Champions Triumph in High-Scoring Affair
Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Champions continued their impressive start to the season on Friday night with a 10-6 victory over the Trois-Rivieres Aigles.
Before the game, the returning Champions from last season were awarded with their championship rings. Owner Miles Wolff and President David Gourlay handed players their rings, capping off the second day of the championship celebration.
The Champions got started right where they left off Thursday night. An RBI single to centre from Steve Brown put the Champions on the board early, leading 1-0 after the first inning.
After Ottawa tacked on another run, the Aigles responded in the top of the fifth inning.
Aigles' left fielder Trevor Gretzky reached on a groundball error, then came around to score later in the inning off a Kyle Lafrenz RBI grounder.
With the Champions sensing that their lead was in jeopardy, they provided some insurance runs in the next half inning.
It began with an RBI single for Adron Chambers who continues his hot start to the season. The Champions eventually rallied to load the bases for clean-up hitter Steve Brown, and he would not disappoint. Brown ripped a two-run single straight through the centre of the infield, padding Ottawa's lead to 5-1.
Steve Borkowski (W, 1-0) was lights out through his first six innings of work. He only allowed one hit and one unearned run during that time. However, in the seventh he ran into some trouble.
The Aigles' Zach Mathieu and Kyle Lafrenz hit back-to-back RBI doubles to the right field wall. Fortunately for Borkowski, that's all that he would allow in a stellar performance.
"We got great starting pitching from him," said Hal Lanier, the Champions' manager. "He really pitched a great ballgame. He just had one bad inning, but he was very strong."
Keeping course with the series so far, the Champions would respond and continue to overwhelm the Aigles offensively. A pair of Champions would pick up their first RBIs of the season with a Sebastien Boucher RBI single and a Ricky Oropesa 2-RBI double. After seven innings Ottawa had an 8-3 lead.
Curtis Johnson made his regular season debut for the Champions in the eighth, but struggled mightily. He gave up three runs while only recording one out as the Aigles cut the lead down to 8-6.
Matt Helms continued the offensive outburst by responding with a leadoff homerun in the bottom of the eighth, his first of the year. Ottawa would tack on another run in the inning to increase their lead to four.
"I like the way the offence responded when we gave up runs. We came right back in the bottom half of the inning and scored runs ourselves," said Lanier.
The Champions would shut it down in the ninth, as Raydel Sanchez picked up his first save of the year.
The two teams will square off again Saturday night at 7:05pm at RCGT Park.