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Boulders offense erupts in series sweep of Dominican Republic

Rockland Boulders Manager Jamie Keefe said when the offense is hot they are hot.

“Hitting is contagious, an old cliché and true,” the manager said. “When we’re clicking on all cylinders, we’re going to be tough to beat and I like the way is clicking.”

The Boulders have scored 56 runs during a four-game winning streak, including outscoring the Dominican Republic 45-5 in a three-game series sweep at Palisades Credit Union Park this past weekend. Led by Can-Am League Pointstreak Player of the Week ending June 17, Conrad Gregor hit .520 (13 for 25) with three home runs, four doubles and 10 RBI. Leading the team in home runs with 10 and league in RBI with 30, Cody Regis went 7-for-21 with nine RBI, nine runs scored and two home runs.

Throw into mix Mikael Mogues 5-for-13 with 10 RBI in the last four games with two home runs, Mike Montville 4-for-12 with six RBI in the last three games and three doubles. JC Rodriguez continues to set the table leading off, 7-for-19 in the series with seven RBI, seven runs scored and three doubles.

“It’s crazy, obviously a better start than I could have expected and feeling good at the plate and keep that good feeling as much as I can,” said Cody Regis. “We have some dangerous pieces in our lineup and knew that going in and took a little bit to hit our stride and looking good one through nine up and down the lineup.”

News broke on Saturday that starting pitcher Justin Topa’s contract had been sold to Texas Rangers and Topa would be reporting to Double-A. Topa finished his Boulders career with a 16-5 record, 3.54 ERA and 109 strikeouts. Adding a couple of new arms to the staff in Andy Lalonde out of Southern New Hampshire/St. Bonaventure and Frank Moscatiello from St. Thomas Aquinas. The starting pitching held its own in the series against the Dominican Republic, going the minimum five innings to earn the win while the bullpen was absolutely dominant hurling 11 shutout innings while striking out 13.

“The bullpen has been a bright spot for our pitching and have to figure out what our starting five is going to be,” Keefe said. “Losing Topa is never easy and might be losing another arm as well. That is why I do this job on an every day basis. Being able to bring guys into the clubhouse and tell them this happened there is no better feeling and he (Justin Topa) is getting an opportunity to perform and be in the rotation immediately and we’re excited for him and to get going  and have some success and see where it takes him.”

However, not all the news turned out to be positive as second baseman Jared McDonald sustained a gruesome hand injury in Saturday night’s 14-4 romp. While attempting to make a tag at second base, McDonald was spiked across the palm of his left hand.

“He has eight stitches and will be down for about three weeks, we will be lucky if we see him in mid July,” said Keefe.

Rockland now hits the road for three games versus the New Jersey Jackals at Yogi Berra Stadium in Montclair, New Jersey. The last time the teams’ faced off, the Boulders won two out of three but that was not the big story as the teams were involved a nasty bench-clearing brawl with New Jersey starting pitcher Mat Latos and Boulders starter Ryan Deemes throwing haymakers. The Jackals have won seven out of their last 10, hitting, 14-14 record, hitting .293 and have five hitters with a batting average above .300.

“I like the setup on the road for three and home for three so it’s going to be a good eye opener this next week and figure where we are at,” Keefe said. “A big stretch in front of us, 30 games in and four above .500 and huge for us. It’s been a tough go at these past couple of weeks but we have to weather the storm with the injuries. Hopefully we get healthy and get guys back in.”

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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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