Another week of D1 baseball has come and gone, and now that the stats have finally been published, we thought it would be fun to share a few takeaways.
Do to unforeseen circumstances, one of the matchups planned for last weekend (the Sénart Templiers against the Metz Cometz) was postponed (until the weekend of April 22/23). But three other teams did take the field, and for one of them – the Savigny Lions – their Sunday double-header in Nice was actually their first chance to play this season.
So, how do last year’s runners up look? Pretty good, as it turned out. In what ended up being their season opener, the Lions – in Pool B this year after two seasons in Pool A – trounced the home team 11-1 behind a strong debut from Venezuelan recruit Gilbert Perdomo.
A former member of the Bravos de Margarita in the Venezuelan pro league, Perdomo allowed just two hits in seven innings while striking out 11.
The D1 newcomer got some help on offense from one of his countrymen, Ivan Acuña, now in his fourth season in France, who went three-for-six with a pair of RBIs in the contest. Pierre-Emmanuel Planes, last season’s league MVP, contributed as well, with two hits, as did Mathias Lescure.
The Lions got the job done in Sunday’s afternoon game as well, albeit by a narrower margin (8-6). Planes (two hits) and Acuña (three hits) continued to sizzle. Mathis Bausset and newcomer Julio Pérez got in on the action too, with two hits a piece, helping keep Savigny ahead in a game where their first two pitchers, Joss Neyraud and Owen Chauveau, allowed eight walks between them in just the first 3.1 innings.
The Lions thus begin the season with a perfect 2-0 record but will clearly face stiffer challenges in the weeks to come. Nice, for their part, now have a disappointing 0-6 record, and, barring a major reversal of fortunes, could very well face relegation by season’s end.
Paris UC, now with an 0-4 record, may be in a similar boat after losing a pair Sunday against Stade Toulousain (STB), who move to 4-2 and sit in third place in Pool A.
The first game was a real nail biter, as both starting pitchers – Anderson Josue Vera for PUC, and Keivy Rojas, for STB – had strong outings. Rojas was just a bit sharper, though, allowing just two hits and striking out 11 to lead the home team to a 2-0 victory.
The afternoon game was a bit more lopsided thanks to some timely hitting by Alexander Perdomo (two hits) and Ariel Soriano (who bashed his first HR of the year), and a strong outing by starting pitcher Jhon Garcia, who allowed just two runs in six innings.
Last but not least in our roundup of Week 3 was the weekend’s most intriguing matchup, between the visiting Rouen Huskies – who’ve won seven D1 titles in a row – and the La Rochelle Boucaniers, who made the semi-finals last season for the first time in club history.
The Huskies, winners of three straight coming into the weekend, were the favorites. But in the opening game, the Boucaniers benefited from a masterful performance by French pitcher Nicolas Antoine, who went toe-to-toe against Venezuelan recruit Werner Leal, a former Texas Rangers prospect, and came out the victor.
Antoine pitched all nine innings, giving up six hits but allowing no runs, while on offense, the Boucaniers managed to squeeze out a single run in the bottom of the ninth for a high-drama, walk-off victory.
The Champs rebounded in the afternoon game, however, besting the Boucaniers despite the return of Venezuelan ace Wilce Nieves, who gave up three runs in five innings. The home team also received a huge blow as star Forrest Crawford, their American leadoff hitter, suffered what appears to be a serious injury.
Rouen pitcher Quentin Moulin continued to shine, striking out nine in seven innings. And on offense, the Huskies got a boost from veteran Maxime Lefevre and slugger Hugo Blondel, who had three RBIs between them to help the Huskies take the match 8-5.
With the win, Rouen moves to 4-2 on the season, second in Pool A behind the Montigny Cougars, while the Boucaniers drop to 1-3.
For more details on results, stats and scheduling, visit the FFBS page.