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Rockland Boulders right-fielder Mike Montville returns for a 3rd season

Back on March 19, the Rockland Boulders announced the re-signing of right fielder Mike Montville. Entering his third season with the Boulders, Montville hit 13 home runs, and tallied 50 RBI, 81 hits, 18 doubles, 60 walks and 13 stolen bases in 2017. Defensively, Montville recorded 193 putouts in the outfield.

In his first season with the team, Montville slugged 11 home runs, 48 RBI, 77 hits, 15 doubles and 40 walks while registering 119 putouts. Montville’s numbers in the postseason are .271 batting average, three home runs, nine RBI and nine walks.

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to speak with Montville on the phone about the upcoming season, playing in Rockland/Can-Am League and for Manager Jamie Keefe.

Double G Sports: Congrats Mike on returning for a 3rd season with the Rockland Boulders, how does it feel and what are your thoughts about the 2018 regular season?

Mike Montville: “I’m looking forward to it; they have really been good to me there and excited to get back down there. A long off-season and season doesn’t start until May and ready to go. Two years in a row we couldn’t finish the job. Hopefully we can get ourselves home field advantage again and finish the job. We lost a couple of good players but Jamie(Keefe) does a good job of getting guys back in and filling the roster up.

“We had a pretty good team last year and first year an awesome team. We had good chemistry guys who didn’t panic when things went wrong and any given night someone new stepping up to have a big game. There were no selfish guys, everyone got along on and off the field, no finger pointing and we just rolled on to the next day and made everyone’s experience more enjoyable. It’s important to getting guys in who can fit and good mix of talent but guys who get along for almost four months. Having guys you like makes the product that much better on the field and success breeds success. I know I can play better and hopefully pick up more of the slack we lost.

Double G Sports: Can you talk about playing for Jamie Keefe?

Mike Montville: “He gave me a chance when I was coming off surgery. We have a good relationship, he let me play and work on stuff, smooth things out mechanically and working with my strengths and knew what was going wrong with me that gave me confidence. I don’t feel if I have a bad game, Jamie is going to take me out. He tells me to get back out there tomorrow and knowing he has my back is so big”

“Baseball is such a hard stuff does get bad, really easy to keep piling on and if you have a manager up you ass about it you know you are making mistakes and struggling, he has been good working with everyone’s personality and at our level with the talent we had in the past couple of years. He is going to make sure we have the right guys in the right places and let us do our own thing. He has been a great fit for me the past couple of years”

Double G Sports: Playing right field at Palisades Credit Union Park can be difficult at times especially with the Short Porch, can you describe your experience the past two seasons?

Mike Montville: “I have gotten used to the dimensions and hardest part is the way the sun falls. Not so much looking into the sun but the glare in right field for a good four or five innings and depending on what time the game starts. Part of being an outfielder is managing the field, getting the ball in at the right time and place. Defense is a big part of the game and had good infielders in front of me that helped. If I need to go back or slide over the key is communication and having guys you are comfortable playing with”

Double G Sports: Back in February, a good friend and teammate of yours in Mike Fransoso was traded to the Somerset Patriots, you and Mike are both from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Can you talk about playing alongside with Mike the past two years and his game winning walk-off single in Game 5 of the first-round playoff series against Quebec in 2016?

Mike Montville: “I just don’t see him as a friend anymore but essentially part of my family. Anyone who knows us we used to fight like brothers’ and I got pissed at him and so did he at me. Fought plenty of times over the course of our lives. I love him to death and we have been there for each other. I never had a brother and blast playing with him and we had a lot of fun. It was such a good moment in game 5 with both of our families there.

Double G Sports: How would you describe playing in the Can-Am League?

Mike Montville: Playing 100 games is a great season because you are playing predominantly good weather temperature wise. You are going to have nights you are not comfortable and not going to have great habits throughout the season. Some guys can do less or more and all depends on the individual. I rather put my work in the off-season to get my body ready to play in a position to play every day and into August and September.

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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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