Boulders drop 4th game in a row
After getting swept at Trois-Rivières this past weekend, the Rockland Boulders looked to snap a three-game losing slide by venturing up to Quebec for a four-game series. Last week at Palisades Credit Union Park, Rockland enjoyed success against the defending 2017 Can-Am League Champions by taking two out of three games.
However, Manager Jamie Keefe would be forced to shuffle the deck with the roster and starting lineup due to newly signed second baseman Rylan Sandoval sustaining broken fibula that would keep Sandoval out of action for eight weeks. In addition, the Boulders signed Conor Bierfeldt and playing left field in game one of the series against the Capitales. McDonald ended up shifting from left field to second base.
“He’s (Jared McDonald) been an infielder his whole life and was signed as a shortstop so we are trying to change things up and gives us a different look on the turf,” said Keefe. “We’re trying to get as much offense on the field as we can. Conor (Bierfeldt) is a former Oriole prospect that spent last year with New Britain in the Atlantic League and plays left and right field.”
Tommy Lawrence got the starting assignment on Monday night. After a spotless first inning, Quebec started the second swatting three consecutive doubles in a row that led to two runs. It would not get any better as Lawrence plunked Stephen Gaylor to load up the bases, Lawrence ended up walking the next batter Brad Antchak forcing in a run.
Yordan Manduley extended Quebec’s lead drilling a two-run single back up the middle into center field. With the Capitales packing the bases for a second time in the inning, Lawrence avoided further damage retiring the last two hitters.
In game one of a doubleheader last week at Palisades Credit Union Park, Rockland scored twice off Quebec starter Karl Gelinas on three hits including a Cody Regis home run. This time around would be different with Gelinas tossing six innings, surrendering just one run on six hits, walking one and striking out six.
“Tommy (Lawrence) gave up five in the second and threw 100 pitches through four innings,” Keefe said. “We haven’t had any timely hitting and have played behind all week. A tough way to win baseball games and we need a good start out of (Travis) Hissong tomorrow and get on the board early.”
On the flipside the bullpen trio of Nick Kennedy, Marc Huberman and Kyle Hansen kept Quebec off the scoreboard the rest of way while yielding just three hits. Catcher Alex Herceg had a productive night at the plate going 2 for 4 and scoring two runs. After just barely hitting his first home of the season leading off the fifth, a ball that bounced off the top of the left center field wall and back into play as Herceg settled for a double.
With one out in the seventh, Herceg cashed in finally crushing a solo laser over the left field wall off relief pitcher Jay Johnson. That would be as close as the Boulders (4-7) would get the rest of the way as Johnson retired the last hitter in the inning and combination of Will Dennis and Trevor Bayless set down the last six batters.