The Ottawa Champions had thoughts of going undefeated at Yogi Berra Stadium in 2017 but the New Jersey Jackals and Mother Nature ensured that would not happen, as the Champions dropped a rain-shortened 8-2 decision on Wednesday morning.
Ottawa had won the first eight road meetings between the two teams, but the Jackals offence came out firing and the Champions couldn’t come back.
New Jersey opened the scoring in the first inning when Brian Joynt ripped a two-run double to score Rylan Sandoval and Johnny Bladel, who had reached on back-to-back singles.
Ottawa managed to get one back in the second when Gustavo Pierre singled home Tyson Gillies from second. They then loaded the bases with two out but were unable to capitalize.
The Jackals added to their lead in the second on an RBI triple by Max Casper and an RBI groundout by Bladel, and then they broke the game open in the third on a two-run homerun by Ryan Retz.
Richard Stock and Adam Martin made it 8-1 with back-to-back solo homers in the fifth, and after Pierre made it 8-2 with a solo big fly in the sixth, the skies opened up.
Pierre was the offensive star for Ottawa, going 3-for-3 with the home run and two RBI.
Ottawa starter Steve Borkowski (L, 7-6) allowed eight runs on nine hits in five innings while striking out four and walking two.
Veteran Isaac Pavlik (W, 9-1) was effective for New Jersey, allowing two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and one walk in six innings.
The Champions open up a four-game series today in Pomona, NY, against the Rockland Boulders. Righthander Phillippe Aumont (3-4, 5.01 ERA) gets the ball for Ottawa. Catch all the action on http://www.canamleague.tv.
Elsewhere in Can-Am League action, Rockland nipped Quebec 5-4 in 10 innings and the game between Sussex County and Trois-Rivieres was suspended due to rain.