Champs Take First Game in Big Series Against Miners
By Mike Pattison
Photo: Marc Lafleur
Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Champions picked up their fifth consecutive victory with a 7-2 win over the Sussex County Miners.
The game kicked off a very important series for the Champions who are chasing the Miners for the final playoff spot in the standings.
"Tonight was a big win coming home, after a day off," said Hal Lanier, the Champions manager. "We just have to go one game at a time of course."
Austin Chrismon (W, 6-3) was lights out for the Champions as he went seven innings allowing just two earned runs. He also recorded eight strikeouts while only walking a pair.
"He's got six wins and that's what I look at. He's a gamer," said Lanier. "That's the Chrismon that you saw last year."
Things did not start off so well for Chrismon. The first batter he faced lined one directly back at him and struck his leg. The runner reached and two hits later the Miners had two runs on the board. It was 2-0 after the first.
"Yes there was discomfort but nothing that was going to keep me out of the game," said Chrismon on the comebacker. "I had to stay in there and keep grinding."
But he was able to turn it around immediately as he went six straight shutout innings after giving up the two runs.
The Champions exploded in the fourth inning using small ball to their advantage. After the first two men reached base, the Champions connected for five straight base hits to drive in five runs. Ten batters came to bat in the inning, connecting for six hits in total with five different players recording an RBI.
An RBI single from all-star Danny Grauer drove in Tyson Gillies in the fifth. The run increased the Champions lead to 6-2 after five innings.
Ottawa continued their offensive attack in the sixth as they plated a run for the third consecutive inning. Sebastien Boucher scored Daniel Bick on a base hit up the middle to increase their lead to 7-2.
Raydel Sanchez and Garrett Cortright came into the game in the eighth and ninth to shut things down and secure the win.
"The bullpen has really been pitching very well and we have some good young arms now," said Lanier on his revamped bullpen.
Game two of the series will go down on Wednesday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm. The Champions will go for a season-high six game win streak.
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.