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Sizzling offense lifts Boulders to series sweep of Trois-Rivèries

Mistakes proved to be costly early on for the Rockland Boulders in the series finale against Trois-Rivèries at Palisades Credit Union Park on Thursday night, errors in the field and base running mistakes enabling the Aigles to jump out to a 3-1 advantage in the second inning.

“We just played stupid the first couple of innings but kept mentioning and mentioning it,” said Manager Jamie Keefe. “Let your ability and stop trying to do too much.”

That message certainly resonated in the dugout as Mike Montville crushed his 3rd home run of the season, a solo shot into the left center grandstand leading off the second inning. However, defensive issues arose again in the third as Aigles left fielder swiped second base and took third as the throw from catcher Kevin Krause skipped into center field. With Herrera chugging to third, Montville airmailed a throw over third baseman Cody Regis allowing Herrera to trot home.

With his pitch count up to 72 pitches in the fourth, Rockland starter Ryan Deemes faced a critical situation with runners at 1st & 2nd with two outs, Deemes maintained his composure on the mound inducing Alexi Colon into popping out to Regis. Deemes found a new resolve the next two innings, retiring six in a row at one point while fanning four hitters.

“Early on I was struggling and leaving stuff all over the plate, but found my rhythm and guys had my back the whole time, especially when it mattered in the later innings,” said Deemes.

Having driven in the first run of the game for the Boulders in the first inning, Conrad Gregor kept the sixth going with a two-out single to shallow left field. Krause followed with an infield single. Stepping up to the plate, Mike Montville promptly cranked a double off the right center wall as Gregor came into score.

The ball kept on bouncing Rockland’s way as Aigles starter Chis Murphy uncorked a wild pitch allowing Krause to cross home plate. That would ultimately set up the highlight of the night as Mikael Mogues smashed his third round tripper of the season, a two-run laser to the right center bleachers where a Mercedes-Benz is located making a lucky fan a winner of a new car.

“The last four or five days we’re not out of the game anymore,” Keefe said. “Honestly we have been there and just didn’t come up with the big hits and five out of last six games had those big hits. It’s nice somebody else doing it in the lineup every night. We attacked, worked pitches and counts. We have to step on the throttle when we have the opportunity and been able to do that. The biggest plus on the offense is I can’t remember the last time as Boulders team struck out just once in a ball game.”

Deemes exited the game after the sixth throwing 111 pitches, allowing four runs, three of them earned on seven hits, two walks and none strikeouts. Kevin Krause provided a little extra insurance slugging his third homer of the season, a missile that clanged off the left field bleachers.

The bullpen quartet of David Palladino, Nick Kennedy, Matt Kostalos and Kyle Hansen made the lead stick yielding one run on three hits, one walk and two strikeouts. Despite surrendering a two-out RBI double to Alexi Colon in the ninth, Hansen closed it out in fashion striking out Michael Suchy earning his fourth save of the year while Deemes (2-1) won registered his second win.

With the victory, Rockland is back at the .500 mark after almost two weeks, sporting a 10-10 record, having won six out of seven games, tallied 46 runs in the last six games and are three games out of first place. The Boulders travel to Yogi Berra Stadium this weekend for a three-game series against the New Jersey Jackals (8-11). Last weekend Rockland managed to take two out of three versus New Jersey.

“We’re going to see who we are the next 8 or 9 games,” said Keefe. “We’re playing very good baseball right now and our job is to go out and win series and all we are trying to do. If we continue to do that we will find ourselves in a situation where we want to play some good baseball.”

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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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