Champions Rebound and Even Series with Boulders
By Mike Pattison
Photo: Marc Lafleur
Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Champions rebounded off a tough loss to defeat the Rockland Boulders 12-4 on Friday night.
It was Ottawa's first win at home this season against the Boulders who came in tied for first in the Can-Am League.
"It's a big win coming back from last night," said Hal Lanier, the Champions manager.
Things were off to red-hot start for the Champions as they combined for seven runs in the first two innings.
With the team up 1-0 in the second, Matt Helms connected for an RBI single. It was a historic moment for Helms who passed Albert Cartwright for the longest hit streak in Ottawa Champions' history with 14 consecutive games.
After Nordgren drove in a pair with a single, Steve Brown launched a three-run shot to cap off a six-run inning. It was Brown's second homer in as many games, and sixth of the season.
"Brown had a tremendous game for us tonight," said Lanier. "He's been swinging the bat well all season, he's doing exactly what we've expected him to do when we signed him."
The Boulders made it interesting in the fifth as they rallied to put four on the board. The highlight of the inning was a bases-clearing three-RBI double for Joe Maloney. They cut it down to 7-4.
"They have an explosive offence. You can never be safe. We're up 7-0 and then all of a sudden it's a three run ballgame," said Lanier.
Steve Borkowski (7-5) was pulled from the game at that point but was still effective in his outing. Despite going five innings and allowing four earned runs his offence picked him up and carried him to the win.
Noah Gapp took over and went three scoreless innings in relief.
"I thought Borkowski did a good job, but Noah Gapp did a tremendous job for us," said Lanier on his pitchers.
But just as the Boulders put up four, the Champions responded in the sixth with four runs of their own.
It was a weird inning. First, Tyler Nordgren was plunked with the bases loaded to score a run, and then a wild pitch scored another. Finally, Mr. Can-Am Sebastien Boucher broke out of his slump to single home two runners. It was 11-4 after six.
Boucher tacked on another RBI in the ninth making it 12-4.
Yean Carlos Gil made his first appearance since being activated from the DL in the ninth. Lanier says that he plans on using Gil again in the series but doesn't want to rush him back into starting.
The third game of the four-game set will go on Saturday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm. Phillippe Aumont (3-3) takes the mound for the Champions against Bo Budkevics (4-2).
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.