Big Sixth Inning from Trois-Rivieres Burns Champions in Series Opener
By Mike Nellis
Photo: Marc Lafleur
Ottawa, ON – A 10-run sixth inning by the Trois-Rivieres Aigles spelled the end for the Ottawa Champions Monday night. They lost 11-8 despite sending former major leaguer Phillippe Aumont (L, 0-1) to the mound for his second Can-Am League start.
The Gatineau-native tossed five and two-thirds innings before being pulled in the aforementioned sixth inning. He allowed 11 hits and seven earned runs, while striking out three.
The disastrous sixth was the most runs allowed by the Champions in a single inning this year, and drops their record to 8-16 on the season. They still lead the season-series over Trois-Rivieres 3-2.
Manager Hal said it was “just one of those nights” for Aumont. He’s not worried about him, and thinks he’ll bounce back his next time out.
“He just left some pitches up, more so than he did the first time,” said Lanier. “He’ll be alright.”
After a Trois-Rivieres run in the bottom of the first, Ottawa responded in the third and tied the game. After having a four-game hit streak snapped, Tyson Gillies got on the board with an RBI double to tie the game in the third.
The Champions then strung some more runs together in the fourth, with another RBI double off the bat of Ricky Oropesa bringing in Steve Brown for a 2-1 Champions lead.
However, Trois-Rivieres responded by blowing the door off in the sixth.
Ottawa would allow their first 10-run inning of the season, with seven Aigles recording RBIs. The home side sent 15 batters to the plate in the inning, and that was enough to spell the end for Ottawa in the series-opening game.
Lanier said his team lost fly balls in the dusk around the sixth inning, and that contributed to the loss. “We lost some balls because the time of night and it probably cost us a ballgame,” he explained.
Despite the big inning, Ottawa did put together a response, scoring two runs in the seventh and another in the eighth.
In the ninth, the Champions continued to etch their way back into the ballgame. With two outs, Steve Nyisztor got on with a single, and Sebastien Boucher then singled, and Nyisztor came home on an error from Daniel Mateo at third base.
Ottawa would score two more on back-to-back base hits from Brown and Ricky Oropesa, but the hole was too big to overcome and they dropped the contest by three runs.
“It’s something to build on,” Lanier said about the late offence. “I think we have a much better team than what our record shows. They gave our coaching staff a good nine innings – it would have been very simple to give up today but we didn’t do that.”
Ottawa will look to rebound tomorrow against Trois-Rivieres in Game 2 of the three-game series at Stade Stereo+. They will see Austin Chrismon (2-1, 4.94 ERA) come off the DL and start the game on the mound.