Home runs did in the Ottawa Champions during the first game of their road trip in Quebec City.
The Quebec Capitales went yard three times, including two from veteran slugger Kalian Sams, to beat Ottawa 4-3 Thursday night.
The loss comes despite new addition Tyson Gillies hitting his first home run as a Champion – a two-run shot in the third inning.
Manager Hal Lanier was upbeat after the game, when discussing the effort of his Champions team.
“I’ll give credit to our ball club, we really battled back and just came up short,” he said. “We got base hits and played hard, guys were upbeat. I know it’s another one-run loss, but there were a lot of positives and I’m happy with the way we played.”
Lanier also tipped his hat to starting pitcher Yean Carlos Gil (0-2), who stayed in the game after allowing three home runs. Lanier said he “really battled” in the later innings.
Gil was charged with all four Quebec runs in six innings of work, striking out five and walking two. “The only blemish was the (first) home run,” Lanier said.
Most of the game’s scoring came early on in the game, with the Capitales drawing first blood in the bottom of the first inning. After Maxx Tissenbaum was hit by a pitch, Sams ripped a two-run home run over the centre-field fence at Stade CANAC for a 2-0 Quebec lead.
The Capitales wouldn’t stop there, and went back to the long ball for more offence an inning later. James McOwen homered over the right- field wall, giving Quebec a 3-0 advantage.
However, the hitter-friendly Stade CANAC would work to Ottawa’s advantage in the third.
Gillies stepped up with a runner on second, and lined one over that same right-field fence for a two-run homer, to bring the Champions to within one run.
Both teams added an extra run, and Quebec reliever Nolan Becker shut down the Champions offence with a three up, three down ninth inning to earn his fourth save of the 2017 campaign.
The teams resume action tonight at Stade CANAC. Ottawa sends Daniel Cordero (1-1, 5.00 ERA) to the mound against veteran Karl Gelinas (1-1, 6.23 ERA).
In other Can-Am League action the Cuban National Team began their tour by bouncing the Trois-Rivieres Aigles 8-2 and the New Jersey Jackals outlasted the Rockland Boulders 11-10.
Inside pitch: The Champions have signed RHP Chris Motta to a contract for the 2017 season and placed LHP Patrick Peterson on irrevocable waivers.
Motta, 27, last played in 2015 for the Garden State Grays of the Can-Am League where he appeared in compiled a 3.52 ERA in 7.2 innings pitched over eight appearances with seven strikeouts and seven walks.
Peterson, 24, made four starts for the Champions in 2017, compiling an 0-3 record with a 6.30 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched.