Capitales Slug Way to Series-Opening Win over Champions
By Mike Nellis
Photo: Marc Lafleur
Ottawa, ON – The long ball spelled the end for the Ottawa Champions in the first game of their road trip. The Quebec Capitales hit three home runs, including two from veteran slugger Kalian Sams, and beat Ottawa 4-3 Thursday night.
The loss comes despite new addition Tyson Gillies hitting his first home run as a Champion – a two-run shot in the third inning.
Manager Hal Lanier was upbeat after the game, when discussing the effort of his Champions team.
“I’ll give credit to our ball club, we really battled back and just came up short,” he said. “We got base hits and played hard, guys were upbeat. I know it’s another one-run loss, but there were a lot of positives and I’m happy with the way we played.”
Lanier also tipped his hat to starting pitcher Yean Carlos Gil (L, 0-2), who stayed in the game after allowing three home runs. Lanier said he “really battled” in the later innings.
Gil was charged with all four Quebec runs in six innings of work, striking out five and walking two. “The only blemish was the (first) home run,” Lanier said.
Most of the game’s scoring came early on in the game, with the Capitales drawing first blood in the bottom of the first inning. After Maxx Tissenbaum was hit by a pitch, Kalian Sams ripped a two-run home run over the centre field fence at Stade CANAC for a 2-0 Capitales lead.
The Capitales wouldn’t stop there, and went back to the long ball for more offence an inning later. James McOwen went yard into right field, giving the Capitales a 3-0 advantage on the solo shot.
However, the hitter-friendly Stade CANAC would work to Ottawa’s advantage in the third.
Gillies stepped up with a runner on second, and lined one over that same right field fence for a two-run homer, to bring the Champions within one run.
Both teams added an extra run, and Quebec reliever Nolan Becker shut down the Champions offence with a three up, three down ninth inning on the mound, earning his fourth save of the 2017 campaign.
Ottawa resumes action tomorrow night at Stade CANAC, sending Daniel Cordero (1-1, 5.00 ERA) to the mound against veteran Karl Gelinas (1-1, 6.23 ERA).