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Boulders take 2 of 3 from Jackals



Despite a 6 inning rain-shortened game on Sunday and postponement on Monday, the Rockland Boulders put an end to a 2-game slide taking 2 of 3 games against the New Jersey Jackals this past weekend at Yogi Berra Stadium in Montclair, New Jersey.

Last Friday in the opener, New Jersey staked out to an early 2-0 lead on two-run home run from Matt Threlkeld off Rockland starting pitcher Mike Dennhardt. In the top of the 4th, the Boulders managed to slice the lead down to 2-1 on a bases-loaded infield RBI single from Giuseppe Papaccio. The Jackals answered in the bottom of the 6th on a two-out RBI single by Leandro Castro making the score 3-1. Rockland had its best scoring opportunity to tie the game up in the 8th with the bases loaded and one out but Ryan Fisher and Joe Maloney struck out consecutively to end the inning. The Boulders ended up striking out thirteen times in the game.

“In the first three innings Mike couldn’t put anyone away but in the later innings he was staying ahead of hitters,” said Manager Jamie Keefe. “He threw the ball well and at one point struck four out of seven is where we want him to be” added Keefe.

On Saturday, starting pitcher Bo Budkevics fired on all cylinders from the first pitch retiring 16 Jackals hitters in a row before yielding a hit with out in the 6th inning to break up a no-hitter. Budkevics went the distance giving up one run on four hits while striking out four and walking one registering his second win of the season. Sixty-five of the 105 pitches Budkevics threw in the game were strikes.

“It felt good and I worked with pitching coach Bobby Jones in the bullpen on Wednesday about lengthening my stride on the mound which was the main focus and it worked” said Bo Budkevics. “I was able to locate my four-seam fastball tonight which makes my other pitches work well” added Budkevics.

Leading 2-0 in the fourth, Rockland added three additional runs to build a 5-0 cushion. After New Jersey scored their lone run of the game in the 6th, the Boulders broke the game wide open in the 7th posting three more runs to boost their advantage to 8-1. Steve Nyisztor drove in three runs while Jared McDonald added two.

“Bo controlled the game from the first pitch on,” said Manager Jamie Keefe. “We got Isaac’s pitch count up tonight and were able to take care of some mistakes made plus our at bats were 7 or 8 pitches deep” added Keefe.

In the third game of the series on Sunday, the teams’ were tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the 4th when New Jersey went ahead 3-1 on a wild pitch uncorked by Boulders starting pitcher JD Reichenbach and RBI single by Justin Trapp. However, Rockland responded in the top of the 5th on an RBI double by Charlie Law and sacrifice fly from Steve Nyisztor tying the game up at 3-3.

Can-Am League Player of the Week Joe Maloney knocked home a bases load clearing triple giving Rockland their first lead of the day 6-3. Nathanie Roe earned the victory in relief. After an hour and twenty-six minute rain delay, the umpires and field officials deemed the playing surface unplayable thus awarding the win to the Boulders.

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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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