It’s Jamie’s turn to shine as sizzling baseball Redmen clinch playoff berth

Posted on Wednesday, October 3, 2012

With it's win last night, the team's sixth in seven games, McGill's baseball team has clinched a playoff spot. / Photo courtesy of Athletics & Recreation

By Earl Zukerman

Shortstop Jamie Fuoco of Pierrefonds, Que., reached base four times and drove in a pair of runs as the red-hot McGill baseball team sunk the cellar-dwelling John Abbott College Islanders 8-1 to clinch a playoff berth at George Springate Field, Tuesday.

The victory, McGill’s sixth in their last seven outings, improved their record to 8-6. With only a rescheduled doubleheader on Thursday night at Carleton remaining before playoffs, the Redmen can finish second, third or fourth in the five-team Northern Conference of the Canadian Intercollegiate Baseball Association.

The Redmen took advantage of a number of walks and sloppy defence to jump into a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning. They led 5-1 after four innings and exploded for three more in the seventh, sparked by a two-run single by Fuoco, a mechanical engineering freshman who went 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of walks and scored a run from the No.2 hole in the batting order.

“We’re finally getting some consistent pitching, our defence is playing much better and our bats have come alive,” said Casey Auerbach, a fifth-year veteran from Westmount, Que., who made a rare appearance at catcher and went 1-for-4 with an RBI double in the seventh inning. “Everything is kind of coming together nicely at the right time.”

McGill starter Elliott Ariganello tossed a five-inning gem, scattering just three hits. The sophomore from Etobicoke, Ont., allowed one earned run, struck out seven and walked three.

McGill also had multi-hit performances from designated-hitter Adam Gordon (2-for-4 with a walk) of Dollard des Ormeaux, Que., and centerfielder Max Tierno, an import from Manhattan, N.Y., who busted out of a prolonged slump with a 2-for-3 effort at the plate with a walk. He also stole two bases and tallied a pair of runs.

Concordia has clinched first place with a 10-5 record, while McGill will jockey for post-season positioning with Ottawa, which has finished their schedule at 9-7, and Carleton (7-7). The semifinals are slated to begin on the weekend.

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