Boulders drop series to Trois-Rivieres
After a couple of days off due to rain and field cancellations, the Rockland Boulders returned to action taking on the Trois-Rivieres Aigles in a three game series at Palisades Credit Union Park. Recently, the Boulders roster has changed dramatically with third baseman John Brontsema out for the season with a fractured hand, Ryne Birk on the disabled list with an oblique injury and Katsuya Senoo going back to Japan. That has forced the front office and Manager Kevin Baez to sign a number of players.
Having to play a twin bill on Saturday night, Rockland managed a split winning game 1 in a nine-inning affair that took nearly three hours to complete. Blake Grant-Parks and newcomer Steve Figueroa each had two hits apiece. Starting pitcher Luis Cedeno turned in another strong performance on the mound allowing one on three hits in five innings while striking out eight. Richie Feteau and Matt Oberste tied the game up in the sixth with back-to-back home runs. Fecteau crushing his team leading 15th of the season while Oberste swatted his 12th.
A wild ending ensued in the ninth inning with pitcher Zach Jemiola scoring on a wild pitch uncorked by Garrett Mundell tying the game up at 3-3. Marcos Almonte followed grounding out to third base. Aigles first baseman fired to third base as Chase Harris took off from second base but the throw skipped by Taylor Brennan. Recognizing what occurred Harris sprinted towards home plate and slid in as the umpired ruled interference in Brennan impeding Harris base running at third base thus ending the ball game.
In the nightcap the Boulders were unable to get anything going against Bob Barker who tossed five shutout innings while fanning nine. Boulders starter Edgar De La Rosa hurled six innings while whiffing seven but was tagged by the long ball as the Aigles hit two of them over the wall. Rockland’s offense stymied once again, this time by Garrett Harris yielding just one run on five hits in six innings while striking out eight.
The Aigles wasted no time jumping out to an early advantage in the series finale against Edilson Alvarez, scoring four times in the first four innings of play. Trois-Rivieres continued to swing the hot bat in bashing two more home runs en route to the 8-1 victory.
Manager Kevin Baez on the series, “Their pitching was very good in this series. They keep coming after you with those good arms and this game we couldn’t put anything together. (Edilson) Alvarez pitched better than his line showed, a two-out home run and walk. They have a good lineup and pitching and why they are in second place.”
“We know Birk and Brontsema are not here but other guys have to step up right now. We stuck by Richie throughout the year, he didn’t play consistently for the most part but now getting his opportunities now and taking advantage of it. Oberste has been outstanding since he came back. The Saturday game was electric here, atmosphere outstanding and to get a walk-off win and fireworks.”
After a day-off on Monday, the Boulders travel up to Canada facing off against the Ottawa Champions in a three-game set at RCGT Park. Currently Rockland has a record of 41-46 and in the fourth place in the Can-Am League standings and five and half games ahead of Ottawa. The magic number for the Boulders to clinch a sixth consecutive trip to the playoffs is at two games.
“We’re in a good position obviously and go out there and play good baseball against Ottawa and relax for the next couple of days,” said Baez. “First you have to get in, once we get in anything can happen. I have been on two teams’ where we had no chance to win and another where we we’re supposed to win and didn’t. You don’t know how you are going to respond to the atmosphere and intensity and who is going to slow it down and when you usually do where you have more success but we have to get in and hopefully do and go from there.”
Sunil Sunder Raj
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