23 May Spirited Comeback Falls Short
Thirteen Hits Not Enough As Miners Drop Opening Game to Ottawa
May 23, Ottawa, ON – A nine-run outburst by the Ottawa Titans in the third and fourth innings proved to be too much for the Sussex County Miners to overcome, as their comeback attempt that found the tying run at the plate in the ninth inning fell short in a 9-6 loss to the home side in the first of a three-game series in front of 1,375 fans at Ottawa Stadium.
Ottawa struck for all nine of their runs im the third and fourth innings against Griffin Baker. Baker had gone through the first two innings in good shape, including getting a sparkling defensive play from second baseman Willie Escala. But a long, twelve pitch battle with Manny Garcia may have set the next two innings up for Ottawa. Eight Titans would come to the plate in the fourth, and half of them would score courtesy of a two-run single by Jason Dicochea and a two-run double by Gabe Snyder to make it 4-0 Titans after three innings.
The fourth brought the rest of the Titans offense to the game, as a AJ Wright three-run home run made the score 7-2, and then another Snyder jolt – this time a two-run triple – made the score 9-2 and chased Baker with two outs in the fourth. Baker finished with three and two-thirds innings pitched in the contest.
The Miner bullpen would take over from there to keep Sussex County in the game. Billy Parsons and Matt Stil combined to go four and one-thirds innings, allowing just two hits and walking three, while striking out five Titans in keeping Ottawa off of the board.
The Miner claw-back started in the sixth inning with a Jason Agresti double, then a RBI double by Oraj Anu two batters later. Juan Santana followed that up with an RBI single to cut the Titan lead to 9-2. The seventh inning saw Edwin Mateo lead off with a solo home run as the frame’s only offense to make it 9-3 Titans. Three straight singles in the eighth inning, the last of which was a RBI base knock by Santana, chased reliever Nigel Calmes with the score 9-4 Ottawa. A Willie Escala sacrifice fly would then make the score 9-5 before the eighth would finish.
Agresti’s RBI single in the ninth would cut the Titan lead to 9-6 three batters into the ninth inning, but Ottawa reliever Nelson Gonzalez would settle down to get the final three outs – all with the tying run at the plate – to secure the win for the Titans.
Zac Westcott would go six innings for Ottawa to get the win, allowing two runs on seven hits. The Miners and Titans will resume their three-game series tomorrow night at 6:35 at Ottawa Stadium.