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Frustrations boil over for Boulders in 6-2 loss to Quebec in Game 3

After tying up the series 1-1 with a dominating 21-1 victory over the Quebec Capitales at Palisades Credit Union Park on Thursday night, the Rockland Boulders looked to build upon that momentum in Game 3 at Stade Canac on Friday night. It looked as though the Boulders would catch a break with Quebec starter Karl Gelinas scratched from the game.

Replacing Gelinas on the mound would be Lazaro Blanco but Blanco would stymy the Boulders on this night striking out 10 in 7 innings on the mound. After falling behind 1-0 in the first on a sac fly from Zach Wilson, Rockland had a golden scoring opportunity with runners at first & second none out. However, Blanco managed to weave out of the jam by retiring the next three hitters he faced.

In the fourth, Kevin Krause belted a one out double and moved over to third on a ground out by Cody Regis. The Boulders caught a break as Blanco uncorked a wild pitch allowing Krause to come into score. Kalian Sams made sure the tie would not last long crushing a titanic solo shot deep over the left field wall in the fourth.

The back and forth action continued in the fifth with Reggie Wilson (2 for 3, 1 run scored) leading off the fifth hammering a double off the base of the right field wall. Wilson would eventually move to third on a ground out by Rylan Sandoval. Rockland managed to capitalize on another miscue by Quebec as Conrad Gregor hit a ground ball that was booted by second baseman TJ White enabling Wilson to cross home plate.

Boulders starting pitcher Nick Sarianides ran into a tight spot in the sixth walking the first two hitters he faced and committing an error on an infield hit by Nick Van Stratten. Wilson drove in his second run of the game drilling a one out single to left field. Sarianides escaped further damage thanks to a terrific defensive play by left field Mike Montville on a fly ball hit by Sams and doubling up Yordan Manduley at third base.

However, frustrations started to boil over in the sixth as the Capitales loaded up the bases for the third time. With runners at first and second two outs, Sarianides issued a free pass to Adam Ehrlich. Annoyed with home plate umpire Kevin Scholz strike zone, Rockland manager Jamie Keefe came out to argue voicerferously but was eventually ejected from the game by Scholz.

The wheels would come off further as Sarianides walked pinch hitter David Salgueiro and Manduley forcing in two additional runs. Despite being replaced by Frank Moscatiello on the hill, Sarianides voiced his displeasure with Scholz about the strike zone Boulders hitters faced in the seventh leading to his departure from the dugout. Rockland was unable to mount any offensive pressure the remainder of the game against Quebec relievers Will Dennis and Trevor Bayless with Bayless striking out Conor Bierfeldt to end the game.

“Tough one for sure, two teams’ battled out and you know it ends up a 6-2 game,” said Keefe. “Should have been a 3-2 game heading into the seventh but it wasn’t.”

Now the Boulders face a win or go home situation on Saturday night with first pitch slated for 6:05 p.m. and Karl Gelinas on the mound. Two years ago Rockland had to face three elimination games against Quebec in the first round of the playoffs, rallying from an 0-2 deficit and winning Game 5 on a walk-off single by Mike Fransoso in the ninth inning at Palisades Credit Union Park.

“Game 4, backs against the wall, same way we have played the last month of the season,” Keefe said. “We’ll come out of our corner swinging, Gelinas with a chance to clinch it and way they want it. Time to ruin the party and send it (Game 5) to tomorrow night.”

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Sunil Sunder Raj

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