Aumont Throws First No-Hitter in Champions History
By Mike Pattison
Photo by Marc Lafleur
Ottawa, ON – Phillippe Aumont did the near impossible on Wednesday night by pitching a no-hitter against the Dominican Republic National Team. The no-hitter capped off a 7-0 win for the Champions who have taken the first two games of the series.
Aumont (W, 2-1) made history by becoming the first ever Ottawa Champions pitcher to complete a no-hitter in franchise history. It was also the first nine-inning no-hitter in the Can-Am League since Newark's Mike Ness threw one against Quebec in 2012.
He was untouchable as he struck out eleven batters and managed to work nine hitless innings with just 97 pitches.
Aumont had a very specific reasoning for being able to work so efficiently.
"I was trying to get guys out within four pitches and that's the mentality every pitcher should have."
There was a sense around the sixth inning that something very special could happen at RCGT Park and by the eighth there was a buzz around the ballpark.
"You're looking at the board and think this is happening but there's still a lot of baseball left. But by the ninth I wasn't looking at the board, I try not to think about it," said Aumont on dealing with the pressure of a possible no-hitter.
Despite throwing the no-hitter Aumont was quick to give credit to his catcher, Danny Grauer, for helping him achieve the accomplishment.
"He's my second brain back there, he did an amazing job. Even though I shook him off he went with it and it was great teamwork all along.”
Of course, manager Hal Lanier had to give praise to his starting pitcher and pitching coach.
"What a commanding performance. He had everything working for him and he went right at the hitters."
Aumont was also saved by a few huge defensive stops from Gustavo Pierre and Carson Helms. Pierre made a pair of plays at third base, while Carson Helms tracked down a pair of tricky line drives in center field.
The Champions were off to a hot start to this ballgame. It began with a 1-2-3 inning from Phillipe Aumont. Then the bats went to work as Steve Brown capitalized on a pair of errors by shooting a ball to the left field wall scoring two runs. He would later come in to scoring on an error after stealing third base.
In the second inning, Daniel Bick scored from third on a wild pitch making it 4-0 after two. The Dominican Republic had major struggles on the field defensively as they combined for five errors in the first two innings.
Pierre led off the bottom half of the fourth with a solo blast over the left field wall. His second homer of the season put the Champions up 5-0.
In the fifth, the Champions loaded the bases to start the inning. Danny Grauer drove in one with a base hit, and then another run scored on a groundball fielder's choice.
The two teams will wrap up their series on Thursday night and the Champions will look to complete the series sweep. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.