The Ottawa Champions rebounded from a tough loss the night before to smash the Rockland Boulders 12-4 on Friday night and move to within one game of .500 at 31-32.
It was Ottawa’s first win at home this season against the Boulders who came in tied for first in the Can-Am League.
Things were off to red-hot start for the Champions as they combined for seven runs in the first two innings.
With Ottawa leading by 1-0 in the second, Matt Helms smacked an RBI single to left field. It was a historic moment for Helms who passed Albert Cartwright for the longest hit streak in Ottawa Champions history with 14 consecutive games.
After Tyler Nordgren drove in a pair with a single, Steve Brown launched a three-run shot to cap off a six-run inning. It was Brown’s second homer in as many games, and sixth of the season.
The Boulders made it interesting in the fifth as they rallied to put four runs on the board. The highlight of the inning was a bases-clearing three-RBI double by Joe Maloney.
Steve Borkowski (7-5) was pulled from the game at that point but was still effective in his outing. Despite going five innings and allowing four earned runs his offence picked him up and carried him to the win.
Noah Gapp took over and went three scoreless innings in relief.
But just as the Boulders put up four, the Champions responded in the sixth with four runs of their own.
It was a weird inning. First, Nordgren was plunked with the bases loaded to score a run, and then a wild pitch scored another. Finally, Sebastien Boucher broke out of his slump to single home two runners to make it 11-4 after six. Boucher tacked on another RBI in the eighth to make it 12-4.
Yean Carlos Gil made his first appearance in the ninth since being activated from the DL. Lanier says that he plans on using Gil again in the series but doesn’t want to rush him back into starting.
The third game of the four-game set will go tonight with first pitch scheduled for 7:05. Ottawa will have a chance to reach the .500 mark for the first time since the club was 3-3 on May 24. Phillippe Aumont (3-3) takes the mound for the Champions against Bo Budkevics (4-2).
In other Can-Am League action, Trois-Rivieres shaded Quebec 4-3 and Sussex County edged New Jersey 3-2.