Jean-Pierre Allard checks in after witnessing the Ottawa Rapidz' first win, 9-4 over New Jersey last night at The Zip.
What a difference a day makes. Or a pitcher in the case of the Ottawa Rapidz.
The new Can-Am team used six hits and four walks to take a 4-0 lead in three innings against 28-year-old veteran Corwin Malone. The relievers that followed for the Jackals did not fare much better, allowing 10 more base hits in helping the home team record its first victory, a 9-4 win at Rapidz Stadium in front of 2,561 fans on Minor League ball night.
While this was well under the opening night crowd of 4,246, it nevertheless is a fair number given the circumstances.
Too bad there weren’t more fans that witnessed this highly energized and exciting game which featured a second excellent outing in a row by Ottawa’s starting pitcher. This time, Adam Hawes received some generous offensive support from his batters.
The 25-year-old righty pitched five innings and allowed three hits, one run and four walks while striking out four New Jersey batters, which, incidentally, were all consecutive. Gabe "Babe" Bergeron and Jose de los Santos led Ottawa with three hits each while Bergeron and Jereme Milons each had three RBI.
This game offered us a bit of everything. If you wanted to see some fielding, you got treated to some exciting defensive plays by the Rapidz, most notably Jereme Milons who made another great catch in left field, duplicating the one he had made on opening night and great throw from right field by Nick Trainor to cut down a runner at third base in the ninth inning, choking off a Jackals rally.
While the Rapidz are still looking for their first home run, former Lynx and current Jackal Ramon Nivar hit another monster jack that bounced on Coventry Rd. to go with his fifth-inning triple to dead center. Not to be outdone, Milons showed a mix of power and surprising speed for his size when he tripled to right-centrefield in the eighth inning to drive in Ottawa's final two runs.
In the third inning, there was Adam Hawes snaring a line drive off the bat of the same dangerous Nivar to offer us a little versatility after he had struck out the last four Jersey batters. Add to that a couple of hit-and -un situations that proved timely, a stolen base here, a few sound defensive plays in the infield there, even a mini rhubarb from coach and former Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Ed Ott getting ejected and everyone went home happy.
That is usually the main reason that makes fans want to come back as soon as possible to the ballpark. And which would be tonight folks, with forecast calling for warmer temperatures just as the Rapidz bats are getting hot and more offense is coming by way of newly acquired Pete Pirman, who is tentatively scheduled to be in the lineup tonight for the Rapidz Family Day.
Juan Done starts tonight for New Jersey vs. Rapids righty Orlando Trias. The Rapidz have French-language coverage on 104,7 FM out Gatineau; there's also a webcast at jackals.com.