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Palladino and Montville help Boulders end three game losing skid

After struggling offensively against Sussex County, Rockland exploded for 17 hits en route to a big win against Trois-Rivieres at home.

The Rockland Boulders returned home on Friday night having tallied just two runs in the last 22 innings and eight hits in its previous two games. After being swept by the first place Sussex County Miners, Rockland stood six games behind the Miners in the Can-Am League as the Trois-Rivieres Aigles paid a visit to Palisades Credit Union Park.

The Boulders saw its three-game losing streak come to an end as they defeated Trios-Rivieres, 15-7.

Recently named Can-Am League pitcher of the week, Rockland starter David Palladino picked up where he left off early on. Facing a couple of jams, Palladino weaved in and out of them striking out back-to-back hitters in the first three innings of the contest.

“I knew coming in they were a tough hitting squad, and I played with a few of them,” said Palladino. “In the beginning, I got behind in the count so I had to go more to the off-speed pitches and against the game plan but we executed. Our catcher (Jason Agresti) called a hell of a game and blocked some key balls in the dirt with runners on second and third that could have turned into a bad situation.”

Unable to deliver clutch hits in the series at Sussex County, the Boulders capitalized in the third inning. With Kevin Krause at first base with two outs, Mikael Mogues (2 for 3, three runs) lofted a fly ball that dropped down the left field line, Krause showed no signs of letting up by motoring around the bases and sliding in safely at home. Mike Montville kept the inning going clubbing his sixth home run of the season into the right-center field bleachers. Montville ( 3 for 4, three runs scored and 4 RBI’s) was not done on this night driving in two more runs.

“The past two games we didn’t hit and capitalize, but we hit well tonight,” said Montville. “No one panicked which was a big part of it, and we have a good enough lineup and players. You get one guy on base and keep it rolling. We have guys who have been through it and understand how this works. No matter who comes in and out each day you have to come together as a team and put a good game together.”

The Aigles managed to trim the deficit to 4-3 in the fourth as David Glaude smashed a two-run shot into the Budweiser Short Porch in right field. However, Rockland had their hitting shoes on responding with two runs in the bottom half of the frame. In the fifth, the Boulders broke the game wide open with seven runs. The big inning was highlighted by JC Rodriguez’s (3 for 5) three-run laser into the Short Porch.

Palladino departed after the fifth inning. He allowed yielding three runs on seven hits, walked no one and struck out nine. The final totals were very impressive as Rockland (22-18) totaled 15 runs on 17 hits, cranked three home runs and seven doubles.

Manager Jamie Keefe on the victory: “Knocking the walls down and we haven’t done sh*t in three days and to come out and be aggressive at the part that is the big part. A good one and we needed it. Palladino set the tone for us, and it’s huge for us now. A good spot for him and he feels comfortable. Palladino just wants to win, and in a good situation with the Yankees, he got squeezed out. He is young and has to learn. He got his teeth kicked in early but now trusts his fastball.”

On Mike Montville’s performance: “He has been struggling plain and simple since day one. His RBI’s and runs scored are fine but his strikeouts are way up, and most importantly he’s not putting the ball in play. Good to see him put the ball in play every time tonight and knock in four runs and have three hits.”

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Sunil is the Rockland Boulders Beat Writer for DoubleGSports.com and also covers North Jersey High School Sports
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