Westcott goes eight strong but Miners shut out Champions 4-0
OTTAWA – Jose Brizuela crushed a solo home run over the right-field wall as the Ottawa Champions opened up a six-game homestand with a 4-0 loss to the Sussex County Miners on Tuesday.
Ottawa got a solid outing from starter Zac Westcott but couldn’t find the offense to give him the run support. Leonardo Reginatto went 2-for-3, his second straight multi-hit game, but he was the only Champions batter to put up more than one hit.
“Tough game for offense,” said Champions manager Sèbastien Boucher. “When you come up against a guy like Duncan, he’s one of the leading guys in the league, it seems like he hard our guys’ number. We couldn’t do anything against him. We tried to get a little offense, they’d get plays behind him and on our end, we didn’t make plays behind our guy.”
Miners starting pitcher Frank Duncan struck out six and gave up five hits. Duncan leads the Can-Am League in both wins (9) and complete games (7) and sits second in strikeouts behind Champions ace Philippe Aumont with 87. Meanwhile, Westcott struck out five batters over eight innings, walking one and earning four runs on six hits.
“Zac did great,” said Boucher. “I think he really just made one mistake, which was the home run. Everything else we just kind of gave him, we just gave him those runs. We made mistakes on defense and he ended up paying the price for it.”
After Brizuela’s homer in the second, Audy Ciriaco cranked a double just over Steve Brown’s head in center field in the top of the third that drove in Nate Coronado and Trey Hair to put Sussex up 3-0. The Miners would add another run in the seventh to make it 4-0.
Earlier in the day, the Champions released four players: INF Jordan Caillouet, RHP Andrew Cooper, LHP Francisco Gracesqui and OF Liam Scafariello. Boucher said the team needed to make room for Aumont, Evan Rutckyj and Steve Brown, who were returning from the Pan-Am games, but also that certain guys weren’t pulling their weight on the team.
“There were some guys there that weren’t doing their part in a sense that they weren’t contributing to the offense,” said Boucher. “They had some struggles and those are the guys that you have to move on from first.”
He did mention that the team is looking to add more players to give the team a spark and energize the team in order to make a push for the playoffs.
That push continues tomorrow as the Champions welcome Sussex County back to RCGT Park for Game 2 of the three-game set.