Boucher's walk-off double gives Champions resilient comeback win
The Champions had been trailing 5-2 in the seventh inning before mounting an impressive comeback to cling to their playoff hopes.
OTTAWA – When the Ottawa Champions needed heroics in the ninth inning, they turned to their hitting coach to send everyone home. DH Sebastien Boucher was the answer in the bottom of the ninth, bringing home the game-winning run with a walk-off double.
The Champions had been trailing 5-2 in the seventh inning before mounting an impressive comeback to cling to their playoff hopes. The victory keeps them at pace with the fourth-place Trois-Rivieres Aigles, who lead the Champions by 5.5 games for the last playoff spot.
“The offence came alive in the last three innings,” said Champions manager Hal Lanier. “Vinny (Guglietti) and Steve (Brown) had big base hits. Of course, any time you can score runs like that in the later innings it helps.”
Rockland wasted no time at the start of the game, breaking out their bats in the first inning. After a few loud flyouts, they were able to break through with a single from INF Conrad Gregor, and a sac fly off the bat of INF JC Rodriguez.
The Boulders tacked on two more runs in the third, before Ottawa starter RHP Edilson Alvarez settled down and retired 11 straight batters in the middle of the game.
The Champions were able to fight back and make the score 4-2 in the seventh, but then DH Mikael Mogues found a way through Alvarez with some power. He fired a solo homer down the right field line, making it 5-2.
But the Champions weren’t done there.
Their comeback began with a first – C Tyler Nordgren blasted a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh to cut Rockland’s lead to two.
In the eighth, the Champions got another boost when they chased starting RHP David Palladino from the game. They were able to knock around RHP Tommy Lawrence and scored two runs, including a game-tying single from INF Vinny Guglietti. The score was then 5-5.
That set up Boucher’s walk-off double to score Nordgren in the ninth, after the Champions catcher walked to lead off the inning.
The win was just Ottawa’s sixth against Rockland at RCGT Park in franchise history.
Ottawa goes back to work Saturday night, hosting the Boulders at 7:05 p.m. Tickets for all Champions home games are available at www.ottawachampions.com, in-person at the RCGT Park box office, or by calling 613-745-BALL (2255).