Ottawa Returns Home in Victorious Fashion
By Mike Pattison
Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Champions were able to capitalize on strong pitching and pick up a much-needed win, 3-2 against The Sussex County Miners on Friday night.
"It's a big win for us. It's a good way to start a home stand," said Hal Lanier, the Champions manager
It was Ottawa's first home game after a seven game road trip where they only managed one victory.
Champions' starter Pat Peterson had a very strong outing. He went seven innings while allowing two runs and striking out six.
"He pitched a strong ballgame today," said Lanier on his pitcher's performance. "He got ahead in the count, and had better command of his pitches than he did his last outing."
The Champions got on the board early as they took a 1-0 lead after the first. But in the second, Matt Helms launched his third homerun of the year doubling the Champions' lead.
The Miners answered in the third with an RBI single off the bat of Nick Giarraputo.
Then in the fifth, Nate Irving ripped a solo shot over the left field wall to tie the game 2-2. Irving continued to his red-hot streak against the Champions this season.
Things got interesting in the sixth with two outs as Miners' starter Michael Tamburino attempted to pickoff Sebastien Boucher at first base seven times. Then, Ricky Oropesa hit a pop-up behind the plate, which was dropped by catcher Nate Irving.
This allowed the inning to continue and Oropesa hit one into the gap. After a walk to load the bases, Matt Helms hit a flare down the leftfield that was run down and ended the inning. Despite all that, the score remained 2-2.
The Champions came out with a bang in the bottom of the eighth. A leadoff homerun from Brian Bistagne put Ottawa up 3-2. It was Bistagne's first homer as a member of the Champions and it turned out to be the game-winning run.
Alex Luna (W, 1-0) picked up his first win of the season in relief.
Raydel Sanchez came into the game in the ninth and recorded his second save of the season.
Ottawa will continue its series with Sussex County on Saturday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm at RCGT Park.
Photo: Marc Lafleur