Champions Win Franchise Record Eighth in a Row
By Mike Pattison
Photo: Marc Lafleur
The Ottawa Champions picked up a franchise record eighth straight victory with a 3-1 win over the Quebec Capitales.
"I have to congratulate the team they're playing very well," said Hal Lanier, the Champions manager. "Eight wins in a row is something to be very proud of."
Matt Tulley (W, 1-1) had his best start of the season and it came in his first home start for the Champions. He went seven scoreless innings, while only allowing two hits. His outing couldn't have come at a better time as his offence was limited to just a pair of runs scored.
"I went out there and pitched my game, sticked to my routine this whole week and everything worked out," said Tulley.
Gustavo Pierre kicked off the scoring for the Champions with an RBI single that scored Steve Brown from second in the second.
Tulley had trouble with his control throughout the first three innings. He walked four batters during that span but was able to work around them.
"When he got into trouble he made the quality pitch to get out of it and that's what is so impressive with him," said Lanier.
Tulley had to narrowly avoid disaster twice as during the first and fifth Phil Craig-St Louis lined a ball directly at him. Luckily, his reflexes bailed him out both times and he was able to make the play.
In the fifth, Matt Helms reached on a double that landed just out of the reach of a diving Marcus Knecht in right field. Then, Daniel Bick drove him in with a double of his own. The Champions doubled their lead in the inning, 2-0.
Murilo Gouvea (L, 0-1) made his Can-Am League debut for the Capitales and was impressive despite picking up the loss. He went six innings and allowed just the two earned runs.
The Champions were threatening in the seventh as some nifty base stealing had two runners in scoring position with just one out. However, Capitales' relief pitcher Jaspreet Shergill retired two batters in a row to escape the danger.
Quebec was able to get on the board once Ottawa went to the bullpen.
Raydel Sanchez entered the game and allowed a solo homer to Phil Craig-St. Louis to cut the lead in half. It was 2-1 after eight innings.
Tyson Gillies added some insurance in the eighth with an RBI single to left field. Ricky Oropesa, who went first to third on a wild pitch, scored on the play.
Garrett Cortright threw a perfect ninth to pick up his first save as a Ottawa Champion.
The two teams will square off again on Saturday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm. Phillippe Aumont (3-1) will take the mound for the Champions against the Capitales' Karl Gelinas (3-2).
Tickets for the 2017 regular season and Can-Am League vs. American Association All-Star Game are currently on sale and can be purchased online at www.ottawachampions.com or in person at the RCGT Park box office.