Champions drop series opener 7-3 to Miners
AUGUSTA, N.J. – A late rally was not enough to push the Ottawa Champions (30-47) over the Sussex County Miners (48-28) in a 7-3 loss Tuesday evening at Skylands Park.
Sussex County pitching held the Champions to three runs on four hits, led by left-handed starter Andrew Gist, who pitched 8.1 innings, giving up three hits and striking out four, earning his eighth win of 2019.
Miners opened the scoring in the first inning and extended their lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the third with a rare catcher’s balk called in their favour, followed by Audy Ciriaco scoring on a dropped strike.
Right-handed pitcher Phillippe Aumont pitched six innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits, while striking out seven, and took his fourth loss of the season.
Righty Kyle Chavez made his Champions debut, relieving Aumont and starting off the bottom of the seventh, pitching a scoreless inning and recording a strikeout. Lefty Matt Valin took over the mound in the bottom of the seventh, allowing two runs on two hits, also striking out one.
Champions put up three runs in the top of the eighth inning, taking advantage of a few wild pitches thrown by reliever Kevin Grendell, but the Miners responded with two insurance runs in the bottom of the inning to secure their lead.
Adron Chambers went 1-for-2, grabbing his first RBI in a Champions uniform, while Steve Brown recorded his 39th RBI of the season.
Ottawa will look to take game two of the three-game series against Sussex County tomorrow afternoon in New Jersey. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.