(AUGUST, NJ) – In a game that saw 26 combined hits, three lead changes, and 10 combined pitchers, Sussex County (2-2) edged the Rockland Boulders (2-2) 9-8 at Skylands Stadium on Sunday night. The loss snapped a brief two-game win streak for the Boulders while the Miners picked up their second win of the season.
A back-and-forth affair saw the Miners take a 4-0 lead in the first inning when Chris Duffy blasted a grand slam off Boulders starter David Fischer. Rockland slowly creeped back in with an RBI single from Brian Ragira in the second and a two-run double from Jared Schlehuber in the third. Fischer finished the game giving up seven runs in five innings on the hill for Rockland, including seven strikeouts.
They would eventually tie it up on Jared McDonald’s RBI bunt single in the fourth before Junior Arrojo’s three-run homer off Jamie Walczak gave the Boulders a 7-4 lead, ending the starter’s night. It’s now the third straight game in which Arrojo has homered, giving him a league leading three homers and 12 RBI so far on the year while Walczak gave up seven runs on 10 hits in three and two-thirds innings.
Sussex County quickly answered back on Carl Thomore’s two-run single in the bottom half of the inning, cutting the deficit to just one. Jay Austin helped his team regain the lead in the fifth with an RBI hit of his own before Nick Giarraputo laced a double in the sixth, plating a pair of Miners to give them a 9-7 advantage.
Rockland closed the gap to one in the eighth with a sacrifice fly from Mike Schwartz but the Boulders would leave the tying run on second in the top the ninth. Michael Tamburino (1-0) picked up the win for Sussex County with one and one-third scoreless innings in relief. Pat Butler (0-1) took the loss for Rockland, allowing two runs in two innings of work. The save was recorded by Andres Santiago who picked up the final four outs of the game, including a strikeout.
The Boulders will enjoy an off day on Monday before starting a three-game series at home against the Ottawa Champions on Tuesday, May 24th at Palisades Credit Union Park. First pitch is schedule for 6:30pm and it is a special “Two-for-Twosday” with select concession items being sold for just $2 each. Great seats are still available by visiting the box office, calling (845) 364-0009, or by sliding to www.RocklandBoulders.com.