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Nov '08 20

French Elite League – 2008 in Review – Arvernes de Clermont-Ferrand

After looking at the German Baseball-Bundesliga a few weeks ago, we would like to continue in our review series with the French Elite League.

Arvernes de Clermont-Ferrand

CLERMONT-FERRAND got promoted into the French Elite League last winter and represented themselves pretty good in their first season at the top level in France. They won nine games during the regular season and had hopes for a spot in the playoffs for a couple of weeks. They even surprised the two top teams on a few occasions. They beat the ROUEN HUSKIES in May and ended the long winning streak by the TEMPLIERS SENART in July.

In the play-downs they couldn’t overcome the deficit to the teams in front of the ARVERNES and finished the year with a respectable 15-25 record in seventh place in the final standings. However they were never in danger to drop to last place.

What the stats say

With so-so performances by their Canadian imports Brett Murray and Doug Grant, CLERMONT-FERRAND only managed a league-worst .223 (OBP .368/SLG .271) batting average, although the more important on-base-percentage was solid. They scored 236 runs on 315 hits. Just 51 of them were for extra bases, including a marginal four homeruns. Defensive wise a team ERA of 5.82 didn’t help to win without much run support. They allowed 335 runs, 237 of them were earned, as they made 80 errors in 367 innings.

Grant, Yoann Bernard and Olivier Charlionet were their main starters. Grant finished with a 10-7 record and a good ERA of 2.45 in 20 starts. He had seven complete games and struck out 174 in 154 1/3 innings, while walking 31. Opponents batted .222 against him. However the other members of the rotation didn’t have much success. Bernard had a 1-7 record in 13 games (seven starts) with an ERA of 7.84 and 24 strikeouts (47 walks) in 51.2 innings pitched. Charlionet won two of his ten starts against five losses. He had an ERA of 5.23 and 30 K’s (29 walks) in 65 1/3 innings. Murray appeared in ten games with a team-best 2.42 ERA and 22 strikeouts (four walks) in 22.1 innings pitched.

The offense was led by Brice Lorienne, who batted .298 (.419/.463) with 16 runs scored and 24 RBIs in only 33 games. He also had two homeruns, three triples and eight doubles. Grant (.250/.409/.321) scored 28 runs and drove in 20. Antoine Gosselin (.303/.471/.371) was the only regular with a batting average over .300. He scored 36 times and had 13 RBIs. Ianis Bouteloup (.276/.447/.309) led the team with 38 runs. Murray (.289/.430/.412) played in 25 games, scoring 31 runs and driving in nine.

The ARVERNES were a pretty patient ballclub at the plate, but missed a real power threat in their lineup. Besides Grant and Murray the pitching department also would have needed a second experienced starter to stabilize the defense. Still, their first season in the Elite League after their promotion was a success. Some key reinforcements and they could climb the ladder towards the top four.

Paris University Club


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