Champions Split Crucial Doubleheader
By Mike Pattison
Photo: Richard A. Whittaker
Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Champions and Trois-Rivieres Aigles split a pair of close games on Wednesday night.
The doubleheader was tight throughout as both were one-run games and showcased some strong pitching performances.
"It's tough to win a doubleheader, but we had an opportunity," said Hal Lanier, the Champions manager. "We have to stay positive and take care of ourselves."
The Champions kicked off the doubleheader with a 4-3 win over the Aigles.
Daniel Cordero (W, 8-4) picked up the win, going 5.2 innings and allowing three earned runs.
His offence provided just enough run support thanks to a four-run third inning.
With the bases loaded, Steve Brown was hit by a pitch bringing home Daniel Bick. Then, Tyson Gillies hit a sharp grounder, which took a weird bounce over the head of second baseman Carter McEachern and into right field. Two runs came into score on the play, before the Champions tacked on another in the inning.
The Aigles responded with three runs of their own in the sixth, however Garrett Cortright entered the game and recorded a four-out save to secure the win. The save was his third of the season and helped the Champions snap their four-game losing streak.
The second game was a pitcher's duel as Austin Chrismon and Edilson Alvarez went toe-to-toe with each other. However, a late run propelled the Aigles to a 2-1 victory.
The Aigles opened the scoring in the first on an RBI single off the bat of Alexander Ayala.
Chrismon (L, 8-6) bounced back after the early run and went all seven innings, allowing just two earned runs.
Gustavo Pierre tied up the game in the second with a solo homer over the right field wall. It was his seventh homerun of the season, tying him for third on the team.
That was the only blemish for Alvarez (W, 5-10) as he went all seven innings, allowing just the one earned run on three hits.
"He kept us off balance. Gustavo had the best night for us and he had two of our hits against him," said Lanier on facing a red-hot Alvarez.
Trois-Rivieres grabbed the lead in the seventh. After a leadoff double for McEachern, he was singled home by Brenden Webb to score the eventual game-winning run.
There will be another doubleheader on Thursday night between the Aigles and Champions. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 5:05pm and Walter Gretzky will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the second game.
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.