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Magical reunion | The Journal of Quebec

It was a festive evening at the Stade Canac, with the big return of the Capitals in a feverish atmosphere. Win or lose, the party was on, but nothing like a tenth inning victory to put a solid exclamation mark on the festivities.

The Capitals won their home opener 4-3 against the Gateway Grizzlies, in front of 3,214 fans, who had to wait 985 days before seeing their favorites in their first real steps in the Frontier League.

Of course, there was the Équipe Québec interlude last summer, which gave ball buffs a treat, but the feeling of belonging couldn’t be the same.

“Team Quebec was a lot of fun, but there’s nothing like wearing the name of the Capitals. We may have stolen this victory a bit, but it’s the result that counts,” sighed center fielder Jonathan Lacroix after this victory against a team that showed an 8-1 record.


Several supporters were there before the start of the game on Tuesday on the terrace of Stade Canac.

Photo Agence QMI, Marcel Tremblay

Several supporters were there before the start of the game on Tuesday on the terrace of Stade Canac.

Boosted atmosphere

With a crowded terrace and the many refreshments that were in order on a sunny end of the day, the happy lads who loudly showed their support for their favorites were numerous. Starting with the friendly drills who jumped with both feet on the dugout and sang their joy when Pedro Gonzalez’ winning hit put an end to hostilities in the tenth inning.

“I had just missed my shot attempt, but I stayed calm and got the job done. I had heard about the vibe here, but it’s amazing. The fans turn me on,” the 6’6″ tall boy said after his first game in Quebec.

“Pedro is a guy we need for his stick. He was looking for himself at the start of the season, but for a few games, we feel that it is coming, ”rejoiced manager Patrick Scalabrini.

Wake up at the right time

Before the match, Scalabrini mentioned that he had rarely felt such a “buzz” for an opener. Michel Laplante, the features drawn from the last minute work following the storm of Saturday which caused some breakage (the screens were not functional), showed all the same a smile which extended from the first to the third base.

On the pitch, however, a critical ingredient was missing to get the party started. The Capitals had only three hits in eight innings and trailed 3-2 in the ninth. A sacrifice fly from TJ White, after providing a fierce batting presence, pushed David Glaude home to tie the score.


Capitals player Webb Little hit a two-run home run Tuesday night.

Photo Agence QMI, Marcel Tremblay

Capitals player Webb Little hit a two-run home run Tuesday night.

Beforehand, the only backfire came from Webb Little’s stick with a home run good for two runs.

“I was disappointed with the show, it bothered me a lot. With the end of the match, I was happy in batinse! It gave a whole show exclaimed Scalabrini.

“The last two games show us that these guys are very well coached,” joked the great comedian, before speaking rather of his men as “real people who know how to win”.

The Caps’ starting pitcher, Quebecer Miguel Cienfuegos, had a pretty good sprinkle of eight hits allowed that resulted in two runs, only one earned, in six innings.

Wednesday night, it’s Michael Austin’s turn to take his place on the mound for the second of three games against the Grizzlies.

In short…

Scalabrini is still waiting for his two Cubans, as is Dominican gunner Carlos Sano. “The process is taking its course,” he said… Canadian reliever Andrew Case is said to be on the verge of returning to the lineup, as he is recovering from a broken hand. Another pitcher, Henry Omana, will join the team in the coming days, he who started the season in Mexico.

Unexpected return for Francis Désilets

Francis Désilets’ spring game plan was clear: studies in carpentry during the day and Cascades de Shawinigan, in senior baseball, in the evening. That was until the unexpected call from the Gateway Grizzlies.

Passing through Quebec and Ottawa, the Grizzlies saw their alignment amputated by a few names due to vaccination status.

That was all it took for Désilets to become the ideal spare wheel.

The player from Saint-Maurice had played nine games in 2019 with the Aigles de Trois-Rivières, before joining the Capitals to lend a hand for the end of the season. However, in his first game in Quebec, he broke his elbow.

“It’s so special to reconnect with professional baseball here, in Quebec, where I suffered this injury. Not that many of us have the opportunity to play in front of family and friends. I consider myself lucky,” Désilets said before the game, which he played as the designated hitter.

An important opportunity

At 26, the young man no longer has any illusions about his professional career. This does not prevent him from savoring fully what is happening to him.

“In July, it will be study leave. So if things go well this week with the Grizzlies, I might get some more chances. I have been told that several teams will have problems due to unvaccinated players, so that gives me an opportunity,” he said.

For Désilets, every moment in the professional ranks is a blessing. After struggling to recover from his injury in 2020, in a summer when baseball found itself on enforced hiatus due to the pandemic, he didn’t get a chance to show off last season.

“This year, the doors are open and I’m really happy,” he said.

“I had given up on that. I secretly dreamed about it this winter while clearing my car to go to train. It took motivation to do it, but honestly, I didn’t believe it. I did not expect to receive a call and certainly not at the start of the season as well. You can’t say no to that, especially knowing that I was going to play in Quebec,” he rejoiced.

Short trip

Désilets will not last forever with the Grizzlies. In addition to the games in Quebec, he will take the road to Ottawa before saying goodbye to the team.

Immediately arrived, immediately left, but no less satisfied with the experience.

“So far it’s just a week and that’s perfect for me. I have the opportunity to show what I can do. It’s going fast, it’s a lot of new things, but I’m prepared for that. I just got to know the guys and they’re really happy that I’m there to help. »

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