Gargs Win! Gargs Win! 13-9 Makes It 1-13

Posted by Redd Fissher3 CommentsJul 06, 2009
Norm Wong welcomed back as a conquering hero

Norm Wong welcomed back as a conquering hero

OTTAWA (ODB) – Norm Wong returned to the mound and some much-needed bite returned to the Gargs’ bats, as the Men in Black put the brakes on a 13-game losing streak by dispatching Ollsons 13-9 in a highly entertaining OCSL game Sunday night at Hampton Yards.

Playing in front of a season-high crowd of 26 on bobblehead night, the Ottawa Avnet Gargoyles played their most well-rounded game of the season to earn their first victory of the campaign.

“Even a blind dog finds a bone once in a while,” quipped shortstop Rob Lafontaine, following the final out, on a head’s-up 10-10-3 double play.

There was nothing wrong with the Gargs’ eyesight at the plate in this one, as they rapped out 18 hits, including six, count ’em, six home runs.

And the Gargs were definitely seeing with 20/20 vision in the field, pulling off a pair of twin-killings and making several defensive gems.

It started on the mound where Wong, making his 2009 debut following months-long contractual differences with the club, was in control from the get-go and at full speed when he stepped into the batter’s box.

Wong retired the side in workmanlike fashion in the top of the first and then saddled up to the plate with a runner on first in the bottom of the inning.

Cue the dramatics.

Wong took the first pitch he saw high over the wall in left for a no-doubt dinger, to stake the Gargs to a 2-0 lead. It was the first of three successive hits for the veteran, whose reinstallation clearly sparked his mates.

“Oh, there’s no doubt we’re a better team with Norm in the lineup,” said one Garg following the game, over beers at W.

“I consider myself more of a hitter than a pitcher,” Wong said, downplaying his formidable performance – he allowed 12 hits, walked one, hit another and struck out two in going the distance.

“I felt tired,” he said, of his first pitching assignment since August 21 of last year, when he mopped up in a 12-1 loss to the Maritimers that eliminated the Gargs from the playoffs.

Sunday evening’s victory was the Gargs’ first since 15 days earlier in 2008, when the Men in black defeated the same Ollsons squad 10-9 on August 6.

Théo Gauthier and Zach Schowalter each drove in three runs, while Schowalter and Wong each had three hits, integral parts of the season-high 18-hit attack in which every Garg had a safety.

Glen McGregor not only sparkled at 2B, making sharp plays to both his left and right, but No. 21 who has been spanking the ball all season, finally was rewarded with a home run to right, a two-run shot in the third that followed a Schowalter RBI single and gave the Gargs a 5-0 lead.

Ollsons (6-6), rallied in the top of the fourth, touching Norm for seven runs on seven hits, a few bad bounces, a walk and a bases-loaded hit batsmen.

But give the Gargs (1-13), their due for coming right back.

Matthew Stephenson launched his fourth homer of the campaign – tying him with the injured Bruce Turcotte for the club lead – in the bottom of the inning, as part of a three-run outburst that made it 8-7 Gargs.

Ollsons regained the lead with two in the top of the sixth but the Gargs went back-to-back-to-back in the home half to take the lead for good.

First, Gauthier the Elder belted a three-run bomb to make it 11-9. Schowalter followed with a solo blast to right and on the very next pitch, Mark Brennae drilled a dinger to right-centre.

“Back-to-back-to-back jacks,” paused Brennae, while sipping a cold one at W, “that was très cool.”

The Gargs celebrated their well-deserved and long-awaited victory, when rover Stephenson snared a liner near second and threw to Gauthier at first to double up an Ollsons runner and put the game — and losing streak — to rest.

Gargs Largs: The season-high crowd of 26 was evenly divided with those sitting behind each dugout and two out in the left-field bleachers. Kids’ Night: Matt’s daughter Sarah joined Serge Leclerc’s children, Justin and Patrick, along with three youngsters from Timmins. Superfan Carolynne was at her finest in predicting at least one home run and a double play . . . The Ollsons’ pitcher was making only his second start in two years. Norm was a last-minute replacement for Kevin Emmerson on the mound and didn’t look like he has missed a beat in joining the club 14 games into the season. No. 24 says he likely will be able to play in four or five of the Gargs’ remaining 10 regular-season games. Look for him to see that time split on the mound, at rover and potentially some duty on the infield . . . “I’m going to fricking Disneyland.” That, from Matt, moments after the Gargs had secured the victory . . . Missing from the lineup: Bruce (shoulder); Ken Wong (father-in-law’s 75th birthday); Karl Bélanger (electioneering in Guinea); Brian McGregor (recovering from a long day on the golf course); Todd Duckworth (Galen’s soccer); Kevin Emmerson (nephew’s birthday) . . . Quote of the night from Zach and Rob. Zach: “Rob plays shortstop like a cat – all his throws have a tail.” Rob: “Yeah, well, Zach, you play third like a pussy.” . . . Rob is 7-10 (.700) since rejoining the Gargs. Norm is 3-4 (.750) . . .The Gargs visit Broadway Tuesday night (9 p.m., Hampton Yards) before dropping in on Pennex Sunday evening (7 p.m., Hampton Yards). Look for Kevin and Todd to get the starting assignments.

Box

Rob Lafontaine 2-4, 2runs

Matthew Stephenson 1-2, 3runs, HR (4), 2BB, 2RBI

Norm Wong 3-4, 3runs, HR (1), 2B, 2RBI

Théo Gauthier  2-4, run, HR (2), 3RBI

Zach Schowalter 3-4, run, HR (1), 3RBI

Mark Brennae 1-4, 2runs, HR (1), RBI

Glen McGregor2-4, run, HR (1), 2RBI

Rick Devereux 2-4

Mathieu Gauthier 1-4

Serge Leclerc 1-3

Norm Wong (W, 1-0) 7IP  8runs (7earned) 12H  1BB  1HBP  2K

Ollsons  0 0 0 7 0 2 0    9  12  1

Gargs     2 0 3 3 0 5 x   13 18  2

Time: 1:27

Att: 26.

3 Responses to "Gargs Win! Gargs Win! 13-9 Makes It 1-13"

  1. Bucket says:

    Yeah! Finally! haha. I don’t even watch baseball but I do keep in the loop with your Garg posts. Couldn’t find a happy looking gargoyle image to use? hahaha

  2. Mathieu Gauthier says:

    Society wins!

  3. Junior says:

    Well I guess I brought another kid along because there was three from Timmins. If you ask my wife she may have included me in that tally so three may not be far off the mark.

    Thanks Gargs for a great game. I’m glad I was there for the “W”.