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Boulders swept by New Jersey Jackals

Jackals took two straight from the Boulders.



The Rockland Boulders not only saw their five game winning streak come to an end, but were swept for the first time this season by the team they were victorious against in the Can-Am League Championship Series last season, the New Jersey Jackals.

In the first game of the series at Provident Bank Park, New Jersey won a wild affair, 10-8, that lasted almost four hours and saw both teams’ combine for 18 runs on 31 hits. Stephen Cardullo led the Boulders with four hits and four runs scored. Rockland took an initial 2-1 lead in the bottom of the 2nd on an RBI single from Marcus Nidiffer. The Jackals responded quickly tying the game up at 2-2 in the top of the 3rd on a towering home from Jamal Austin off Boulders starting pitcher Mike Dennhardt into the left field bleachers. Later in the inning with runners on 1st and 3rd, Jared Schlehuber crushed a drive off the top of the left field scoring Peter Mooney to give New Jersey the 3-2 lead.

The lead would grow to 7-3 in the top of the 5th courtesy of a 2-run blast off the bat of AJ Kirby-Jones. Rockland would chip away at the deficit in the bottom of the 6th on a RBI infielder’s choice from Charlie Law and RBI single by Steve Nyisztor. With the bases loaded for the 4th time, the Boulders were unable to muster any more runs as Ryan Fischer struck out to end the inning.

With New Jersey leading 8-5 in the top of the 7th, Leandro Castro cranked a solo shot on to the concourse in left field. Rockland quickly came back in the bottom half of the inning sparking by an RBI double by Giuseppe Papaccio and 2-run RBI single from Junior Arrojo. However, the inning ended on a sour not as Charlie Law ended up getting doubled up at 2nd on a fly ball hit to left field by Jared McDonald.

The Jackals relied on the long ball again for breathing room in the ninth as Peter Mooney clubbed a solo jack into the Short Porch in right field making the score 10-8.

“It was a struggle from the start and we were behind on everything,” said Manager Jaimie Keefe. “You can’t expect to give up 16 hits, be behind hitters and get no one out. We can’t be reckless on the base paths, have to know the situation and not take extra bases. Considering everything we still had a chance with the winning run on base in the ninth.”

In the rubber game of a short two-game set, New Jersey scored the first run of the game as they did the day before in the top of the 3rd on a bloop RBI double down the right field line from Jamal Austin. Peter Mooney followed with a lazy RBI single to right field making the score 2-0.

Rockland answered back in the bottom of the 4th as Joe Maloney lashed a RBI single past Mooney at shortstop into centerfield cutting the lead to 2-1. Giuseppe Papaccio’s sac fly to right field plated Steve Nyisztor tying the game up at 2-2.

Charlie Law cranked a solo home run into the right field bleachers in the bottom 5th giving the Boulders their first lead of the game 3-2. In the top of the 7th, Anthony Gomez led off with a deep double off the left field fence. Justin trap followed with a ground ball hit to Ryan Fischer but instead of getting the out at first, Fischer attempted to run Gomez back to second and eventually throw to first which went wide of the bag putting runners at 1st and 3rd with no outs. Marcus Jensen replaced starting pitcher Richard Salazar and gave up a sac fly hit by Jamal Austin as Gomez crossed the plate tying the game up at 3-3.

Leandro Castro broke the deadlock in the top of the 8th inning launching a majestic 2-run homer into the left field bleacher giving New Jersey a 5-3 advantage.

“Our defense made mistakes tonight and they capitalized on them.” said Keefe. “Offensively we had a couple of chances let get away we didn’t take care of.”

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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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