Aigles Sweep Second Doubleheader Away from Champions
By Mike Pattison
Photo: Marc Lafleur
Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Champions dropped both games of the doubleheader to the Trois-Rivieres Aigles on Thursday night.
The Champions fell 1-0 and 4-3 to the Aigles in what felt like a must-win scenario for Ottawa.
"You have to find ways to win ballgames instead of finding ways to lose them," said a frustrated Hal Lanier.
There was a bright spot as Walter Gretzky kicked off the second game of the doubleheader by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to his grandson, Trevor, who is a member of the Aigles.
The Champions carried the momentum of the ceremony and crowd into the first inning. Steve Brown singled home Daniel Bick to open the scoring early.
Phillippe Aumont (L, 4-6) ran into trouble in the third inning when David Glaude hit an RBI single of his own to tie the game 1-1.
Aumont went all seven innings allowing four runs, two of which were earned. He was not helped out by his defense as three errors put the game out of reach.
Tyson Gillies propelled Ottawa into the lead with a solo shot. He became the first Champion to reach the double-digit mark in homeruns this season.
However, the lead was temporary as the Aigles got to Aumont for two more runs. Glaude singled home another run, for his second RBI. Then, on a throwing error to second base, Mateo came around to score the go-ahead run.
Ottawa tied the game in the bottom half of the inning but it was all for not as the Aigles regained the lead in the seventh.
David Glaude struck again as he scored all the way from first on a pair of errors. Glaude attempted to steal second and the throw from Nordgren was wide. The ball slipped underneath the glove of Tyson Gillies in centerfield and allowed Glaude to cruise home. The score was 4-3 and that is how it ended.
"We outhit them today, but if you don't hit with people in scoring position you're not going to win ballgames," said Lanier.
The first game of the doubleheader was as frustrating for Champions' fans as the second, as Ottawa dropped it 1-0 to the Aigles.
Noah Gapp (L, 1-3) made his first start for the Champions and he looked impressive. He went six innings, allowing just one earned run and struck out five batters. Despite his strong performance, his offence was not able to back him up.
"Gapp pitched outstanding for his first start, but he shouldn't have lost," said Lanier.
There were only five hits in the game and one of them was a solo blast by Brenden Webb. His homer left RCGT Park in a hurry and gave the Aigles a 1-0 lead that they did not relinquish.
Matthew Rusch (W, 5-8) threw a complete game shutout while allowing just three hits with eight strikeouts. The one run was all he needed to secure the win.
"Now we have our backs to the wall. We almost have to win three games in a row," said Lanier on his team's position in the standings.
The Champions will kick off a crucial three-game set with the Sussex County Miners on Friday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm and the series could make or break Ottawa's playoff hopes.
Ottawa Champions single game tickets can be purchased online at www.ottawachampions.com, by phone at 613-745-2255, or in person at the RCGT Park box office.