Boulders Capture First Can-Am League Pennant
Last week the Rockland Boulders clinched their first playoff berth and today won their first Can-Am League pennant with a resounding 7-3 win over the New Jersey Jackals 7-3 in the regular season finale at Provident Bank Park. Starting Rockland pitcher Greg Terhune(3-6) pitched a strong game yielding one run while scattering three hits over six innings.
New Jersey took the first lead of the game in the 2nd inning on a titanic blast off the bat of Joe Dunigan that hit on top of the awning in the short right field porch. In the top of the 3rd, the Jackals put runners on second and third with one out but Terhune worked out of the jam getting Jose Cuevas and Jorge Cortes to end the inning.
“That was the turning point of the game Terhune stated after the game.” “I knew if I threw up a zero it would be good from that point on.” Terhune commented on the Boulders relief pitching. “We have the best bullpen in the league because they can shut it down.”
Boulders catcher Marcus Nidiffer led off the bottom half of the third getting hit by a pitch. Nidiffer advanced to second on a passed ball. Matt Nandin followed with a walk. Centerfielder Andrea DeJesus became the 2nd Rockland batter of the inning to get plunked by a Zach Staniewicz(1-1) pitch. Next stepped up Ryan Stovall who grounded a ball to Jackals shortstop Steve Nikorak. Nikorak threw to Cuevas to record the out but on the relay throw skipped by the first baseman Jon Talley allowing Niddifer and Nandin to score giving Rockland a 2-1 lead.
In the 5th inning, Nidiffer led off with a line drive single followed by a walk to Arrojo. Matt Nandin lashed a double into the left center field gap extending the lead to 4-1. DeJesus looped a double down the third base line driving in Nandin for a 5-1 advantage. Nandin added to his RBI total in the 6th inning ripping a single back up the middle bringing in Giuseppe Papaccio who led off with the inning with a double.
“No matter what the lead is we find a way to get runners in scoring position and get the big hits when we needed to , Nandin commented after the game.”
Dunigan clubbed his 2nd home run of the game off Nathaniel Roe who took over for Terhune to start the 7th, a majestic shot on to the concourse in the right field. Fray Martinez came into pitch the 9th. Jackals third baseman Jermey Barnes led off with a double into the right field center gap followed by a Dunigan single. However, Martinez got Nikorak to hit into a double play. Barnes scored from 3rd on the play making the score 7-3. Talley flied out to end the game setting off a wild and jubilant celebration by Boulders coaches and players on the field.
Boulders Manager Jamie Keefe commented winning the pennant. “Being league champs is not an easy feat” “Awesome it comes down to the last nine innings of the regular season to figure out who is going to be the regular season champs.” “These guys have stepped up and performed when it counts.” “A great feeling but it’s not over yet as we still have 4 W’s to accomplish.”
Game 1 of the Can-Am League Championship series is on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at Yogi Berra Stadium in Montclair, New Jersey.
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