Ottawa Champions starting pitcher Phillippe Aumont tossed the first ever no-hitter in franchise history at the Dominican Republic National Team last night as the Champions blanked the visitors 7-0.
The no-no was also the first nine-inning no-hitter in the Can-Am League since Newark‘s Mike Ness hurled a gem against Quebec in 2012.
He was untouchable as he struck out 11 batters and finished the evening having thrown just 97 pitches.
Aumont had a very specific reasoning for being able to work so efficiently.
“I was trying to get guys out within four pitches and that’s the mentality every pitcher should have.”
There was a sense around the sixth inning that something very special could happen at RCGT Park and by the eighth there was a buzz around the ballpark.
“You’re looking at the board and think this is happening but there’s still a lot of baseball left. But by the ninth I wasn’t looking at the board, I try not to think about it,” said Aumont on dealing with the pressure of a possible no-hitter.
Aumont was quick to give credit to his catcher, Danny Grauer, for helping him achieve the accomplishment.
“He’s my second brain back there, he did an amazing job. Even though I shook him off he went with it and it was great teamwork all along.”
Aumont was also saved by some defensive gems from Gustavo Pierre and Carson Helms. Pierre made a pair of plays at third base, while Helms tracked down a pair of tricky line drives in centre-field.
The Champions got off to a hot start in the first inning when Steve Brown capitalized on a pair of errors by slamming a ball off the left field wall to score two runs. Brown would later come in to score on an error after stealing third base.
In the second inning, Daniel Bick scored from third on a wild pitch making it 4-0 after two. The Dominican Republic had major struggles on the field defensively as they combined for five errors in the first two innings.
Pierre led off the bottom half of the fourth with a solo blast over the left field wall. His second homer of the season put the Champions up 5-0.
In the fifth, the Champions loaded the bases to start the inning. Grauer drove in one with a base hit, and then another run scored on a groundball fielder’s choice.
The two teams will wrap up their series tonight when the Champions will look to complete the series sweep. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
In other Can-Am League action, Rockland blasted the Cuban National Team 12-1, New Jersey knocked off Sussex County 7-4 and Quebec trampled Trois-Rivieres 6-1.