The sport of baseball received another shot in the arm, on a local level yesterday, as the Bishop Carter Gators captured the first-ever NOSSA baseball championship with a 10-2 win over the St. Charles College Cardinals.
The two-day tournament drew a six-team field, with the Gators now moving on to the OFSAA East Regionals in Whitby June 4-5. Bishop Carter head coach Jean-Gilles Larocque knew that while his more elite ball players were going to be key, a full team effort was really what was needed to push them over the top.
"Joey (Moher), Stetson (Troscinski) and Tyson (Trosckinski) kind of carried the top of our lineup, creating some havoc all the time," said Larocque. "But then we had guys like Cory Hannon, laying down a bunt, stealing a base, doing a hit and run with Jordan Conners — everybody contributed in some way, shape or form."
Moher was particularly effective, picking up the win on the mound with six solid innings of work based on a 100-pitch count. Larocque was able to save the arm of Moher for the championship affair thanks, in part, to a pair of complete game victories from Stetson Troscinski, an outfielder primarily by trade.
"I'm basically just trying to throw strikes," said Troscinski. "Let them hit it and hopefully my defence can back me up — and they were great the whole tournament."
Despite fielding a roster that included few, if any, rep baseball players, the athletic Cardinals still managed to get the bat on the ball facing Moher, a quality left-handed starter.
Unfortunately, with their pitching staff depleted in trying to ensure a semifinal victory over the Lockerby Vikings, the Cards had much more limited options available come time for the championship final.
Still, unconventional can sometimes be a good thing.
"The last pitcher they threw at us was a lefty with a side-arm delivery," said Troscinski with a smile. "You don't see those too often. It's hard to read the ball off his hand. You're in there just swinging, trying to hit something."
Making their first-ever trek to OFSAA, at least some of the Gators understand what lies ahead.
"We're going to face some really good teams down there," said Troscinski. "It's a good thing we have Mr. Larocque to kind of help coach us around the right things. I think the guys will be really shocked to see what really good baseball is."