Loss on Saturday to Drummondville ends splendid playoff run
Junior AA Lakeshore Braves’ season finally comes to an end
BY MICHAEL PIASETZKI
The tremendous playoff run put in by the South Shore Junior AA Baseball League Lakeshore Braves came to an end on Saturday night at Parc des Bénévoles in Kirkland.
The Braves, whose fine play throughout the regular campaign and post-season evoked memories of those fine Lac St. Louis Baseball Association junior AA Lakeshore teams of the late 1990s, dropped game five of their best-of-seven final series against the Drummondville Olympiques by a score of 8-5. Saturday’s victory gave the Olympiques the championship.
The Braves took the opener 3-1, but allowed the Olympiques to come back to take games two through five by scores of 6-2, 6-5 and 6-5 in eight innings. “They had six over-age 22-year-olds in their lineup,” said Braves head coach Pierre-David Labre, who along with assistant coach Dan Nathan played on those championship Lac St. Louis Lakeshore teams. “We only had two. We actually had six
18-year-olds on our roster, so the future looks bright for this team.”
Labre, who also managed the bantam AA Lac St. Louis Yankees for one season, said if there was a turning point in the series, it had to be the devastating extra-inning loss last Wednesday in Drummondville.
The Braves led 5-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, but allowed the Olympiques to come back and tie the game. Catcher Justin Cloutier then hit a long fly ball out of the park in the top of the eighth, but it was nothing more than a loud foul ball albeit by not more than a foot.
The Olympiques then pushed across the winning run in the bottom of the eighth on a squeeze play against pitcher Adam Leduc, who threw a complete game in taking the loss. “They had a runner on third and we knew they were going to try the squeeze,” said Labre. “We were waiting for it. Unfortunately, after the runner left third base, our catcher simply dropped the ball. We had him dead in his tracks.”
The loss to the Olympiques in the final came on the heels of the Braves’ semifinal series win over traditional rival Lac St. Louis Cardinals. “That series took a lot out of us,” said Labre. “But still, we had a couple of days to recuperate and focus. We honestly felt we could have beaten Drummondville. We were competitive against them all year.” 昳