Ottawa’s all-star catcher Danny Grauer fouls off a pitch last night versus Sussex County. (Ron Patey photo)

The Ottawa Champions scored early and often and went on to clobber the Sussex County Miners 8-2 last night at RCGT Park.

The win completed the three-game sweep of the Miners and brought the Champions to within two games of a playoff spot. The victory was also the team’s seventh in a row, which ties for the franchise’s longest winning streak in history.

Things were clicking for the Champions right off the bat in the first inning when Sebastien Boucher doubled and came into score on a Ricky Oropesa RBI single.

The Champions blew the game open in the second with a five-run inning. It started with a long RBI single by Matt Helms. Then they loaded the bases for Steve Nyisztor who drove in two with a single to right field. They weren’t done there as Boucher drove in two more with a single of his own.

Then in the third, Gustavo Pierre launched a monster two-run shot to left field that entered oncoming traffic and crossed Coventry Road.

After three innings, the Champions had built a commanding 8-0 lead.

It was a short outing for Miners starter Kris Regas (L, 5-4) who headed for the showers following getting blasted in those first three innings.

The Miners were able to get on the board in the sixth inning when they connected for two runs, highlighted by an RBI double by Jay Baum to make the score 8-2.

The two runs marked the end for Daniel Cordero (W, 5-3), as he went six strong only allowing one earned run on six hits and he recorded seven strikeouts.

Reliever Jared Price made his home debut for Ottawa, pitching a scoreless seventh before Noah Gapp came in for a scoreless eighth and ninth.

The Champions kick off a three-game series with the second-place Quebec Capitales tonight. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 at RCGT Park.

In other Can-Am League action, New Jersey drubbed Trois-Rivieres 11-5 and Quebec shaded Rockland 5-4.

Inside pitch: Ottawa Champions OF/DH Sebastien Boucher has been added to the Can-Am League All-Star roster as an injury replacement. Boucher replaces Rockland Boulders OF Jon Smith, who suffered a season-ending facial injury Tuesday night’s game against the Quebec Capitales. Boucher is batting .307 with four home runs and 28 RBI in 51 games in his ninth season in the Can-Am League and third with the Champions. He becomes the fourth Ottawa Champions player named to the team, joining C Danny Grauer, RHP Daniel Cordero, and RHP Phillippe Aumont.

-Ottawa Champions