Champions take first game of international series with dramatic walkoff
OTTAWA – The Ottawa Champions took the first game of an international series with the Cuban national team on a dramatic walkoff double from Steve Brown.
Brown, who went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI, smacked the ball deep to center that evaded Cuban outfielder Yunieski Lardoet, which allowed Eduard Pinto and Jiandido Tromp to score and end the ball game.
“I saw between innings their pitcher was throwing a lot of curveballs so I was just looking for something up,” said Brown. “He threw me a curveball, the second pitch was a fastball and the third pitch was kind of a hanging curveball. I hit it and put it in play and we got the walkoff.”
Things got heated in the bottom of the eighth. Cuban third-baseman Raul Gonzalez approached the pitcher’s mound during a foul ball. That caused Champions’ pitching coach Phillippe Aumont to shout something from the dugout at the umpire, who immediately tossed him.
That set off Champions manager Sébastien Boucher, who stormed the field and was also tossed. All this came just a couple innings after catcher Andy Mocahbee was thrown out for arguing a strike call.
Mocahbee was upset because he felt as though the umpires were being unfairly inconsistent, calling strikes against the Champions that weren’t being called against the Cubans.
“Throughout the game, (the umpire) kept calling strikes on our batters that were like four or five inches off the plate,“ said Mocahbee. “So I go up to bat and the first pitch was four or five inches off the plate and the catcher catches it and brings it back over the plate.”
The umpire called the pitch a strike to which Mocahbee said, “are you f---ing kidding me?” That’s when the official tossed him.
Jared Mortensen struck out six batters over six innings, walking three and earning three runs on six hits.
Cuba tied the game in the fifth after Yunieski Larudet walked with the bases loaded and Yoelkis Guibert followed up with a sac fly to left. Eduard Pinto made a nice throw to get Yoelkis Maceo at third to end the inning. A double in the sixth from Yosvani Alarcon that scored Frederich Cepeda made it 3-2 Cuba.
Mocahbee’s second RBI of the game put the Champions up 2-0 in the fourth.
Ottawa opened the scoring in the second inning off a sac fly from Andy Mocahbee that scored Steve Brown. Brown extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single earlier in the inning.
Mortensen got out of a jam in the third inning. Cuba had runners on second and third before Mortensen struck out one and got the next two batters to hit into routine groundouts.
The second game of the series goes tomorrow at 7 p.m. at RCGT Park.