Champions can't find offense in 5-1 loss to Boulders
OTTAWA – The Rockland Boulders hit two home runs and got seven solid innings from starting pitcher Reinaldo Lopez as they opened a three-game series with a 5-1 win against the Ottawa Champions on Monday.
The Boulders second of two home runs came from Blake Grant-Parks in the seventh inning and Rockland would score another run in the eighth to make it 5-1, putting the game well out of reach for the Champions.
Steve Brown drove in Eduard Pinto with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh that took a funny hop over Rockland shortstop Sendo Katsuya and into left field to make it 3-1.
Richie Fecteau opened the scoring for Rockland with a solo home run in the third. The Boulders extended their lead to 2-0 in the fifth on an RBI single from Chase Harris.
Pinto went 2-for-4 and Jordan Kurokawa struck out four over 7 1/3 for Ottawa but the offense was nowhere to be found.
“Jordan gave us a chance in the game,” said Champions manager Sébastien Boucher. “He was able to go pretty deep in the ball game, which is what we needed, but the offense didn’t show up.”
The Champions managed to eke out six hits but costly base-running mistakes prevented them from getting within striking distance.
Ottawa came into tonight’s game 2.5 games ahead of Rockland for the fourth and final playoff spot, so this series is close to must-win for the Champions.
After the three-game set with the Boulders wraps ups, the team heads to Québec for three games against the Capitales and then heads to Rockland to face the Boulders again, also for three games.
“Those are pretty important series,” said Boucher, “especially because we’re going to lose our top guys (to the Pan-Am Games) so it’s important to take the easy ones. I think today could have been an easy one.”
Boucher did mention that Lopez pitched a very good game but said that his team could have been far more competitive than they were today.
The teams meet at RCGT Park again Tuesday for Game 2 of the series. Phillippe Aumont gets the start for the Champions.