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Boulders Drop Three-Game Set at Trois-Rivières, Lose 5-0

On Saturday night at Stade Stéréo +, the Rockland Boulders certainly got off to great start by jumping out to a 5-2 advantage and slugging three home runs. However, ineffective pitching from the starters and bullpen were unable to hold a lead, as the Aigles won handily 16-7 in a game that lasted three hours and forty minutes. An overall frustrating night hit a crescendo as manager Jamie Keefe was ejected from the game after the home plate umpire ruling on catcher’s interference in the fourth inning.

Looking to wipe the bad taste of Saturday’s pummeling, Keefe turned to starting pitcher Ryan Deemes to right the ship. In his last start that came in Game One of a doubleheader against Quebec at Palisades Credit Union Park on May 23rd, Deemes sparkled on the mound, spinning four innings while allowing one run on five hits, where he eventually departed with a no decision. Deemes picked up where he left off, retiring eight in a row at one point including striking out the side in the second.

“A quality start when we needed one drastically, especially heading up to Quebec and we needed some help to stay out of that bullpen,” said Keefe. “Ryan [Deemes] really sucked it up today and pitched well for us.”

The Boulders wasted a couple of prime scoring opportunities in the contest. The best one came with runners on first and second in the fourth. Mikael Mogues hit a sharp ground ball that headed for right field but second baseman David Glaude trapped the ball and fired a strike towards home as Cody Regis attempted to score. However, catcher Anthony Hermelyn applied the tag in time.

In the bottom half of the frame, Trois-Rivières third baseman Taylor Brennan broke the deadlock with an RBI single to left field. Aigles starting pitcher Matthew Rusch stymied Rockland for 5 2/3 shutout innings on four hits, whiffing six and walking three. Alexi Colon added to the lead with an RBI double in the sixth.

“A shame we couldn’t get him [Ryan Deemes] any runs but Matt Rusch back for a year number 9 or something and did a fantastic job,” Keefe said. “We had our opportunities but didn’t capitalize and came back to bite us. You have to press the issue against Rusch and we tried to do that as much as we could on Mogues ball and Regis trying to score and if he [David Glaude] throws it away, [we] don’t what happens if one or two runs score.”

Deemes(0-1) exited the game after six innings, surrendering two runs, one of them earned on five hits, one walk and eight strikeouts. Matt Kostalos entered the game and Aigles went to work immediately, tagging Kostalos for three runs to seal the 5-0 shutout victory.

“At the end of the day, a tough weekend, we learned a lot about our team and their team,” said Keefe. “We’re ten games in and [we’re] going to take a deep breath, get out of here and head North up to Quebec…We squared the ball up all weekend and last thing we’re worried is about hitting. We won 60 plus games last season without getting shutout and really hit the ball hard today and [we’re] going to be just fine.

“We need these starters to stretch it out a little bit so we can keep the bullpen live right now. Some guys have under performed and over performed and starting to equal out.”

Last week at Palisades Credit Union Park, the Boulders(4-6) took 2 out of 3 games from the Capitales(6-4). Keefe recognizes the fact it’s going to be a lot tougher playing at Stade Canac, Quebec.

“A different animal up there and they are going to be a lot tougher to play because we are at their place,” said Keefe. “These guys have to know it’s not easy playing anywhere up here, Ottawa, Quebec or Trois-Rivières. You have to play 9 innings really hard and all 27 outs…

“We have an opportunity to win this series, take three out of four and go home. If not, it’s going to be a struggle and we want that opportunity to go out there and throw strikes and play defense and if we do that we’re going to hit and win.”

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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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