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Johnson goes yard again, Champions extend winning streak with 7-5 win

2018 May 21

Johnson was at it again, blasting a two-run home run that would score the go-ahead runs.

OTTAWA – The Ottawa Champions are on a two-game winning streak thanks to a 7-5 victory over the New Jersey Jackals at RCGT Park. RHP Miles Sheehan picked up the win and LHP Scott Maine earned the save in an exciting game that feature three different lead changes.

“It was a good ballgame. It was close all the way, we had to come from behind,” said Champions manager Hal Lanier following the game. “The first win of the series is always big. We’ve still got a lot of work – they’ve got a good hitting ballclub.”

OF Coco Johnson was at it again, blasting a two-run home run that would serve as the game winner. The Benton Harbor, MI native is quickly becoming a fan favorite at RCGT Park, partly due to his nickname.

“You can thank my mother for that,” Johnson said with a smile when asked about his nickname. “I was just feeling good today. The barrel’s working for me.”

Johnson led the Champions with three hits. He also reached base with a walk and stole a base. SS Daniel Bick, DH Sebastien Boucher, 1B Vinny Guglietti and C Mike Blanke each had multi-hit days.

The Champions were also impressive in the field. Bick was made a couple of nice plays, including a cannon throw to first from deep short to get RHP Noah Gapp out of a jam and save at least one run. Meanwhile, Blanke gunned down a would-be base stealer from his knees in the fifth inning.

Gapp got the nod from Lanier in his first start of the season. The Edmonton, AB native had a rough day, giving up five runs (all earned) on six hits. Gapp was bailed out by his bullpen, as Sheehan, LHP Evan Rutckyj and LHP Scott Maine surrendered up only five baserunners over five innings.

“Noah pitched alright. He didn’t get the ball where he wanted to in the first inning,” said Lanier, referring to the Jackals two-run home run by 1B Dean Green. “We have to make a few better pitch selections when we’re ahead in the count. We’re not making enough quality pitches. Again, it’s a great win for us.”

The Champions will look to extend their winning streak to three in the second game of the series tomorrow (May 22) at 7:05 p.m. The series will then wrap up on Wednesday, May 23 at 7:05 p.m. The Champions will then hit the road to face the Sussex County Miners and the New Jersey Jackals.