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Champoins halve doubleheader with Miners

2018 June 24

Coco Johnson had both RBIs in the second half of the doubleheader.

Graham Neysmith

OTTAWA – The Ottawa Champions split their doubleheader with the Sussex County Miners on Sunday afternoon, dropping the first game 7-2 before rallying to win the second contest 2-1. LF Coco Johnson had both RBIs in the second half of the doubleheader, as the Champions took the series against the Can-Am League’s first place team.

Johnson gave the Champions a perfect start to the second half of the double-barrel matinee. The speedy outfielder hit a home run, his fourth of the year, to give Ottawa a very early 1-0 lead.

“We came back in the second game. Coco’s home run really set the tone,” said Champions manager Hal Lanier. “[RHP Steve] Borkowski really had a quality outing. He had extremely good stuff. I’m really happy he got the win.”

Borkowski put in five solid innings for the Champions, giving up a lone run, which came in on a wild pitch. Borkowski only surrendered four hits on the day.

The game’s winning run came in the sixth inning. A bloop single from Johnson allowed C Tyler Nordgren to score from second. Lanier was quick to credit third base coach Jared Lemieux for waving Nordgren home.

“I thought Jared did a great job sending Tyler from second base,” said Lanier. “It was going to be close, but you have to play aggressive and that’s what we did. We’ve won five out of six ballgames. Now we have to carry that on the road.”

The Champions lost the first half of the doubleheader 7-2. The Miners relied on a four-run third inning to earn the victory. Ottawa couldn’t capitalize on a solo home run by RF Steve Brown.

The Champions will now hit the road for a four-game series with the Trois-Rivières Aigles, starting Monday, June 25. Ottawa will return to RCGT Park for a three-game series with the New Jersey Jackals, which gets underway Friday, June 29.