After watching an eight-run lead disappear, the New York Boulders inched closer to earning a second-place finish in the Frontier League’s Eastern Division and a home wild card game with a 13-10 extra-inning win over the host Trois-Rivieres Aigles on Saturday at Stade Quillorama in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada.
Knotted at 8-8 after nine innings, Jake MacKenzie supplied the big hit, blasting a three-run home run to left-center off Aigles’ reliever Tyler Luneke in the 10th inning to give New York an 11-8 lead. The home run was MacKenzie’s 14th of the season.
Later in the inning, the Boulders would tack on a pair of insurance runs, one on a Ray Hernandez triple and the other on an RBI single from Giovanni Garbella.
On Hernandez’ triple, David Vinsky scored, the 97th run scored by the Boulders’ outfielder, tying the Frontier League mark set back in 1998 by Richmond’s Morgan Burkhart.
Juan Santana and Raphael Gladu each had an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th for Trois-Rivieres to wrap up the night’s scoring.
The win extended the Boulders’ win streak to 11 games and, coupled with the Ottawa Titans’ 8-1 loss to the Capitales in Quebec City earlier in the evening, left New York one full game ahead of the Titans in the race for second place.
A Boulders’ win over the Aigles or an Ottawa loss to Quebec in the regular season finale on Sunday would give New York second place in the division and the right to host the Titans in the Eastern Division wild card game on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
Trailing 8-0 after 2 ½ innings, the Aigles chipped away, scoring four times in the third and twice in the sixth as they closed to within 8-6. They then added a run in the seventh and ninth innings to complete the comeback, tie the game at 8-8, and force it into extra innings.
In the third, Trois-Rivieres got an RBI double from Juan Santana, a run scoring single by Juan Kelly and saw runs also score on an error by New Your shortstop Austin Denis, as well as a wild pitch by Boulders’ starter Andy Hammond to cut their deficit in half to 8-4.
In the sixth, a Raphael Gladu solo home run, his eighth of the year, made it an 8-5 game; then a Ricardo Sanchez RBI groundout cut the Aigles’ deficit to 8-6.
In the following inning, a Steve Brown run scoring single brought the Aigles within a run at 8-7. Then, in the ninth, Ethan Hunt’s singled leveled the scoreboard at 8-8.
The Boulders had raced out to an 8-0 lead with a three-run opening inning and a five-run third frame.
In the first, Francisco Del Valle knocked in two runs with a single, while Chris Kwitzer drove in one with an RBI groundout as New York moved out to a quick 3-0 advantage.
In the third, the Boulders tacked on five runs. In the inning, New York received run scoring singles from Gian Martellini and Austin Dennis, an RBI double by Ray Hernandez and another RBI groundout by Kwitzer.
Dylan Smith, the second of three New York pitchers on the night, picked up the win and improved to 2-0 on the season. Zach Schneider pitched the 10th inning to close out the win for the Boulders.
Meanwhile, Luneke, the fourth hurler of the evening for Trois-Rivieres, took the loss and fell to 2-3 on the year.
Information regarding season tickets and packages for the Boulders’ 2023 season are available by calling 845-364-0009 or sliding to www.NYBoulders.com.