Champions comeback bid against Miners falls short after rally in ninth
OTTAWA – The Ottawa Champions (4-6) rallied in the top of the ninth but were unable to complete the comeback on Monday as the Sussex County Miners (8-2) won 3-2 on a walkoff. Ottawa came closing to leaving New Jersey with a series split but ultimately dropped the four-game series 3-1.
Audy Ciriaco hit an RBI single to left off Evan Rutckyj to win the game for the Miners after he opened the scoring in the bottom of the first with a two-run, RBI single.
Champions’ starting pitcher Jesse Lepore (0-2) left the game in the bottom of the sixth with an apparent injury after throwing three strikeouts over six innings, walking six while allowing five hits and two runs.
Heath Bowers came in and pitched two innings, throwing five strikeouts with no earned runs and no walks in relief, while Zach Vennaro struck out one batter in a single inning.
Vincent Guglietti hit an RBI single with two outs in the top of the ninth to score Malik Collymore before Leonardo Reginatto smacked a base hit to left, scoring Jiandido Tromp to tie the game 2-2.
Ottawa escaped a close call in the bottom of the second when catcher Mocahbee tried to pick off a runner at first with two on, but threw it well over the head of 1B Vincent Guglietti. Miners DH Nick Zaharion tried to score from second but Brian Portelli made the throw from right field to get him at the plate and end the inning.
Miners’ starting pitcher Cory Jones (2-0) threw seven strikeouts and one walk with no runs allowed over eight innings. Jose Jose (2-0) allowed four hits and two earned runs in the top of the ninth to blow the save but earned the win.