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Oct '08 13

Senart and Rouen split first two games in French Finals

(1-0) Templiers Senart – Rouen Huskies 5-2

ROU 200 000 000  2 5 2
SEN 001 400 00X  5 9 1

SENART overcame a 0-2 deficit in game one of the French Finals to capture a 5-2 victory against the 2007 champion ROUEN, taking a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

The defending champion had the better start into the match. Los Angeles Dodgers prospect and leadoff hitter Joris Bert reached through a walk and advanced to second on Dany Scalabrini single with one out. Kenji Hagiwara stepped to the plate and managed only a weak groundball back between the plate and the mound, catcher Ernesto Martinez threw him out easily at first, but Bert didn’t stop at third and raced home all the way from second on the groundout. Moments later Boris Marche singled in Scalabrini from second to make it 2-0 ROUEN after one inning.

However it was the last time they would score on the day, as Meurant shut the HUSKIES offense down afterwards.   The TEMPLIERS answer followed in the third. Julien Brelle-Andrade opened the frame with a single, advanced to second on a groundout and tried to score on a double by Daniel Meurant, but was thrown out through the relay Hagiwara (CF)-Scalabrini (SS)-Marche (C). One batter later they finally put a run on the board and cut the deficit in a half, when Meurant scored on a single down the left field line by Sebastien Herve.

The outcome of the game was decided in the next period. A leadoff single by Marche in the top of the fourth led to nothing and SENART was back at the plate. Ian Young and Martinez singled to put runners on the corners to open the bottom half of the frame. Andy Meurant tied the game with a RBI fielder’s choice to bring Young home. Julien Brelle-Andrade followed another fielder’s choice with a RBI single to put the TEMPLIERS 3-2 in front. Daniel Meurant then capped the rally with a two-run double into left field to build up the gap even further. The ROUEN defense didn’t look too well in the inning, as they committed two errors, which advanced the runner each time an extra base.

Starting with the fifth the pitchers Samuel Meurant and Keino Perez put zeros on the board till the end, allowing just a combined five base runners, spread over five different half innings. Meurant picked up the win with a 105-pitch complete game. He gave up five hits, two runs and a walk, while striking out six. Perez won the strikeout duel 7-6, but conceded nine hits, five runs (2 ER) and two base on balls in eight innings.

(1-1) Templiers Senart – Rouen Huskies 4-7

ROU 201 120 010  7 10 3
SEN 000 002 020  4 10 1

After the finals opener on Saturday, the two top teams in France met again on Sunday for the second game of the final series. But this time the HUSKIES had the better end, as they won 7-4.

Like in the first match, ROUEN had the better start, taking an early 2-0 lead in the opening period. Luc Piquet and Dany Scalabrini reached base with one out through a double and a walk, advanced to second and third on a flyball by Kenji Hagiwara into center field. Boris Marche drove them in with his clutch two-out hit to put two runs on the board.

But in difference to the first day of the finals, the HUSKIES offense didn’t stop the scoring. Piquet scored in the third on an attempted double steal with Scalabrini on first. Flavien Peron, Hagiwara and Marche extended the lead to 6-0 with RBI singles in the fourth and fifth. The TEMPLIERS offense wasn’t existent for the first five innings, but finally came through in the sixth, when Lahence Benhamida and Daniel Meurant scored  to end the shutout bid. It was the beginning for a thrilling last third of the game.

ROUEN added an insurance run in the top of the eighth on a short sac fly by Romain David, plating Randy Perez, who had reached on a triple. However in the bottom of the period, things got interesting. SENART loaded the bases and Ernesto Martinez drove in two to make it 4-7 with one out and the tying run at the plate. With the count 3-1, Gaspard Fessy tried a push bunt, but the ball went into the air, second baseman Luc Piquet caught it and tagged Martinez on first to complete the double play. In the ninth the TEMPLIERS had two more hits, but a double play ended the threat and the game.

Nicolas Dubaut gave up six hits, two runs (1 ER) and two bb in seven innings to pick up the win. Alexandre Sochon pitched the ninth for the save. Randy Perez had relieved Laurent Aoutin in the eighth to escape the bases loaded situation. Evan Blesoff took the loss after eight innings and seven runs on nine hits and four walks, while striking out nine.

Templiers Senart – Rouen Huskies 5-2
Templiers Senart – Rouen Huskies 4-7

Saturday, October 18:
15:00 Rouen Huskies – Templiers Senart
Sunday, October 19:
11:00 Rouen Huskies – Templiers Senart
14:00 Rouen Huskies – Templiers Senart*
*if necessary

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