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Ottawa rallies big for gruelling slugfest victory over Sussex County

2019 July 14

Sawyer Bailey

AUGUSTA, N.J. – The longest nine-inning game in Can-Am League history finally came to a close after four hours and 36 minutes as the Ottawa Champions (24-27) rallied from 10 runs down to defeat the Sussex County Miners (33-16) 18-15 on Sunday evening at Skylands Stadium.

It was a thrilling slugfest right form the first inning as Sussex County opened the scoring with three runs on three hits. The first-placed team followed with another seven runs in the third, including a home run by Jarred Mederos.

Champions left-handed starting pitcher Danny Garcia allowed eight runs on seven hits and struck out four before being relieved by Jesse Lepore with one out in the third inning.

Down 10-0 heading into the fourth inning, Ottawa opened the scoring with three RBI singles, followed by an RBI double by Malik Collymore to make it 10-4.

The Champions rode four RBI singles and two RBI doubles from Brian Portelli and Vinny Guglietti to an eight-run sixth inning and a 12-10 lead.

The Miners regained a 13-12 in the bottom half of the inning by scoring three unearned runs but the back and forth affair didn’t end there. Four eighth-inning runs pushed Ottawa back on top for the final lead change of the game. 

Evan Rutckyj came in the eighth inning with the bases loaded and none out to strike out the side and limit the Miners to two runs and maintain the lead. As the sixth pitcher of the night, the Canadian southpaw returned for the ninth, earning his third save of the season.  

Heath Bowers pitched 1 2/3 innings, allowing one unearned run and striking out three to earn his second win of the season. Sussex County starter Andrew Gist pitched five innings allowing four unearned runs and reliever Scott Kuzminsky was saddled with the loss after surrendering three runs. 

All Ottawa starting players recorded a hit on the day. Guglietti (5-for-6) lead the team with his four RBIs and his five hits broke a Champions franchise record for most hits in a game. 

Portelli (2-for-5) also had four RBIs and Leonardo Reginatto (3-for-5) had 3 RBIs. Jiandido Tromp (1-for-4, BB) extended his on-base streak to 11 games and Maikol Gonzalez (1-for-5, BB) extended his hit streak to six and on-base streak to 10.

After splitting this four-game road series against Sussex County, Ottawa will return home to start a brief three-game homestand against the Rockland Boulders on Monday at RCGT Park. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m..