The ballpark in Chartres hosts the first two games of the French Baseball Finals this week. Baseball fans around the globe can watch live, as stadeo.tv is broadcasting the start of the best-of-final series live and for free. It is a rematch of last year’s thrilling five-game affair, when ROUEN won the decisive match 9-8 against SENART to win the third consecutive championship and fourth since 2003.
For the TEMPLIERS it was the first French final ever and they improved their club over the winter. During the first part of the regular season they dominated the Elite League and were on top of the standings till the last weekend of the semi-final round robin, when they lost the top position to the HUSKIES.
The defending champion struggled a bit in the beginning, probably due to the early missing Kenji Hagiwara and the European Cup. But they got better through the summer and reduced the deficit to leader SENART steadily and finally moved past them.
Both teams met a total of eight times during the year, with ROUEN winning five games, even six, as one victory was taken away by a ruling of the federation. However the TEMPLIERS clinched their finals ticket weeks ago and partly rested their regulars in the end. So we can expect a similar thrilling series like a year ago.
SENART will send pitchers Samuel Meurant, Evan Blesoff and Mathieu Brelle-Andrade to the mound, although the first two received most of the playing time the past few weeks. The HUSKIES will counter with Keino Perez in game one with the second starter a little bit in doubt, as Mathieu Crescent and Nicolas Dubaut moved into the rotation. Alexandre Sochon and Laurent Aoutin complete the deeper staff for ROUEN.
The offense of the reigning champion received a major spark the past couple of weeks, as Los Angeles Dodgers outfield prospect Joris Bert arrived after his minor league season in Florida and injected the offense with new energy from the top of the order. Besides him catcher Boris Marche and outfielder Hagiwara showed off their hot bats recently. But the offense of the TEMPLIERS is not far behind. Ian Young, Gaspard Fessy, Ernesto Martinez, the Meurants and Sylvain Hervieux should score enough runs to support their pitchers.
Overall ROUEN might have more depth in the pitching department and looks like the favorite for the series, but not by much, as SENART showed this year that they can play at the same level like their rivals.
Saturday, October 11:
15:00 Templiers Senart – Rouen Huskies (live at stadeo.tv)
Sunday, October 12:
11:00 Templiers Senart – Rouen Huskies (live at stadeo.tv)
Saturday, October 18:
15:00 Rouen Huskies – Templiers Senart
Sunday, October 19:
11:00 Rouen Huskies – Templiers Senart*
14:00 Rouen Huskies – Templiers Senart*