Cordero Throws Shutout in Series Opener Against Cuba
By Mike Pattison
Photo: Marc Lafleur
Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Champions welcomed the Cuban National Team to RCGT Park on Friday night and took the series opener 3-0.
The game was highlighted by a shutout from Daniel Cordero (W, 2-2) to pick up the win in front of a lively Ottawa crowd. It was Cordero's first career nine-inning shutout in the Can-Am League.
"When you're in the eighth and ninth inning you can feel it. But in the moment you just want to keep fighting for a chance to finish the game for your team and the fans." said Cordero on going nine innings in the ball game.
Pitchers worked quickly and effectively during the game and Daniel Cordero was a direct example of this. He was often able to escape any pressure by getting Cuban hitters to hit into double plays and only allowing four hits during his outing.
It was also a nice evening statistically for Cordero who was able to lower his 7.04 ERA which he had heading into the ballgame.
"What a strong performance from him. That was Danny Cordero from last year," said Hal Lanier. "I thought he's going to have to pitch pretty good baseball to keep them off the board and he was up for it."
It was the perfect start for the Champions. After a three up, three down inning in the top half they would quickly strike for the first two runs. Ottawa had their first four batters of the game, scoring twice. The inning could have been worse for Cuban starter Ulfrido Garcia if it weren't for a tremendous leaping over-the-shoulder catch from Yoelkis Cespedes, which robbed Gustavo Pierre of an RBI.
Ottawa loaded the bases to start the fourth however they were only able to capitalize for one run. With one out Daniel Bick hit a chopper to the second baseman Juan Torriente who tagged out a runner and threw to first but it was not in time. Instead of ending the inning a run came into score and Ottawa added to their lead to make it 3-0.
The rest of the game was dominated by pitching, as neither team were able to tack another run onto the scoreboard.
As for the Cubans, they were fairly strong on the mound as well. Starter Ulfirdo Garcia (L, 0-2) was pulled after 3.1 innings work allowing three earned runs, but Frank medina shut down the Champions the rest of the way. He only allowed one hit through his 4.2 innings of work.
The game ended on a fantastic catch by Tyson Gillies on the warning track, which brought the crowd to their feet.
"It's a good way to come back home, a good crowd tonight and a good win of course," said Lanier.
The two teams will continue their series tomorrow night as first pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.