Pitching Makes the Difference in Champions First Loss
Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Champions suffered their first loss of the season in a Sunday afternoon matinee at RCGT Park.
For the first time this season the Champions struggled offensively, as the Trois-Rivieres Aigles pitched their best game of the year in a 3-2 victory.
Aigles' starter Edilson Alvarez (W, 1-0) was dynamite. He only allowed one unearned run on four hits over seven innings of work. The Champions had a difficult time getting to him all game long.
Patrick Peterson (L, 0-1) made his first career start for the Champions and put up a solid performance, allowing three runs in six innings of work.
"You got to give credit to Alvarez, he was pretty tough on us,” said Champions manager Hal Lanier. “Peterson pitched a pretty good ballgame. I thought he did a good job."
The Aigles struck first in the top of the second. A bases-loaded two-run single off the bat of Kyle Lafrenz put Trois-Rivieres in front 2-0, but a double play got the Champions out of the inning, limiting the damage.
Trois-Rivieres added to their lead in the fourth with a leadoff homerun from Connor Crane. Crane crushed the pitch from Peterson over the left field wall for a no-doubter, making it 3-0 Aigles.
Ottawa got on the board in the next half-inning, which was a difficult thing to do against Alvarez. Unfortunately for the Champions, that's all they could muster against the Aigles on this day.
There was a bright spot for Ottawa however. Reliever Alex Luna was near perfect in his first appearance for Ottawa. He went three innings allowing just one hit, which gave his team a chance to get back into the ballgame.
"Luna did an exceptional job, I liked what I saw from him. He kept the ball down and he's got good composure on the mound," said Lanier. "He's going to be very effective."
The Champions got close in the bottom of the ninth. Matt Helms connected with an RBI single, but Aigles' closer Miguel Lahera finished the job and picked up his first save of the season.
The final game of the five-game series will go down Monday afternoon, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:35pm. Daniel Cordero (0-0) will start for the Champions against the Aigles' Guillaume Blanchette (0-0).