Champions Comeback Falls Short in Saturday Night Nail-Biter
By Mike Nellis
Photo: Marc Lafleur
Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Champions picked up a huge 7-5 win against the Sussex County Miners in the series finale on Sunday afternoon.
A five-run eighth inning was the catalyst to the comeback victory for the Champions. After a costly error by shortstop Jarred Mederos, the Champions rallied for five runs to take a 7-5 lead.
Miners' manager Bobby Jones and pitcher Mark McCoy were ejected in the inning. This turned the momentum of the inning and opening the door for key hits such as a two-RBI single for Matt Helms and an RBI double for Gustavo Pierre.
"It was a must-win for us today," said Hal Lanier, the Champions manager. "If we didn't win today we would really be in trouble."
Austin Chrismon threw 110 pitches in 4.2 innings of work. He allowed four runs, three of which were earned, with five hits and five walks.
It was not a typical start for the Champions' ace who struggled with his command and the Miners struck for the first four runs of the ballgame.
After a sac fly in the third, Sussex touched up Chrismon for three more runs in the fifth. Jay Baum hit an RBI single, followed by an RBI triple from Rubi Silva and then another RBI single by Alexi Colon.
The Champions got some momentum back in the bottom half of the inning thanks to Daniel Bick. He sent his seventh homerun over the left field wall for a two-run shot, cutting the deficit in half. It was 4-2 after five innings.
Both Bobby St. Pierre and Andrew Camiolo made their Can-Am league debuts during the game. St. Pierre went three innings, allowing just one earned run. Meanwhile, Camiolo entered the game to face one batter, which he walked.
The run St. Pierre allowed came in the form of a Jarred Mederos RBI single in the eighth inning. The base hit gave the Miners a 5-2 lead.
The extended lead was shortlived as the Champions completed the comeback in the eighth inning.
Garrett Cortright (W, 2-2) entered the game in the eighth and shut down the Miners to pick up the win.
Despite the win today, Lanier's focus is on the upcoming series ahead: "There's still hope."
The Champions will kick off a big four-game series with the Trois-Rivieres Aigles on Monday night in Quebec. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 7:05pm and can be seen at CanAmLeague.tv.
Ottawa Champions single game tickets can be purchased online at www.ottawachampions.com, by phone at 613-745-2255, or in person at the RCGT Park box office.