Connect with us


Boulders Take Series From Quebec, Ready to Hit The Road

(Photo by Catalina Fragoso - Double G Media)

(Photo by Catalina Fragoso – Double G Media)


Having just ended an 11-game losing streak, the Rockland Boulders welcomed the Quebec Capitales to Palisades Credit Union Park for a crucial four game series. The weekend before Quebec swept the Boulders up in Canada and so far this season led the season series winning 10 of 13.

“Hopefully we’re past it and moving on and get back on track,” Manager Jamie Keefe said. “We’re going to have to do things differently now by bunting, getting runners in scoring position and when we’re not swinging the bats.”

Due to a rain out back in June, the teams’ played a doubleheader to open up the series. In game one, Quebec came out swinging scoring five times off Rockland starter Mike Adams in the first inning. The Boulders answered back in the bottom half of the frame sparked by a two-run homer run by Junior Arrojo and tallying four runs. Quebec put the game away amassing five runs in the seventh inning for the 14-6 victory.

Game two belonged to Rockland starter Richard Salazar who had not registered a win since July 16th tossed a complete game three-hit shutout, striking out 10 and walking two. Marcus Nidiffer gave the Boulders an early lead with an RBI single in the first inning and from that point on tacked on additional runs in the fourth and fifth to secure the victory.

“A tough start but we fought back immediately swinging the bats really well the whole game and just didn’t have enough firepower,” Keefe said. “It was a 9-6 game and we were not out of it but they got the late runs. Nice part of it we put it behind us and Rich was absolutely dominant. Most fun we had at the ballpark in three weeks and big pick up for us.”

“It’s been a rough month and I’m glad I turned it around and felt good to give the team a win,” said Richard Salazar. “We needed that because we have been struggling up and down and just needed to show up for the team and execute. We scored early and I kept the mindset of a 0-0 game and just go out and compete as I always do. We got the taste of winning again.”

Rockland got off to a flying start in game three of the series on a Marcus Nidffer RBI single in the first and Devin Harris crushed a three-run homer just over the yellow line in left field. Up 4-2 in the fifth, Jared Schlehuber delivered a two-out run producing single. Rookie Jason Byers weaved his way through five innings yielding two runs on five hits while striking out three and walk three.

In the seventh, Quebec started to chip away at the lead behind an RBI double from Adam Ehrlich off Daniel Carela. Jonathan Malo followed with an infield RBI single. Boulders closer Hector Nelo came on to pitch in the ninth looking for his 11th save of the season but Can-Am League leading hitter Yeicok Calderon would erase that opportunity bashing a two-run tying double into the right center gap. Calderon was done for the night as in the 10th putting the Capitales ahead for good with a two-run double down the right field line.

“We had out chances plenty of times but you have to add on runs,” Keefe said. “Guys are trying to drive in runs with one swing and we will have a discussion about it and change things up really quickly before we get behind the eight ball. We’re close to breaking out offensively but we can’t come up with that big hit right now. If we need to work on situational hitting right now we’re going to do it together and work on it and ready to roll.”

The Boulders must have received Jamie Keefe’s message loud and clear before the rubber match of the series. Jared Schlehuber cranked two home runs and drove in three with Pat McKenna joining in with three RBI’s and launching his third long ball of the season. Elvin Soto added a pair of triples and two runs driven in.

Brett Palanski making his second start tossed six innings surrendering two runs on two hits even with a 54-minute rain delay to contend with earned his first win in a Boulders uniform. In his second relief appearance in two nights, Matt Kostalos was superb on the mound hurling 2 2/3 innings charged with two runs on three hits while fanning three and walking one.

“It felt good getting a couple of pitches to hit and put a good swing on it and lucky they went out,” said Jared Schlehuber. “We have a really deep lineup and everyone can swing it up and down and not trying to do too much and their job.”

“Nice to get out there and I felt great,” Palanski said. “ The game plan was to pound the zone and be around the plate and get ground balls.”

“We were able to come out with some offense and just a different feeling,” said Keefe. “We needed this and stepped up and made some changes. Jared and Pat have been battling and battling. Jared has put together a pretty damn good month with fifth home run.”

Now the Boulders embark on a five-game road trip to Canada where they will play the Trois-Rivières Aigles. Last week the Aigles took two out of three at Palisades Credit Union Park.

“We’re in good shape and ready to go on the road trip and be nice to do some work,” Keefe said. “We play five games in four days and have to come back 3-2. We’re going to be short-armed the next couple of days and need two good starts on Monday.”

The following two tabs change content below.

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.
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Baseball