Champions Fall Out of Playoff Race with Loss to Rockland
By Mike Pattison
Photo: Marc Lafleur
Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Champions' playoffs hopes were sunk after suffering an 8-1 loss to the Rockland Boulders on Saturday night.
The loss along with a Sussex County win officially eliminated the Champions from playoff contention.
"It's been a frustrating season," said Hal Lanier, the Champions manager. "We were just not consistent throughout the whole season."
The Boulders put up runs in a hurry and did not allow the Champions to build up any momentum in their must-win scenario.
After an early run in the first, the Boulders tacked on three more in the second to take a commanding 4-0 lead.
Mike Fransoso, who was the first run of the ballgame, drove in a pair of runners with a two-RBI triple. He then scored again on a sac fly from Dylan Tice.
Homerun king Joe Maloney showed off his power in the fifth inning with a two-run blast that reached Coventry Road behind the stadium. His 34th homerun of the season handed the Boulders a 6-0 lead.
That was all for Daniel Cordero (L, 8-6) as he was pulled after the homerun. It was not a typical Cordero outing, allowing six earned runs on eight hits.
"Cordero did not have his good stuff and when you face quality hitters you have to make quality pitches. He did not do that tonight," said Lanier on his starter.
The Champions were completely held off the scoreboard until the bottom half of the fifth where they finally connected for their first hit.
That was the kind of ballgame Markus Solbach (W, 11-4) threw on Saturday night. He went six shutout innings while limiting the Champions to two hits over that span. He also struck out nine batters during his start.
Jared Price was solid out of the bullpen for Ottawa. He threw 2.2 innings of shutout ball while striking out six batters.
Sebastien Boucher provided the first run for the Champions in the series as he launched a solo shot over the left field wall.
Unfortunately, that's all the Champions could muster up as the Rockland bullpen shut them down the rest of the way.
"We want to tend up on a good note, whether we win one or win both of them," said Lanier on finishing this season strong.
The Champions will resume action on Sunday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 1:35pm.