Ottawa, ON – Opening up a 10-game home stand, the Ottawa Titans (47-38) dropped a pair in a twin bill to the Tri-City ValleyCats on Tuesday night.
Game 1 – Tri-City 6, Ottawa 1
Brad Zunica belted a grand slam with one out in the top of the third off Chris Burica (loss, 7-6), giving the ValleyCats a decisive lead.
Austin Faith (win, 2-2) retired the first six he faced in the opener before Jake Sanford led off the bottom of the third with a walk. Another free pass and a single loaded the bases, as Jason Dicochea drew the third walk of the inning to bring in a run.
Ahead 4-1, Cito Culver added to the lead with a solo shot to left-centre, restoring the four-run ValleyCat lead.
Burica would finish after five, allowing five runs, on seven hits, walking five, and striking out four in the loss. Faith would get the hook after four and a third of one-run ball.
After two reached in the bottom of the fifth, Adam Hofacket (save, 1) walked Tyrus Greene, as the Titans loaded the bases. The righty got Brendon Dadson to line out to second, ending the threat.
Brantley Bell capped off a 4-for-4 night with an RBI single off Matt Terrones in the sixth, making it 6-1.
Game 2 – Tri-City 7, Ottawa 1
Jason Dicochea put the Titans ahead early in the nightcap, scoring AJ Wright with an RBI groundout in the bottom of the first.
The first inning run allowed by lefty Ryan Williamson (win, 4-4) would be the lone marker he’d allow, on route to the victory.
Brantley Bell tied the game with an RBI double off Jose Taveras (loss, 6-2) in the top of the third. Bell would later score on an E2, as Carson McCusker cashed in Denis Phipps with an RBI groundout.
Pavin Parks brought in a pair of leadoff hits to make it 5-3 with a double. The ValleyCats did not let up, sending nine to the plate with McCusker bringing another home with a bases-loaded walk.
Taveras left after three innings, allowing five runs, on six hits, walking one, and striking out two. Matt Valin, Nelson Gonzalez, Grant Larson, Gavin Sonnier, and Matt Terrones combined to finish the night on the mound.
McCusker led off the seventh with the last of the ValleyCats’ seven two-baggers on the night. Jace Mercer cashed in McCusker with a sacrifice fly, making it 7-1.
Trey Cochran-Gill finished the job out of the bullpen, allowing a hit and nothing more to preserve the victory.
With the losses, the Titans find themselves two games back of the final playoff spot in the East Division, with 11 games to go.
The Titans continue a 10-game homestand with the third of a four-game set on Wednesday night against the Tri-City ValleyCats at 6:30 p.m. from Ottawa Stadium. All the action can be heard locally on CKDJ 107.9 and 94,5 Unique FM, while also being available worldwide at CKDJ.net and uniquefm.ca.
For information on Ottawa Titans’ 2022 season tickets, group outings, and 8-game mini packs, visit the Titans’ official website at www.ottawatitans.com.