Sussex County Blasts Champions With 10-Run Win in Series Finale
By Mike Nellis
Ottawa, ON – A five-run second inning, and a three-run third opened up the floodgates for the Sussex County Miners, and they wouldn’t look back. They took a 12-2 win over the Ottawa Champions in the series-ending game, completing the three-game sweep of Ottawa.
The loss drops Ottawa’s record to 3-6, and hands them their sixth straight loss after starting the season undefeated against the Trois-Rivieres Aigles.
The effort was not a pleasing one for Champions manager Hal Lanier, who called the series sweep “totally embarrassing.”
“Not just losing, but how we lost,” he continued. “We gave up 42 hits in a three game series and we aren’t going to win too many ball games doing that. The pitching has to be better, it’s as simple as that.”
Lanier said the pitchers got behind in too many counts, and that is not a recipe for success against a Miners team that got hot coming into the weekend.
Luna started off well, shoud;ve caught a ground ball but they gave a hit – he’s good man coming out of bullpen was going to start doubleheader
It was an onslaught of base hits from the start, with the Miners chasing Ottawa starter Pat Peterson (L, 0-1) from the game in the second inning after scoring five runs off the right hander.
Nate Irving, Jay Austin, Juan Duran, and Mike Schwartz all had RBIs in the bottom of the second inning, on four singles up the middle. The Miners sent nine hitters to the plate in the frame.
Ottawa had a chance to get back in the game in the top of the third, loading the bases with two outs. However, Steve Brown was struck out swinging by Miners starter Michael Tamburino (W, 1-0) on a high fastball to end the inning and keep the Miners up by five.
They would add three more in the second, starting with a two-run triple blasted to the warning track by Rubi Silva. After the frame, it was 8-0 Sussex County.
The Miners would scatter runs in the later innings of the game to pad their lead, and the Champions would show some life in the seventh.
After Ricky Oropesa lead the inning off with a base on balls, Matt Helms doubled to put two runners in scoring position for Daniel Bick. The shortstop then put back-to-back doubles on the scorecard, launching a line drive into the outfield to give Ottawa their first and only runs of the game.
Pat Peterson was charged with his first loss as a Can-Am League pitcher, only staying on for one and two-thirds innings. He allowed five runs, all earned, while walking four batters.
Alex Luna came in relief and pitched for three and one-third innings, giving him three straight three-plus innings in long relief out of the bullpen to start his Can-Am League career.
Lanier said Luna has become the go-to long relief pitcher out of the Champions bullpen, and was going to get a start in tomorrow’s doubleheader at Rockland, but the rain delay Thursday night against the New Jersey Jackals gave the top of the rotation an extra day’s rest.
It will be Austin Chrismon (1-1, 4.50 ERA) and Daniel Cordero (0-0, 4.50 ERA) taking the hill tomorrow for the aforementioned twin bill in Pomona, NY. First pitch in Game 1 will be thrown at 1:00 p.m.