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Boulders Losing Streak Reaches Three Games After Getting Swept by New Jersey

Having swiped eight out of ten games on the longest home stand in franchise history at 11 games, the Rockland Boulders faced off against the New Jersey Jackals in a three game series with two of the games taking place at Yogi Berra Stadium in Montclair, N.J.

In all three games, New Jersey wasted no time taking the lead, outscoring Rockland 11-0. The series opener at Palisades Credit Union Park ended up a slugfest with the teams’ combining for 23 runs, 28 hits and two errors. However, the Jackals came out on top 14-9 with left fielder Alfredo Marte the catalyst, going 5-for-6 at the dish and five RBI. Every player in the New Jersey lineup had at least one hit.

Leading the Can-Am League with 13 home runs and 65 RBI, Marte feasted on Boulders pitching, going 7-for-13 at the plate, two home runs, and ten RBI. Rockland had multiple opportunities in games two and three to score runs but ended up leaving 15 total runners on base in the series and tallying four total runs. The bright spots for the offense were Collin Ferguson, who went 4-for-9 with three RBI and four runs scored ,while Marcos Almonte went 3-for-11 with two RBI’s.

With the starting pitching unable to go at least five and six innings, the bullpen was dominant in 8 2/3 innings on the mound, allowing no runs, three hits, four walks, and striking out 14.

“Exactly why you win or lose series and you have to take advantage of the opportunities and we did not do that,” said manager Kevin Baez of the series. “They had a couple of opportunities and took advantage of it. We could have scored with men in scoring position and less than two outs but ended up hitting into a ground out or double play. A little frustrating because we were playing well. They got a good team, lineup, and make you pay when you give them extra outs and leave pitches up. Their pitchers were good and you have to give them credit. Our guys kept battling back, but you have to play more crisper against these better teams and [it’s] why they are in front of us for a reason. The bullpen kept it at bay and I didn’t have to use high leverage guys.”

Falling under the .500 mark to 32-35, the Boulders are in fourth place in the standings and 12.5 games behind the first place Sussex County Miners. Rockland continues the road trip with a three-game set at Quebec (25-41) this weekend. Last weekend, the Boulders took two out of three against the Capitales at home, including back-to-back walk-off victories.

“They made some adjustments, we won two games on walk-offs and they have a good team,” said Baez. “We have to come ready to play, can’t use any excuses about the long bus trip and ride, part of it and make best of it. We need to play better baseball, take it one game at a time and put this past us”

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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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