The men’s baseball team lost at the Canadian Intercollegiate Baseball Association National Championships this weekend in what turned out to be an unexpected outcome in more ways than one.
After opening the tournament with a 9-0 victory over St. Clair College, the Mustangs lost for just the second time in their last 15 games, dropping their second round robin game 6-0 at the hands of the Concordia Stingers.
“I was shocked more than anything,” team captain Bruce Craine said. “We had a big win Friday and then Saturday we came out flat.”
The Mustangs were neutralized by Stingers ace Julian Tucker — a former minor league AA pitcher.
“It’s tough to go up against. It’s unfortunate we had to face him today but great teams make adjustments and we couldn’t do that,” head coach Mike Lumley said after the loss to Concordia.
Later in the day, the Mustangs lost their third game of the tournament 7-6 to the Cape Breton Capers. It was the first time since the second weekend of the season that the Mustangs had lost two games in a row.
“I know we had the best team out there. I just hadn’t seen us play that badly all season. We beat ourselves, plain and simple. We just didn’t play like the champions we were a weekend ago,” a disappointed Carlos Cabrero said after the two-game sweep on Saturday.
With a 1-2 record, Western went into a sudden death two-game tiebreaker. First up was a familiar foe in St. Clair College. Staff ace Jordan Townshend pitched a complete game on a single day’s rest, sparking a reenergized Western attack and a 5-1 victory.
In their second tiebreaker, the Mustangs faced Tucker and the Stingers once again. Despite mustering more offence than they did in their first game again Concordia, Western bowed out of the tournament with a 6-2 loss.
“We battled but we didn’t put it all together,” Cabrero said after the Mustangs were eliminated. “A lot of respect goes to these teams; they’re some of the best in the country. Our guys shouldn’t hang their heads — we gave it our all.”