Rouen Draws First Blood In France’s D1 Baseball Finals

Hugo Blondel (file photo) delivered a huge hit in the fourth (Credit: B. Witte)

The Rouen Huskies, winners of the past five D1 baseball championships, took their first step Saturday toward making it six in a row, downing the visiting Sénart Templiers in the opening game of the 2021 French baseball championship series.

The stormin’ Normans — fresh off a 3-1 series victory against Montpellier in the semi-finals — again leaned on their ace, Yoimer Camacho, who has been lights-out since rejoining the club relatively late in the season.

The Venezuelan righty pitched a complete game and struck out 14! And yet, he wasn’t unhittable. American import Brandt Holland, a former North Alabama University player, tagged Camacho in the top of the first for a solo home run.

In the second, the Templiers added a second run when Florian Peyrichou drew a leadoff walk and later scored on an error. But in bottom of the fourth, the hometown Huskies struck back, scoring a four quick runs, three of them off a triple down the line by Hugo Blondel.

Two innings later, with Martin Vissac on second following a single and stolen base, Rouen’s other Venezuelan import, catcher Gabriel Bracamonte, put two more runs on the scoreboard with a no-doubter of a swing that sent the ball somewhere beyond the leftfield fence.

Holland (file photo) tagged Camacho for a bomb in the first (Credit: B. Witte)

Sénart, trailing 2-6, made things interesting in the seventh, when Mohammed BaouiTanguy Muerant and Andy Paz all managed to collect hits off Camacho. They were only able to single a single run, though, and in the next two innings, the hard-throwing Venezuelan kept the Templiers hitless to seal the deal for the Huskies.

Sénart’s starting pitcher, Shane Priest, also of North Alabama University, is the league leader in wins this year with nine but took the loss in this case. In six innings of work, he gave up eight hits and six runs.

The second game in the best-of-five series takes place tomorrow, again in Rouen (2 p.m.), before moving to Lieusaint, south of Paris, next weekend.

Like today’s opener, the tomorrow’s match will be broadcast live by the crew from Baseball France TV, a free app available from on the App Store and Google Play.

For more information on stats and scheduling, visit the FFBS web site.

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