The Ottawa Champions bullpen coughed up a 5-1 lead at RCGT Park last night to hand the Rockland Boulders a 7-6 victory and waste another superb outing by Ottawa starter Austin Chrismon.
Things were going well for the Champions as the Boulders were struggling to manufacture any offence off Chrismon. However, they got to the Ottawa bullpen in the eighth with a six-run barrage.
Raydel Sanchez, who’s been with club all season and newcomers Adam Eggnatz and Garrett Cortright, were all shelled in the eighth inning meltdown.
Rockland got RBI’s from Jared McDonald, Mike Montville and Aaron Wilson to get to within a run. All three of those runs were charged to Sanchez. Then, Eggnatz gave up a hit and a walk before being replaced by Cortwright who served up a fat pitch to Dylan Tice who promptly launched a three-run homer over the right field wall to propel the Boulders in front 7-5.
Eggnatz (1-1) took the loss and Alex Farina (3-1) picked up the win for Rockland.
“That’s the first time the bullpen has given it up in a long, long time. It’s going to happen sometimes,” said Champions manager Hal Lanier.
Chrismon was in line to pick up his ninth win of the year as he continued his hot streak on the mound. He went seven innings and allowed just one unearned run.
The Champions exploded in the second inning, connecting for four runs. It began with a solo homer by Steve Brown, his fifth of the year. They then rallied to load the bases for Matt Helms who drove in one with a single.
Also in the inning, Helms made some history. His RBI single tied Albert Cartwright for the longest hit streak in Champions history at 13 games.
The Boulders were able to crack onto the scoreboard in the seventh. Alex Herceg chopped one to third baseman Gustavo Pierre who tried to make a spectacular play but one-hopped his throw past first base, allowing an unearned run to score.
Ottawa tried a ninth inning comeback but it fell just short. Sebastien Boucher drove in a run with a sac fly, but with a runner in scoring position they could not capitalize.
Despite the loss, it was a lively night at the ballpark as the Champions fans were treated to Chris Neil Appreciation Night. They got to meet the former Ottawa Senators enforcer who threw out the ceremonial first pitch and then was available for photos and autographs.
Ottawa and Rockland continue their four-game series tonight with first pitch scheduled for 7:05.
In other Can-Am League action, Quebec edged Trois-Rivieres 3-2 and Sussex County nipped New Jersey 5-4.