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Boulders winning streak at six after 4-0 Canadian road trip

Last time the Rockland Boulders ventured up to Canada for a 7 game road trip they finished up 2-5 but how 2 weeks can make a difference as the Boulders swept the Ottawa Champions and Quebec Capitales to finish up 4-0 and extend their winning streak to six games.

Last Thursday the Boulders faced off against the Ottawa Champions and Stephen Cardullo’s knocked home an 8th inning RBI single giving Rockland a 5-4 win. In the bottom of the 9th, Rockland reliever Luis Sanz ran into a jam with runners on 1st and 3rd with 2 outs but Sanz managed to get Bryce Massanari to fly out to left field earning his 5h save of the season. Richard Salazar battled through six innings of work, giving up four runs on five hits while walking five and striking out six to post his 6th victory that is first among pitchers in the Can-Am League. Salazar increased his strikeout total for the season to 41.

The Boulders jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 3rd inning on a 2-run RBI single by Cardullo and Jared McDonald scored on a double play that Steve Nyisztor hit into. Ottawa responded in the bottom half of the inning cutting the lead down to 3-2 on a 2-run RBI double by Sebastien Boucher. Nyisztor laced a single to right field giving Rockland a 4-2 advanatage.

Ottawa applied more pressure in the 5th loading up the bases and on hard ground ball hit to Ryan Fisher his throw to Charlie Law pulled Law off the bag allowing Daniel Bick to score making it 4-3. Salazar issued a walk tying the game up at 4-4.

“That was a grinder for Salazar but we were able to get on the board early and had three big two out RBI,” said Manager Jamie Keefe. “We took advantage of a few mistakes to get more runs on the board. The bullpen was outstanding”

In the rubber game of the series, the Boulders broke open a 1-1 tie in the Top 2nd scoring four times. Charlie Law ripped an RBI single past a diving Daniel Bick into left field putting Rockland ahead 2-1. Three consecutive walks led to two additional. Runs. The Champions answered back in the bottom 3rd scoring 3 times to cut the margin down to 6-4. However, the Boulders relied on the long ball as Law and Jared McDonald belted out solo home runs in the 5th and 6th innings to boost the lead to 8-4. Stephen Harrold gutted through six innings on 107 pitches yielding five runs on five hits but struck out eight batters. Luis Sanz worked a perfect ninth to register his 5th save of the season.

On Saturday the Boulders faced off against the Quebec Capitales who at the time were only one and half games behind Rockland in the Can-Am League standings. Ryan Fisher smacked a double off the left field wall in the 8th inning scoring Joe Maloney that proved to be the difference maker as Rockland won 5-4. Marcus Jensen earned the victory in relief while Luis Sanz logged his 6th save. The relief trio of Jensen, Chad Robinson and Sanz were superb on the mound allowing no runs on one hit.

Quebec took an early 1-0 lead in the 1st on a RBI double from Alexei Bell. The Boulders quickly tied the game in the Top 2nd on a RBI single by Junior Arrojo. Rockland’s defense came up big in the bottom half of the inning on a fly ball hit by Mike Washburn to Joe Maloney in right field, Maloney caught and fired to home plate as Marcus Nidiffer applied the tag on Tim Smith.

The Boulders took their first lead of the game in the top 4th on a sac fly by Alex DeBellis. Quebec struck back in the bottom half of the inning scoring 3 times to take a 4-2 lead. Rockland chipped away at the lead in the 5th on a RBI single to center field by Steve Nyisztor. In the 6th, the Boulders took advantage of sloppy defense by the Capitales. Ryan Fisheer lofted a fly ball down the left field line that was misplayed in fair territory allowing Fisher to advance to 2nd. DeBellis followed with a grounder that caromed off the 2nd base bag as Fisher slid in safely headfirst at home plate tying the game up at 4-4.

In the rubber game of the series, the Boulders charged out of the gate in the 1st inning on a 2-out RBI single by Charlie Law. Stefen Henderson followed with double down the left field line giving Rockland a 2-0 lead. The Boulders expanded the lead in the 5th scoring three time. Starting pitcher Nathaniel Roe cruised through the first four innings retiring 12 in a row. Quebec cut into the lead in the bottom half of the inning scoring twice and sliced the margin down to 5-3 in the 6th on a sac fly from Mike Washburn.

Jared McDonald and Steve Nyisztor socked RBI doubles in the 7th that led to the Boulders increasing their lead to 6-3. Joe Maloney walloped a single to right field scoring Nyisztor making it 7-3. Fray Martinez earned the win in relief while Luis Sanz worked a perfect 9th to notch his 7th save of the season.

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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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