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Boulders roll past Trois-Rivières 10-2

Fresh off a dramatic walk-off victory over the Trois-Rivières Aigles on Tuesday night, the Rockland Boulders returned to the playing field at Palisades Credit Union Park not even 12 hours later.

Kagen Hopkins received the starting assignment, despite yielding a run in the first inning, Rockland’s offense responded immediately in the bottom half of the frame  as the red hot Conor Bierfeldt continued his monstrous tear, hammering an RBI double off the middle of the left center wall as JC Rodriguez scored all the way from first base.

“Conor brings a bigger attitude to this team and a lot of experience,” said Manager Jamie Keefe. “The kid just wants to win and he does what he has to do to win baseball games. A great defender, probably fastest guy on the team and runs really well for a big man. He is very aggressive that is big for him and plays really here. He brings a lot to this lineup.”

In the second, Jared McDonald smacked a two out double down the field right field line. What ended up as the game winning hit and run in the contest, Rodriguez roped a single to center, McDonald digging around third base and on the way to home plate side-stepped catcher Anthony Hermelyn to touch home plate.

The Boulders kept pounding away on Aigles starter Kramer Sneed, tacking on two additional runs in the third that would knock Sneed out of the game after the inning ended. Meanwhile, Hopkins shellacked in a prior meeting against Trois-Rivières on May 25 surrendering seven runs on seven hits in just one inning on the mound, meant business this time retiring 12 hitters in a row at one point.

“Kagen was given a new life after these two starts and hats off to him he did really well. There is a reason he is here, an inning-eater his whole career, high pitch count that is okay because he doesn’t throw super hard and not 91 or 93 but at 82 to 86 and mixes up his pitches well. He is a fly ball guy and plays well here if you keep the ball in the middle of the ball park.”

“I have said it for 19 games these starters have to step up and throw 120 pitches, even if it’s for four innings and only have to use two guys in a game and first time we did it all season.”

Bierfeldt showed no signs of letting up, slugging his second home run in the last three games in the fourth, a mammoth blast that nearly cleared the left field concourse walk way. The hero in Tuesday night’s victory with a walk-off single in the ninth, Cody Regis joined the home run party bashing a two-run shot into the Budweiser Short Porch in right field in the sixth. Regis’s team-leading 7th homer of the year and increased his RBI total to 18.

Bierfeldt capped off the impressive performance driving in third run of the game with a single in the eighth. In his last three games, Bierfeldt is eight for 14 with two home runs, seven RBI, three doubles and four runs scored. Having banged out 16 hits the night before; the Boulders racked up 14 while tallying 39 runs in their last five games.

Hopkins displayed no signs of fatigue on this day, tossing 117 pitches in eight innings on the hill scattering two runs on four hits while walking three and striking out three. Marc Huberman came on in the ninth and threw a spotless frame to preserve Hopkins’s first win in a Boulders uniform.

On Thursday night, Rockland has an opportunity to even the season series with a win and reach the .500 mark for the first time in almost two weeks.

“We just have to continue to go out there and throw the ball well, play good defense and offense will take care of itself,” said Keefe.

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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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