On the second night of baseball action in the Frontier League, the Joliet Slammers, who were already charged with a loss on the season, hosted the Ottawa Titans, who were playing their season opener. In a game filled with offence, it came down to who could hold onto their lead, and after nine innings of high-leverage situations, the Titans came out on top 10-6.
It’s been nearly 600 days since the Ottawa Titans were announced as an expansion team in the Frontier League. Between then and now, there’s been nothing but uncertainty. COVID-19 ran rampant, the Titans missed the entire 2021 season, and their once manager left without ever seeing a game played in Ottawa, but finally, they hit the field for their first game in franchise history, in Joliet against the Slammers.
Friday the 13th couldn’t stand in the way of numerous key milestones in the young franchise’s history. Some of the noteworthy firsts that fell in Joliet included the team’s first-ever hit, going to Clay Fisher, the first strikeout, notched by Zac Westcott, the team’s first home run, hit but Jason Dicochea, and of course, the first win.
At times in this game, it looked like the Slammers could take over, especially in the first inning. After a scoreless top half of the first, Joliet got on the sticks quickly, scoring a pair of runs courtesy of Carson Maxwell and Luke Mangieri. As the Slammers continued to threaten to score more, Westcott finally got out of the inning with a double play, and much like their final two preseason games, Ottawa was going to have to come from behind if they wanted to win the game.
The Titans immediately began their response in the second inning, when Dicochea launched his first home run of the season. A few batters later, Jacob Talamante cashed in AJ Wright with a sacrifice fly, and just like that, the Titans were back level with the Slammers. Ottawa and Joliet traded runs in the third and fourth inning, but the Titans stretched their legs in the fifth.
Ottawa scratched across four runs, thanks to RBIs from Tyrus Greene, Dicochea, Brandon Dadson, and Wright. Holding a 7-3 lead, Westcott took the hill and gave up his second home run of the night. Slammers outfielder Scott Holzwasser blasted a two-run shot into right field, and closed the gap to just two runs.
The narrowed lead didn’t disturb the Titans at all, however, and they once again scored a bundle of runs in the sixth inning. RBIs from Fisher, Greene, and Dadson gave Ottawa a comfortable 10-5 lead. Although Joliet would score again, closing the gap to four, Ottawa held on, convincingly winning their first game in franchise history.
Titans’ manager Bobby Brown will be pleased with his team, as they scored 10 runs on just 11 hits. Dicochea hit just about everything he saw in the game, getting three hits, scoring three runs, and driving in two more. On the mound, Westcott pitched five innings, where he allowed five runs on nine hits, while striking out four and walking two.
Out of the bullpen, Gavin Sonnier and Grant Larson tossed a combined four innings, allowing just one hit and one run. Their efforts helped the Titans close down the night, and slowed down a Slammers offence that was going toe-to-toe with the Titans.
These two teams will meet once again on Saturday evening at 7:05 pm ET. The Titans look to put together their first win streak of the season, and the Slammers look to avoid a 0-3 start to their season.
Elsewhere in the Frontier League
Scores – May 13th, 2022
|Empire State Greys (0)||Gateway Grizzlies (13)|
|Quebec Capitales (7)||Windy City Thunderbolts (4)|
|Trois-Rivières Aigles (7)||Lake Erie Crushers (4)|
|Schaumburg Boomers (1)||Sussex County Miners (7)|
|Tri-City ValleyCats (1)||Florence Y’alls (7)|
|New York Boulders (0)||Washington Wild Things (11)|
|New Jersey Jackals (9)||Evansville Otters (5)|
|Ottawa Titans (10)||Joliet Slammers (6)|
Standings – May 13th, 2022
|West Division||East Division|
|Gateway Grizzlies (1-0)||Sussex County Miners (2-0)|
|Washington Wild Things (1-0)||New Jersey Jackals (1-0)|
|Florence Y’alls (1-1)||Ottawa Titans (1-0)|
|Windy City ThunderBolts (1-1)||Quebec Capitales (1-0)|
|Lake Erie Crushers (0-1)||Trois-Rivières Aigles (1-0)|
|Evansville Otters (0-1)||Tri-City ValleyCats (0-1)|
|Schaumburg Boomers (0-1)||Empire State Greys (0-1)|
|Joliet Slammers (0-2)||New York Boulders (0-2)|
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