Champions Snap Skid with Win in Game 2 of Twin Bill
By Mike Nellis
Ottawa, ON – A disastrous first game of today’s doubleheader against the Rockland Boulders did not faze the Ottawa Champions. They rebounded from a 10-0 loss with a convincing 8-2 win, ending a franchise record seven-game losing streak.
The twin bill marked the first time that the Champions faced their opponents from last year’s Can-Am League championship series, where Ottawa took the title in the fifth and deciding game of the best-of-five series.
“It was nice to see us get the big base hits for a change,” said manager Hal Lanier after the game, referencing big home runs from Daniel Bick and Steve Brown, as well as timely hitting the second game of the double header. Ottawa was out hit 8-7 but still capitalized with hits in big spots.
Game 1 was cause for some short-term memory loss for Ottawa. It began early, with runs coming in to score off singles from Marcus Nidiffer and Cory Regis.
It continued in the third for Rockland, when Regis stepped up for his second at-bat of the game and pasted a solo home run over the fence in left field for a 3-0 Boulders lead. Regis’s homer was his fourth of the young Can-Am season, after he took home player of the week honours last week.
A four-run fifth inning rubbed salt into the wound and affirmed the Rockland win, with the home side using small ball to plate baserunners. After a single and two walks loaded the bases to lead off the inning, Jon Smith scored Regis and Joe Maloney with a single.
An RBI groundout then brought home Mike Montville to make the score 6-0. It was 7-0 after the inning.
Rockland added three more at the end of the game for a 10-0 final.
Lanier said starting pitcher Daniel Cordero (L, 0-1) “didn’t have his best stuff” in Game 1, but did mention four of Rocklands 11 hits as broken ones. “They were able to get hits with runners in scoring position, and we only got two hits and didn’t swing bats. We have to be more consistent than that.
However, the Champions showed resiliency and snapped their skid with a win in the second game.
Brown homered in the second to put Ottawa on the board, but Rockland came out of the gate well again. They scored early and took a 2-1 lead into the fourth inning, but Ottawa found their groove from that point on.
They scored nine unanswered runs, on a sequence that started with a double from Ricky Oropesa to score Brian Bistagne and Brown. Oropesa would then come in to score on a wild pitch later in the at-bat.
The final score would be 10-3 in Game 2, and saw Austin Chrismon (W, 2-1) fire a complete game – his first since Game 5 of the Can-Am League championship series that clinched the championship for Ottawa.
“He had another strong outing,” said Lanier. “He gave us a lot of innings and we always want to give our pitchers a chance to throw a complete game if they can.”
After today’s Memorial Day doubleheader, the Champions and Boulders get a day off tomorrow before taking the field for a special morning game on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. from Palisades Credit Union Park.