lantigua himself, an infield player, was called more often than not on the mound.
It is Philippe Valiquette who will get the start, Wednesday in Coaticook. But Lantigua is still looking for a pitcher for the second game of the series.
“It will be a very tight series. We played well against them this season, and so did they. The rivalry is alive and well between our two clubs, a rivalry that dates well before my arrival. It’s fun for the fans. ”
Lantigua confirms that his first season as Expos coaching coach was not easy.
“It was really hard; we knew we did not have the launchers to compete. And François (Lecuyer, the owner) did not bring us any help. And the available guys did not want to come to Sherbrooke. The availability of guys, who have jobs on the day, is the big challenge. The league will have to adjust that, otherwise it will never change. ”
“We will not let go, we will give everything we have in the belly and hope to beat Coaticook. ”
Sherbrooke and Coaticook compete in a two-of-three series. The second game is scheduled for Friday night in Sherbrooke, starting at 8 pm – Sébastien Lajoie