Chrismon throws complete game shutout as Champions sweep Shikoku Island
OTTAWA – Austin Chrismon threw the first complete game shutout for the Ottawa Champions since August 2018 as they completed the four-game sweep of the Shikoku Island Independents on Thursday.
It was the first series sweep of the season for Ottawa and couldn’t have come at a better time. They came into the series against Shikoku six games below .500 and on the outside of the playoff picture, but are now just three games behind the New Jersey Jackals and sitting 1.5 games ahead of the Rockland Boulders.
Chrismon struck out seven batters, walking one with seven hits, while Brian Portelli went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and four RBI.
“I just took it one pitch at a time, one batter at a time, one inning at a time,” said Chrismon about his complete game shutout. “They swung early and got a lot of first-pitch outs. I know that helped me carry through the inning but we had good defense.”
He credited catcher Andy Mocahbee with calling a great game and formulating a solid game plan going into the game from the first pitch.
“He came in and really pounded the strike zone,” said Champions manager Sébastien Boucher about Chrismon. “He had good velo(city) tonight and had good control of his pitches.”
Shikoku Island are aggressive at the plate and tend to swing early, Boucher said, and that was something that Chrismon took advantage of.
Portelli drove in his third and fourth RBIs of the night in the bottom of the seventh with a line drive through the gap in left center that scored Maikol Gonzalez and Steve Brown. That put Ottawa up 7-0.
Boucher moved Portelli up in the batting order and the move has paid off over the last number of games. Portelli went 6-for-16 over the four-game series against Shikoku with two doubles, a home run and seven RBI.
“He’s selecting good pitches and he’s handling them,” said Boucher about what Portelli has been doing right lately. “He’s being more patient and seeing the pitch he wants to hit. He’s a guy who has really good bat control if he has the discipline and he’s seeing a lot of positive out of it.”
The Champions came out of the first inning with a 4-0 lead, getting RBIs from Steve Brown and Leonardo Reginatto. Portelli also crushed a two-run homer over the left field wall for his fourth dinger of the season.
The Champions won’t have much time to celebrate as they kick off a three-game series on Friday against the second-place Aigles at RCGT Park. Danny Garcia gets the start for Ottawa at 7:05 p.m.