Miners Record First Win in Slugfest Versus Ottawa
By Mike Nellis
Ottawa, ON – The last-place Sussex County Miners handed the Ottawa Champions their fourth-straight loss Friday night, as the Champs gave up 16 hits and fell 8-5 in the first game of a three-game set at Skylands Stadium.
The loss also marked the end of Sebastien Boucher’s six-game hit streak. He went 0-for-4 and didn’t reach base for the first time in the 2017 season.
Champions manager Hal Lanier said the team’s pitching staff is not making enough quality pitches.
“We gave up too many hits,” he said. “We aren’t pitching inside enough right now. When you leave it over the plate something bad is going to happen.”
Steve Borkowski was saddled with the loss, after tossing four and two-thirds innings pitched. He gave up nine hits and four earned runs in that span, walking three and striking out four.
Lanier also mentioned Ottawa’s four errors as a reason for the loss, which cost them two unearned runs. The team has now made 10 errors in the last two games, after putting up six against the New Jersey Jackals in a game last weekend.
Ottawa began the game with a burst from the top of the order in the first inning, with Brian Bistagne using his good eye to get on base, and clean up hitter mopped up the bases with a single for a 1-0 Ottawa lead.
The Miners had a quick response in the bottom half of the inning, plating a run on an RBI from power hitter Juan Duran after Rubi Silva doubled on the first pitch he saw.
More scoring allowed Ottawa to retake the lead 3-1. The bottom of the order contributed with a single from Danny Grauer, and a walk from Daniel Bick. They were then driven home by Brian Bistagne, who broke his slump with a two-run double. Bistagne would have three more hits on the evening, going 4-for-5 with three RBI.
However, Sussex County took a page out of the Champions’ book in the bottom of the second – they responded with authority. Nate Irving hit his first home run of the season, on a solo bomb that cleared the fence in left field. That cut Ottawa’s lead to 3-2.
Sussex County picked up where they left off in the third, scoring two on back-to-back singles from Schwartz and Nyisztor, giving the Miners the lead for the first time in the game.
They wouldn’t give up the lead, and piled on three more runs late in the contest. During the bottom of the eighth, the middle of the Miners order burned the Champions with back-to-back base hits again. Jay Austin and Duran came up with RBI singles to make the score 8-4.
Ottawa added a run in the ninth off a Bick double, but that’s all they could muster in a fourth-straight loss.
These two teams return to Skylands Stadium in Game 2 of the series tomorrow. Ottawa will send Yean Carlos Gil (0-0, 3.17 ERA) to the mound. He is set to face off against rookie arm Ari Kaufman (0-0, 0.00 ERA), who Sussex County’s probable starter. First pitch will be at 7:05 p.m.