D1 Baseball: Questions And Answers From Week 2

Armani Henderson had a monster day for the Cometz

What promised to be the weekend’s most intriguing matchup – an early season showdown between the Savigny Lions and Montpellier Barracudas – didn’t, in the end, take place as scheduled.

With France’s ongoing strikes and fuel shortages, transportation, apparently, proved to be a problem for the Lions, who were unable to make the long trip south.

Fans of the country’s 10-team D1 baseball league will have to wait, in other words, for answers to a couple of pressing questions, starting with…

How good is Savigny this year?

The Lions made it all the way to the league finals last year. One can assume, therefore, that they’ve put together a pretty good squad for this season too. But just how good?

They were idle for the first week of the season and then couldn’t travel this past weekend, so the answer is…

We don’t know.

Which leads to another question.

The Barracudas seemed to be firing on all pistons in their opening day matchup against the Metz Cometz.

Will they able to sustain that momentum?

Again, the answer is:

We don’t know.

Fortunately, the protests and petrol problems didn’t stop three others matchups from taking place over the weekend, and in those cases, the participating teams were able to provide at least partial answers to certain key questions.

Are the defending champion Rouen Huskies still the team to the beat?

Until another team knocks them off, the perennial champs are very much the favorites: this and pretty much every year in recent memory.

Sure, they lost their March 19 opener to the Montigny Cougars. But they roared back in the second game, and then picked up where they left off this past weekend against a Toulouse Tigers team that is trying to make its own mark this season.

In a Saturday matinee, the Huskies blanked Toulouse 10-0 behind another solid pitching performance by newcomer Werner Leal. The former Texas Rangers prospect allowed just three hits in six innings to earn his second win of the year.

On offense, Rouen’s “Killer Bees” – Louis Brainville, Hugo Blondel and Joris Bert – all showed up to play, with two hits a piece.

Brainville and Bert each had two hits in Sunday’s game too, which the Huskies also won, this time beating Toulouse 4-2, with French pitcher Quentin Moulin – who gave up just two hits in 4.2 innings – getting the win.

The Tigers, with both of their starting pitchers healthy and with an upgraded lineup featuring Ariel Soriano and Alex Perdomo, among others, seem to have improved since last year, when they finished with a record of just 3-13.

But are they ready to give the Huskies a run for their money?

For now, at least, the answer seems to be “no,” although in baseball, as in love, anything can happen.

So what about the Montigny Cougars?

Montigny proved themselves early, beating the Huskies in their opening game of the season behind a sensational performance by Venezuelan pitcher Yorfrank López. And this past weekend, López was again dominant, leading the Cougars to an 8-1 victory over Paris UC, allowing just one run in six innings.

Allan Bellen-Fagnoni

Montigny won the second game too, improving to 3-1 on the season with an 8-2 victory powered in part by their second-year Brazilian slugger Allan Bellen-Fagnoni, who had five hits on the day and now boasts a league-best 10 hits overall (to go along with a scorching .667 batting average).

That’s how things stand now in Pool A.

And what about Pool B?

With the Savigny-Montpellier showdown postponed due to force majeur, there was only one matchup Pool B matchup this past weekend, and it featured two teams that both got off to a rough start on Opening Day: Nice Cavigal and the Metz Cometz.

The Cometz were arguably the favorites, in this case. But they’re also waiting still on the arrival of several foreign recruits, and after their poor showing against Montpellier, the weekend before, there was no guarantee they’d do particularly well against Nice.

There’s theory, however, and practice. And in practice, the Cometz came to play Sunday, thanks in large part to the few foreign recruits they do have in the roster.

Victorien Roze was locked in against Nice

American pitcher Shane Priest, formerly of the Sénart Templiers, got his first win of the season, striking out 10 in seven innings to lead his team to a 15-3 victory. And in the second game, the win went to newcomer Yondeily Quiroz of the Dominican Republic, who struck out eight.

But the biggest story for Metz was their offensive explosion. In the two games combined, they scored a combined 39 runs, led by Victorien Roze, who had seven hits on the day, and American import Armani Henderson, who exploded with seven hits of his own to go along with a jaw-dropping eight RBIs and nine runs scored.


For a full picture of the stats and results, visit the FFBS page

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