Follow the Champions

Early Capitales Rally Sinks Champions

2017 June 09

By Mike Nellis

Photo: Marc Lafleur

Ottawa, ON – Early scoring from both teams saw the Quebec Capitales take a 4-3 lead after the first inning, and they wouldn’t look back from there. They took an 8-4 victory over the Ottawa Champions, and dropped Ottawa’s record to 6-15 on the 2017 season.

Danny Grauer launched a solo home run in the ninth as part of his two-hit day, but the Champions could only muster seven hits of Quebec starter Karl Gelinas (W, 2-1).

Manager Hal Lanier says he’s “not very happy” with the team’s record right now, and challenged his team to start working to get out of their current slump sooner rather than later.

“All 22 players and all coaches have to come out and figure out how to win a ballgame,” he said. “Players have to look at themselves and say, ‘we are going to win right now.’ Because what we’re doing right now isn’t good enough. It’s as simple as that.”

Everything was looking up for the Champions early in the game after they scored three runs in the top of the first, off an RBI single from Sebastien Boucher and an error from Capitales shortstop Yordan Manduley.

But Quebec had an even better response, notching four runs of their own in the bottom half of the first. That included a three-run home run from Jordan Lennerton, to put Quebec into a lead they would not relinquish.

The Champions didn’t register a base hit until the seventh inning after the loud opening frame.

Starting pitcher Daniel Cordero (L, 1-2) was tagged with the loss after giving up 11 hits and eight earned runs in his five innings pitched.

Lanier said Cordero did not keep enough balls down in the zone, which led to Quebec’s two home runs off the Venezuelan.

“(Quebec) has a team made for this ballpark,” he explained. “If you keep balls up, you’re going to get fly balls and they’re going to hit a lot of home runs. So, we’re going to have to talk about that.”

Ottawa and Quebec do battle once again tomorrow, in the third game of this road trip. The Champions will try to avoid the sweep at the hands of the Capitales at 6:05 p.m. They send Steve Borkowski (1-3, 6.46 ERA) to handle the Quebec offence.