LA ROCHELLE — It’s been quite the decade for Sénart’s Alex Perdomo. Singed as a teenager by the Philadelphia Phillies, the 28-year-old Venezuelan is now a veteran in France’s D1 baseball league, having spent time with three different teams: Stade Toulousain, the Montpellier Barracudas and, since the 2019 season, the Templiers.
He’s no stranger to the Challenge de France tournament either. Two years ago, the last time the event was held, he helped guide Sénart to the title, winning MVP honors in the process. Later that year the team would make it to the D1 league finals, losing to the perennial powerhouse Rouen Huskies.
The Templiers are hoping this year to get back to the finals, and at 17-1 in the regular season, looked poised to do just that. They’re also favorites to repeat as Challenge champs, a fact they made abundantly clear Thursday in their opener, crushing the Metz Cometz 16-1 in just six innings.
Le Baseblog caught up with the talented infielder in sunny La Rochelle, where they’re set to face the Barracudas, 16-2 in the regular season and winners also of their first Challenge game, this afternoon.
Le Baseblog: Alex, what brought you to France?
Alex Perdomo: Baseball! In 2016 the club in Toulouse sent me an e-mail asking if I’d be interested in playing in France, and so I decided to come. I was playing in the Bolivarian league in Venezuela. It’s a league for all the “released” players, guys who were let go by their professional clubs. It’s a league for players who don’t have jobs. I was doing that the season [Stade Toulousain] contacted me, and after I came to France.
LBB: What’s your overall impression of French baseball?
AP: Honestly, it’s great. It’s improved a lot since I came here in 2016. The level is a lot higher than before, and I think that if it continues like this, in the near future we’re going to see even better baseball here.
LBB: What can you tell us about the atmosphere here at the Challenge de France?
AP: The Challenge is different because each and every game is so important. In every game, from the first inning to the last, you have to come out giving 100 percent the whole time. And when we play the really top-level teams, like Montpellier, Rouen or Savigny, it’s intense from the first moment to the last. So yeah, it’s really different than the regualar season. You’ve got to play your heart out the whole time.
LBB: Last question: Talk to us about the group you have this year in Sénart.
AP: The team has been really close-knit this year. We’re a really united group, even though there are a lot of foreign players, a lot of new faces. But the foreigners have really fit in with everyone else, and I think we have a really good squad. I think we can win the championship this year.
To watch the Templiers and the other Challenge participants play, plug in to Baseball TV France (download the app at Play Store and App Store).