Champions End 2017 Season with Rainy Defeat to Boulders
By Mike Pattison
Photo: Marc Lafleur
Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Champions fell to the Rockland Boulders in their final game of the season 5-2 on Monday afternoon.
The second game of the doubleheader was started but delayed in the first inning due to rain. After a lengthy wait the game was cancelled.
"It was a very disappointing year for the team, for me and for the organization," said Hal Lanier, the Champions' manager. "We were hot in the first half and then after this thing started going downhill."
For Lanier, the turning point in the season was the injury to Ricky Oropesa: "His injury really hurt us because everything was gelling before that."
Game one saw Phillippe Aumont (L, 5-8) take the mound for the Champions. He went all seven innings allowing five runs, only two of which were earned, on seven hits.
The Boulders got on the board in the third thanks to some crafty baserunning from Mike Fransoso. With runners in scoring position, Mike Fransoso broke towards the plate and stole home. Aumont, who was caught off guard, hesitated in his motion and was called for a balk. This allowed Joe Maloney to reach third before he eventually scored on a wild pitch.
"You have to tip your hat off to the Rockland ballclub," said Lanier.
After the inning was all said and done the Boulders lead 3-0.
The Champions made things interesting in the sixth as an error by first baseman Joe Maloney allowed a run to score. A Ricky Oropesa groundball scored another to make it 3-2.
However, Maloney made up for his mistake in the top half of the seventh as he launched another homerun on to Coventry Road. His 35th homerun of the year was a two-run shot and put Maloney over the 100-RBI mark.
With the season coming to an end, Lanier looks towards the future of the Champions' organization.
"I think the organization has something to build on, especially the young arms in the bullpen," said Lanier. "It's going to be a long winter looking back at the season but we'll see what we can do for years to come."