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The Champions pitching staff got battered around again yesterday in Rockland. (Ottawa Champions image)

The Ottawa Champions are limping home after dropping three of four to the first-place Rockland Boulders.

Five home runs and 29 combined hits were the story in an offensive slugfest at Palisades Credit Union Park yesterday where the Champions dropped the final game of their series by a score of 11-8 to the Boulders.

The Champions found themselves down 6-0 in the first inning, and clawed their way back into the game led by Tyler Nordgren, who went 3-for-5 with two ribbies.

“The first inning really beat us, and we should’ve had two outs on balls that were dropped,” said Champions manager Hal Lanier. “I’m just waiting for someone in the bullpen to step up and not give up any runs. Five runs out of the pen isn’t acceptable.”

Joe Maloney and Jon Smith both homered for Rockland in the first inning barrage, with Maloney’s being a three-run shot.

Before the end of the frame, rain began to fall and the game was put into a short rain delay as a band of thunderstorms moved through Pomona. The rain delay must have given the Champions time to regroup, as they would outscore the Boulders 5-0 in the next four innings.

Nordgren got the Champions on the board with a solo homer to lead off the top of the third inning, and Sebastien Boucher followed him up with a two-run blast over the right field short porch of Palisades Credit Union Park to make the score 6-3.

Ottawa would then string together two RBI knocks in the fifth when Steve Nyisztor and Boucher came through with back-to-back hits to bring the visitors within one.

Rockland closer Mayckol Guaipe shut the door on the Champions for his 11th save of the season. Yean Carlos Gil (L, 0-4) was saddled with the loss.

The Champions open a three-game series against the Dominican Republic National Team at RCGT Park on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Ace pitcher Phillippe Aumont (1-1, 4.36 ERA) gets the ball for Ottawa.

In other Can-Am League action, Quebec blanked the Dominican Republic 9-0 and New Jersey shaded the Cuban National Team 6-5.

-Ottawa Champions