Wins weren’t in the Cards in season opening twin bill

LaSalle’s Nathan Mercier slides into home safely as Jonquière catcher Louis Gendron surveys where he might have to make a play.

The LaSalle Cardinals dropped both ends of their season opening Quebec Junior Elite Baseball League double header against the Jonquière Voyageurs at LaSalle’s Eloi Viau Stadium. In the first game the Voyageurs broke open a 10-10 deadlock in their final at bats to claim an 18-12 win. In game two the Cardinals fell short in a 9-8 loss as LaSalle left the tying run stranded on second.

The 18-12 loss was close to a three hour marathon that saw the Cardinals carry a 10-2 lead into the top of the sixth and that’s where the lead began to disappear. Jonquière pushed six runs across the plate to pull to within two of the Cards. In their at bats in the sixth the Voyageurs got those runs to pull even then exploded for eight runs in the top of the seventh to pull away 18-10. LaSalle managed to put two more into the books in their final at bats but it was nowhere near what they needed.

Thomas Otis picked up the win for Jonquière while LaSalle’s Platon Leftakis was tagged with the loss. The Cards did bang out 20 hits in the loss compared to the Voyageurs’ dozen but the margin of difference came n six walks and four hit batsman. The Ron Hunt award went to Jonquière’s William Pichette as he was hit by a pitch three times in the game.

Francis Lefebvre had an impressive day at the plate as he went 5-for-5, including a pair of two baggers and scored four times. Santiago Sanchez also had two doubles while going 3-for-5, Justin Séguin also went 3-for-5 and had a trio of RBI’s. Michael Dominguez had the long drive for the Cardinals has he lashed out a triple.

In the 9-8 loss the Cardinals rallied for five runs in the home half of the sixth to make it a 9-8 contest but left Ryan Bawart stranded at second with the tying run in the bottom of the seventh. Bawart stroked his second double of the day but Voyageur reliever Derek Larouche picked up the save as he put down the next three Cardinals to secure the win. Antoine Legault got the win and LaSalle’s Samuel-Scott Lussier was the losing pitcher. Alfonso Villalobos was a force at the plate going 3-for-4 including a double and a homerun, while scoring twice and providing four RBI’s.

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