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Champions manager Hal Lanier is looking for answers as his club’s playoff chances are slipping away. (Ron Patey file photo)

The Quebec Capitales beat the Ottawa Champions 7-5 last night to send manager Hal Lanier’s crew to their third straight defeat.

“I’ll say this – we put up a fight and gave them a good ninth inning,” said Lanier. “We just gave up too many runs in the top of the ninth, which really put us in a hole.”

Down 7-2, the Champions made some noise in the ninth as Matt Helms sent a two-RBI single through the legs of the centrefielder and to the wall. Then, Alex Venditti sent a line drive to left field to score another. However, that is all that they could muster up, leaving the game-tying run at the plate.

Quebec opened the scoring in the second inning when they put up two runs on a Lachlan Fontaine two-RBI single.

They added to their lead in the third as they tacked on three more runs on four hits in the inning. Yurisbel Gracial, James McOwen and Dvontrey Richardson picked up RBI’s as Champions starter Austin Chrismon struggled early on. It was 5-0 after three.

Chrismon (L, 8-5) had an off start, as he was only able to go six innings, allowing five earned runs on nine hits. He had not gone less than seven innings since July 5, which was a 1.2 inning outing against the Capitales in Quebec City.

Arik Sikula (W, 11-3) was dealing early on and pitched well enough to pick up his league leading 11th win of the year. However, he ran into some trouble in sixth inning.

Sebastien Boucher smoked a two-run shot, his fifth of the year and first since early July. The homer cut the deficit to 5-2.

After allowing 12 earned runs in a start against Rockland, Raydel Sanchez made his first appearance out of the bullpen. He went two scoreless innings and kept things close to give his team a chance to comeback.

The two teams will face off again tonight with first pitch scheduled for 7:05. Steve Borkowski (7-7) takes the mound and will look to build off his record tying 15-strikeout performance.

Elsewhere in Can-Am League action, Rockland blanked Trois-Rivieres 1-0 and New Jersey nipped Sussex County 4-3.

-Ottawa Champions

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