Garcia strikes out ten to lead Champions to 4-2 victory over Capitales
OTTAWA – The Ottawa Champions opened a three-game series against the Québec Capitales with a 4-2 win on Tuesday.
Champions pitcher Danny Garcia (1-1) struck out a season-high 10 batters over six innings, walking four and allowing one earned run on four hits. Zach Vennaro took over for Evan Rutckyj in the seventh inning and closed out the game for his first save of the season.
Garcia had his fastball working on the night, making the Capitales work for the hits they got.
“I was just working the inside part of the plate,” said Garcia. “Just getting guys with my fastball on both sides of the plate and finishing them off with my put-out pitch or creating weak contact.”
Champions manager Sébastien Boucher was happy with his reliever-turned-starter’s outing.
“He’s coming from a reliever kind of standpoint so he’s a max effort kind of pitcher,” said Boucher. “He still has to learn how to pace himself a bit and that kind of gets him into trouble early. But once he gets his groove, he gets going and he’s more comfortable and he was able to give us a solid start.”
Boucher said that if he gets six innings with only one run every day, he’ll be happy.
Ottawa extended their lead in the fifth after a sac fly from Brian Portelli that scored Leonardo Reginatto and an RBI single from Jordan Caillouet that hit Capitales pitcher Karl Gélinas in the foot. Gélinas was unable to find the ball in his feet in time to make the throw to home.
Steve Brown opened the scoring in the second inning after Caillouet grounded into a 4-3. The Capitales tied the game in the next inning after Garcia threw two consecutive wild pitches, allowing Michael Baca to advance to third and then score.
Caillouet went 2-for-4 with an RBI after working on his swing with Boucher earlier in the day.
“He’s a guy that’s been producing for us,” said Boucher, “He’s making adjustments and being more selective with pitches and it’s bearing fruit for him.”
Boucher said that his team is playing with a lot more confidence and emotion lately, which has led to the Champions going 7-3 over their last ten outings.
For the Capitales, Gélinas (1-4) registered six strikeouts over six innings, allowing four earned runs and walking two for the loss. Tyson Gillies and Rian Kiniry each had an RBI while Michael Baca scored two runs.
The two teams meet again at 7:05 p.m. tomorrow at RCGT Park.