Champions get homers from Guglietti and Portelli in 8-3 win over New Jersey
OTTAWA – Vinny Guglietti and Brian Portelli each homered and Danny Garcia struck out five to lead the Ottawa Champions to an 8-3 victory over the New Jersey Jackals on Tuesday.
Garcia (2-2) went a season-high seven innings on the night with just one walk and no earned runs on five hits to go along with his five strikeouts.
After the Champions most recent loss against Québec, manager Sébastien Boucher said he wanted more leadership out of his team and he got just that.
“Something I wanted was some chatter within the game about what the guys are seeing,” said Boucher. “They did that today. They made some adjustments in the middle of the game and I think our older guys talked some stuff through and it paid off today.”
New Jersey scored two runs in the eighth on a double from Greg Veneklasen that drove in Alfredo Marte and Nelson Ward, but that’s as close as the Jackals would get.
Guglietti crushed a three-run homer over the right field wall in the third that scored Jiandido Tromp and Steve Brown to put the Champions up 6-1. The dinger was Guglietti’s fifth of the season, tying him with Jordan Caillouet for the team lead.
The Champions first basemen said he needed some work in the cage and got some pointers from a special coaching assistant: his father.
“He knows me better than anybody,” said Guglietti, “so he noticed that my hands were really loud, they were moving a lot. He just told me to quiet them down a little bit so I can control the bat more and when I started doing that in the cage I felt a lot more comfortable.”
The advice paid immediate dividends for Guglietti as he went 3-for-4 on the night with the homer and three RBI.
Ottawa would add two more runs in the sixth on two consecutive wild pitches from Jackals pitcher Eduard Reyes.
The Champions took a 2-1 lead in the second when Portelli hit a two-run shot over the left field wall that scored Guglietti. After going the whole season without a home run, Portelli now has two homers in his last five games.
For New Jersey, Eduard Reyes (4-1) struck out five over six innings, walking three and allowing eight earned runs. The loss was Reyes’ first of the season.
The Champions rebounded after they started the game with a two-base error. Andy Mocahbee bobbled the third strike pitch and threw it well over Guglietti’s head at first, allowing Gonzalez to reach second.
The teams continue their three-game series at RCGT Park tomorrow at 7 p.m. Jordan Kurokawa will be on the mound for the Champions.