The New Jersey Jackals relied on solid starting pitching and perfection from their bullpen to defeat the Ottawa Champions 4-3 Tuesday night at RCGT Park in the opening game of a three-game midweek set.
Ottawa was 10-8 last season against the Jackals, who were the top team of the regular season in 2016.
Both teams were tied in the standings coming into today’s matchup and each sent a talented starter to the mound. The Jackals’ Matt Parish (1-0) picked up the victory against Ottawa’s Daniel Cordero, who didn’t factor into the final decision.
Pitching was strong early on as each team was scoreless through three innings.
The Champions manufactured their first run of the game in the fourth. They played small ball advancing Sebastien Boucher to third, who then scored his sixth run of the year on a Gustavo Pierre infield single.
Brian Bistagne struck for an RBI single in the fifth, extending the lead to 2-0. It was a clutch hit for Bistagne who was off to a rough start to the season.
A leadoff triple by Johnny Bladel got the Jackals started in the sixth and Rylan Sandoval‘s infield single made it 2-1. Two batters later Brian Burgamy lined one over the right field wall for his second homer of the season and the Jackals jumped on top 3-2.
Cordero was strong until this point during his first start of the year. He gave up three earned runs, while striking out nine Jackals in six innings of work.
Ottawa tied the game in the next half-inning. Steve Brown led off the inning with a single and later came into score on an error.
The Jackals took the lead in the eighth against Raydel Sanchez, who uncorked three wild pitches in the inning, which allowed Conrad Gregor to come around and score the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run.
The Champions and Jackals will continue their series Wednesday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:05. Austin Chrismon (1-0, 0.00 ERA) is expected to take the mound for Ottawa against New Jersey‘s Lee Sosa (1-0, 3.60 ERA).
In other Can-Am League action the Rockland Boulders nipped the Trois-Rivieres Aigles, 3-2 and the Quebec Capitales thumped the Sussex County Miners, 11-4.