Ottawa, ON – It took all of 2:12 for the Ottawa Titans (6-4) to put a bow on their home opener festivities, piggybacked by eight shutout innings from Evan Grills (win, 1-0) to defeat the Evansville Otters 2-0 on Tuesday night.
After the Whitby native walked the leadoff man, a throwing error and a stolen base had Andy Armstrong just 90 feet away for the potential ice-breaking run in the first. Grills settled in and got the meat of the Otters’ order to keep the game scoreless after a half-inning.
It took back-to-back walks in the bottom half for the Titans to find their stride after Sunday’s heartbreaking loss in Florence, as Rodrigo Orozco and AJ Wright drew one-out walks for Jacob Sanford. The Dartmouth native battled his way to a two and two count against Otters starter Parker Brahms (loss, 1-1) and roped a double to the right-field corner to plate the eventual winning run.
AJ Wright provided more heroics in the third with a solo blast over the left-centre fence to add to the lead. The Cherry Hill native is now riding a seven-game hitting streak and is 12 for his last 29.
From the second through the sixth, Grills struck out 12 of a possible 16 batters to shatter a Titans single-game record for punchouts. The veteran ended up going eight shutout innings, allowing three hits, walking two, and punching out 15.
As the Titans’ bats cooled off in the middle-to-late innings, Will Zimmerman hit a lead-off triple in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to nine.
Kevin Escorcia relieved Grills in the ninth and only needed five pitches to pickup the save.
The Ottawa Titans continue their inaugural six-game homestand on Wednesday night against the Evansville Otters at Ottawa Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m as Tyler Jandron takes the hill.
For information on Ottawa Titans’ 2022 season tickets, group outings, and 8-game mini packs, visit the Titans’ official website at www.ottawatitans.com.