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Boulders Conclude Homestand, take 3 of 4 against Ottawa


The Rockland Boulders continued to roll along taking 3 out of 4 games from the Ottawa Champions wrapping up their home stand at 6-2.

On Memorial Day, the Boulders swept a doubleheader erupting for 30 runs on 34 hits.

Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the 2nd inning, Jared McDonald made Ottawa starting pitcher Drew Cisco work fouling off 13 pitches in a row before lining a 2-run single into center field giving Rockland a 4-3 lead.

The wheels came off at that point as the Boulders scored seven more times to conclude a 10-run inning.

Marcus Nidiffer produced a patented home run on to the concourse. McDonald added a solo homer in the bottom of the 3rd while Joe Maloney also went deep in the same inning.

Starting pitcher Bo lasted five innings giving up six runs on four hits while walking four and striking out five to pick up his first win of the season.

“We took advantage of the mistakes made by Cisco, swung the bats well and put the ball in play” said Manager Jamie Keefe” “We ran the bases exceptionally well and best base running all year long” added Keefe.

“When your team puts up 17 runs you have to just do what you can,” said Bo Budkevics. “It was good to come out and swing the bats after taking a break on Sunday” said Jared McDonald. “I’m just trying to put the ball in play and help out the team anyway I can” added McDonald. “We have great hitters one through nine”

In Game 2 of the twin bill, the Boulders found themselves in a 4-1 hole entering the bottom of the 5th but once again the bats came alive scoring 10 runs for a 2nd time in as many games to take an insurmountable 11-4 lead. Ryan Fisher hammered a bases loaded double of the top of the right centerfield wall to give Rockland a 5-4 advantage. JD Reinbach went five innings yielding four runs on seven innings while striking out three and walking one to pick up the victory. Steve Nyisztor collected four hits while driving in three runs.

“They swung it early (Ottawa) but JD threw the ball well but was up in the zone but got some control in the later innings” said Manager Jamie Keefe. “A pretty memorable Memorial Day scoring 30 runs in 14 innings,” added Keefe.

“We have the momentum and got to keep it going,” said Marcus Nidiffer. “We have to get the pitchers to throw strikes and guys to play defense which they have been doing,” added Nidiffer.

“Everybody is playing well as the pitching and hitting is there,” said Steve Nyisztor. “There is so much talent and when it’s put together we’re a tough team to beat,” added Nyisztor. “All it takes is one or two guys to get the rally going and everyone follows behind in line”

The Boulders raced out to an early 5-0 in Game 3 punctuated by a Marcus Nidiffer grand slam on to the concourse in left field. Can-Am League player of the week Joe Maloney drove in his 10th RBI of the season with a line drive single in the bottom of the 5th. Ottawa did make things interesting in the 9th inning on a grand slam off the bat of Matt Tenaglia. However, Luis Sanz shut the door on the Champions getting the final three outs to notch his 2nd save of the season. Richard Salazar tossed five shutout innings while scattering two hits, walking one and striking out nine. Salazar has 17 strikeouts in two games.

“It was a team win as I got the support offensively and defensively,” said Richard Salazar. “I am locked in right now and on the same page with Marcus” added Salazar. “It’s just a matter of being consistent and not giving the hitters time to think”

“Richard controlled the game from the first pitch of the game,” said Manager Jamie Keefe. “We had a couple of good at bats to get runners in scoring position” added Keefe.

In the rubber game of the series, Ottawa pounded Boulders starting pitcher Stephen Harrold in the 3rd inning launching back-to-back-to-back home runs from Jon Talley, Francisco Sosa and Bryce Massanari to take a 6-0 lead. The Champions cranked out two more homers to boost their advantage to 10-1 in the 5th inning.

Rockland refused to go away quietly as they chipped away at the deficit scoring twice in fifth, three times in the 7th and two more in the 8th but with runners on 2nd and 3rd Giuseppe Papaccio lined out to 2nd base to end the inning. The Boulders squandered several scoring opportunities leaving 11 runners on base.

“The bottom line is Stephen came out and pitched behind batters all night long plus leaving pitches over the plate” said Manager Jamie Keefe. “I am going to take a lot of positives out of this game as we came back and fought well,” added Keefe. “We gave it everything we could but just not good enough” “We’re not going to complain as we went 6-2 on the home stand and played some great baseball”

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Since July of 2014 Sunil Sunder Raj has been with In The Zone. Sunil has experience covering minor league baseball, high school and college sports. A beat writer for the Rockland Boulders for six years, Ramapo College men’s basketball for four years, NJIT men’s basketball and Seton Hall women’s basketball. Now focusing on feature articles about athletes, coaches and sports media professionals. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
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