Champions split double-header with Cubans to close out international series
OTTAWA – The Ottawa Champions closed out their three-game series against the Cuban national team on Sunday, splitting a double-header to finish with a series win.
Malik Collymore went 3-for-3 with a double and Jordan Caillouet homered to help the Champions win the first game of a double-header against Cuba 5-0 on Sunday.
The teams played two games back-to-back after Saturday’s game was postponed due to rain.
Phillippe Aumont pitched all seven innings, striking out nine with no walks and no earned runs.
“It was a great game for him,” said Champions manager Sébastien Boucher. “He really showed what he can do and how mature he is as a pitcher. Not only did he go seven, but he did it in around 70 pitches.”
Leonardo Reginatto had two RBI and Steve Brown went 0-for-3 to have his career-high hitting streak snapped at 14 games.
Ottawa scored four runs in the seventh to make it 5-0 and didn’t look back.
Caillouet’s fourth home run of the season, a solo shot over the left field wall, broke a scoreless tie in the fifth to put the Champions up 1-0. The Champions missed an opportunity to take a commanding lead later in the inning, leaving runners on with the bases loaded and just one out.
Yosamir Cousin struck out two batters over 4 2/3 for the Cubans with one earned run on six hits.
A costly error in the sixth inning was the deciding factor in Game 2, as the Champions lost 3-2.
Austin Chrismon registered three strikeouts over five innings, allowing two walks and an earned run.
“I think he left (the ball) up early on and that’s kind of what caused him to give up a lot of hits,” said Boucher. “He did well. Austin can scramble pretty well and that’s what he did today. He battled hard and kept us in the game.”
Cuba took the lead in the sixth after pinch hitter Yosvani Alarcon hit a routine ground ball to second, but Maikol Gonzalez bobbled it, allowing Jorge Aloma to score from second.
“It’s disappointing because that’s the play that cost is the game,” said Boucher, “but at the same time, we had plenty of opportunities to put this game out of reach and we didn’t take advantage of them.”
The Champions tied the game in the third with RBIs from Jiandido Tromp and Steve Brown. Tromp grounded out to second, scoring Eduard Pinto, while Brown hit a sac fly to center that scored Maikol Gonzalez.
Cuba jumped out to an early lead with a home run from Yoelkis Guibert in the first and a 4-3 RBI putout from Yuniesky Larduet in the second.
Despite the loss, Boucher was satisfied with his team’s performance over the series.
“We took two of three, but I think it should have been three of three,” said Champions manager Sébastien Boucher. “This last game, we didn’t have one inning without having guys on base so we should have scored more than two.”
“I’m happy overall that we were able to take two out of three and win a series at home so we’ll take that positive going forward.”
The Champions are off on Monday and head to New Jersey for a three-game series against the Jackals starting Tuesday. Then they’ll return home for another double-header against the Québec Capitales on Friday with the first game starting at 5:05 pm.