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Boulders Wrap Up Road Trip Dropping Two of Three at Ottawa

Boulders end seven-game Canadian road trip.

The Rockland Boulders concluded their seven game Canadian road trip dropping two of three games against the Ottawa Champions. All three games were closely contested and went right down to the wire.

In game one of the series, the Boulders broke out the lumber in the third inning collecting seven hits that led to four runs. Ottawa responded scoring once in the bottom of the 4th and adding two additional runs in the 6th reducing the deficit to a single run at 4-3.

Rockland starting pitcher Richard Salazar pitched a solid game tossing six innings while giving up two runs on five hits and striking out three to record his fourth win of the season. The Champions threatened in the 7th with runners on 1st and 2nd. After a balk was called on new pitcher Marcus Jensen, Jensen worked out of the jam getting Roberto Ramirez to pop out and Alex Nunex to fly out ending the inning.

The Boulders added a key insurance run in the 9th on a RBI single by Steve Nyisztor. Luis Sanz worked a perfect ninth inning to record his fourth save of the season.

Game 2 of the series saw the Boulders jump out to an early 1-0 lead in the 1st inning. The Champions loaded up the bases in the bottom of the 2nd and with two outs Daniel Bick struck out the ball skipped by Marcus Nidiffer enabling Mike Schwartz to score tying the game up at 1-1.

Ottawa went ahead in the 3rd inning on a 2 run double from Bryce Massanari. Rockland would quickly respond in the fourth on back-to-back doubles from Marcus Nidiffer and Ryan Fisher shaving the lead down to 3-2. The Boulders were unable to tie the game up as Charlie Law grounded out to third base, Giuseppe Papaccio grounded out to the shortstop and Junior Arrojo flied out to right field.

The top of the 6th featured plenty of fireworks. With Marcus Nidiffer at bat, Ottawa starting pitcher Dan Tobik nearly plunked Nidiffer in the head that led to some words being exchanged. On the next pitch, Nidiffer doubled down the left field line. While sliding into second base, Ottawa 2nd baseman Roberto Ramirez took exception and that is when a huge brawl broke out between both teams. After order was restored, Ramirez, Nidiffer, Tobik, Junior Arrojo and Jon Talley were ejected from the game.

Rockland regained their composure and in the top of the 8th Stephen Henderson ripped an RBI single into left field that scored Joe Maloney tying the game up at 3-3. The Champions regained the lead 4-3 in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single by pitcher Nick Purdy.

“Two great baseball games and Richard Salazar was outstanding as was the bullpen” said Manager Jamie Keefe. “We battled to come back and yes baseball tends to be heated at time as we all want to win” added Keefe.

The final game of the series featured a common theme as the Boulders raced out to a 2-0 advantage in the 2nd inning. Ottawa plated a run in the bottom of the inning making it 2-1. The floodgates opened up in the 3rd inning as the Champions scored five times on five hits with the big blow being a monstrous 3-run home run by Jon Talley.

The Boulders refused to go away quietly chipping away at the lead with runs in the 6th and 7th innings to make it a one run game.  Rockland squandered a golden opportunity in the 8th inning with runners on 1st and 2nd but were unable to capitalize.

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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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