Borkowski Goes Eight Shutout Innings in Win Over Quebec
By Mike Pattison
Photo: Marc Lafleur
Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Champions got back into the win column on Saturday night with a 2-0 win over the Quebec Capitales. The Champions were led by a dominant starting pitching as well as a spark plug on offense and defense in order to pick up their seventh victory of the year.
Steve Borkowski (W, 2-3) had his best start of the year and looked unbeatable. He went eight shutout innings and was able to get out of tough jams when he needed to. He recorded nine strikeouts in the ballgame while only walking one batter.
"I was very impressed by Steve tonight. He gave us eight good innings, while only walking one batter. Can’t ask for much more than that," said Hal Lanier, the Champions manager.
Lazaro Blanco (L, 3-1) was excellent for the Capitales despite being credited with the loss. He went seven innings while only allowing four hits. His only blemish came in the first inning.
The game started off with a bang for the Champions as Tyson Gillies hit a leadoff home run to kick things off. It was Gillies' second home run of the year as he continues to impress since debuting.
The Capitales had a chance to respond in the bottom half of the first. With the bases-loaded and only one out, Borkowski got Yurisbel Gracial to groundout into the inning-ending double play.
Ottawa had their chances but were shut down by Lazaro Blanco all game long. In the seventh, the Champions managed to load the bases but with two outs Steve Nyisztor popped out to end the inning. The score remained 1-0 at that point.
Borkowski was getting stronger as the game went on, recording eight consecutive outs from the fourth to seventh inning. He also had a great defensive unit behind him to bail him out if need be.
In the bottom of the seventh, Gillies tracked down a hard hit line drive in centerfield and slid to make a remarkable catch. It ended the inning and kept the Capitales scoreless.
Gillies continued to shine as he drove in a huge run in the ninth to add a crucial insurance run for the Champions. Gustavo Pierre came into score and Ottawa led 2-0.
"Gillies was very good tonight," said Hal Lanier. "He leadoff our line-up and had the big leadoff homerun as well as the sliding catch in the outfield. He did very well for us."
Victor Beriguete closed it out and picked up his second save of the year.
Ottawa will look to split the series in the final game on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm. Brett Lee (2-0) takes the mound for Quebec against Ottawa's Raydel Sanchez (0-2).
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