Champions Take Shootout Win Against Miners
By Mike Pattison
Photo by Marc Lafleur
Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Champions won a 10-8 shootout over the Sussex County Miners on Tuesday night, bringing them within 1.5 games of the fourth and final playoff spot.
The Champions offence was rolling as every player in the lineup recorded a hit and they rallied for a nine-run fourth inning.
They managed to stave off a late Miners' comeback to grab the win and pick up a game on the four-place Sussex County squad.
"It was a great game," said Hal Lanier, the Champions manager. "This was a big game for us, we're chasing them, so we have to go back out again tomorrow and do the same thing."
Ottawa exploded in the fourth inning, combining for nine runs on eight hits. They strung together base hits; at one point the Champions had five hits in a row. They also had some fortunate breaks as a pair of line drives fell just out of the reach of diving outfielders allowing the inning to continue. Overall, 13 batters came to the plate and six batters picked up RBI's in the inning.
Yean Carlos Gil (W, 1-5) looked untouchable early on, throwing six scoreless innings.
However, he ran into some trouble in the seventh as the Miners tagged him for five runs. Nate Irving launched a three-run shot in the inning and Sussex cut the lead down to 9-5.
The Champions added a little insurance in the eighth thanks to an RBI double from Sebastien Boucher, making it 10-5.
That insurance runs proved to be important for the Champions because the Miners struck for three runs in the eighth. They managed to claw back into the game thanks to two RBI fielder choices and a costly error by Daniel Bick that allowed another runner to score.
After eight, Ottawa's lead shrunk to 10-8.
Garrett Cortright, who had entered the game in the eighth, shut down the Miners in the ninth to secure the win and record his second save of the year.
"You can't say enough about him. He came in during a tough situation and got the job done," said Lanier on his closer.
The second game of the three-game set goes down on Wednesday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.