Five Canadians on Ottawa Champions opening day roster

Phillippe Aumont (Gatineau, Que.) is one of five Canadians that will begin the season on the independent Can-Am League’s Ottawa Champions roster. Photo: Ottawa Champions

Phillippe Aumont (Gatineau, Que.) is one of five Canadians that will begin the season on the independent Can-Am League’s Ottawa Champions roster. Photo: Ottawa Champions

May 14, 2019

By Kavan Young

Ottawa Champions

OTTAWA - The Ottawa Champions open their season on Friday against the New Jersey Jackals with the most Canadian players on their opening day roster since the team’s inception in 2015.

Leading the Champions Canadian contingent is former 11th overall selection in the 2007 MLB Draft, Gatineau’s Phillippe Aumont. Aumont, 30, who also takes over pitching coach duties this season, threw a no-hitter during the 2017 season for the Champions, the only no-hitter in team history. The right-hander is back with the Champions after spending the 2018 season with the Detroit Tigers organization.

Aumont played parts of three seasons for the Philadelphia Phillies after being drafted by the Seattle Mariners. He is the third earliest Canadian pick (after Adam Loewen and Jeff Francis, both picked in 2002) as well as the first player born in Québec to be selected in the first round of the draft. Aumont is one of three Champions who captured gold for Canada at the 2015 Pan-Am Games.

Windsor, Ontario native Evan Rutckyj joins Aumont on the pitching staff. The 27-year-old lefty was a member of the Canadian Gold Medal winning team at the 2015 Pan Am Games held in Toronto.

Andrew Cooper, 26, also born in Windsor, was drafted in the 12th round by the Washington Nationals and played two years of A baseball in the South Atlantic League for the Hagerstown Suns. Cooper, like Aumont, is a member of the Champions pitching staff.

Toronto’s Malik Collymore, 24, drafted in the 10th round of the 2013 MLB draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, is a utility man capable of playing both infield and outfield positions.

New Westminster’s Jared Mortensen, 30, a member of the Champions pitching staff, played three seasons of double-A baseball for the Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Rays). Mortensen has five starts in triple-A baseball and, along with Rutckyj, was also a member of the Canadian gold medal team at the 2015 Pan Am Games.

The Champions will host the Trois-Rivières Aigles in the team’s final exhibition game Wednesday, May 15 at 1:00 p.m. at RCGT Park.