POMONA, N.Y. – Rockland Boulders center-fielder Jared McDonald isn’t as immortal as Hall-of-Famer Ted Williams, but on Thursday night, both outfielders’ names were mentioned in the same breath.
McDonald’s lead-off walk in the first inning extended his on-base streak to 75 regular-season games, breaking the Minor League Baseball record of 74 games in Rockland’s 8-5 victory over the Québec Capitales at Palisades Credit Union Park.
The Major League record, which belongs to Williams, sits at 84 games reached back in 1949, but the next closest number came from Arizona Diamondbacks farmhand Andrew Velazquez in 2014, who reached safely 74 consecutive times with minor league affiliate South Bend.
Despite Rockland’s offensive frenzy, it was Québec who drew first blood in the top half of the first, as Marcus Knecht doubled to the left center-field gap, driving in Roel Santos to make the score 1-0. But the Boulders would open up the flood gates in the bottom half of the frame, bringing home five runs on three hits and two walks to boost the lead to 5-1.
In the second inning, Les Capitales would get on the board once more, in thanks to a passed ball and throwing error by Boulders’ catcher Alex Debellis, cutting Québec’s defecit to three. But McDonald’s heroics continued in the bottom half, crushing a solo-shot to right-field to increase the lead back to four. Two batters later, newly acquired third baseman Mike Fransoso ripped an RBI double, placing the tally at 7-2.
The score would remain unchanged until the sixth, as Québec right-fielder Cody Kuzniczci crushed a two-run shot to the 413 ft. mark in center, trimming Les Capitales' deficit to three, 7-4.
In the top of the eighth, an RBI single by Adam Ehrilch cut the score to 7-5, but McDonald would get the last laugh in the bottom half, mashing his second home run to right-field to conclude the scoring and his milestone night.
Boulders’ starter Richard Salazar (2-1) earned the win, allowing three earned runs and four hits in six complete innings. The loss was handed to Québec’s Steven Inch (1-1), who gave up five earned runs and four walks while striking out six in 5.2 innings. Hector Helo earned the save, striking out two in the ninth.
Fransoso finished the evening with three doubles and three RBI, while Jared Schlehuber drove in two on a double in the first.
With the victory, Rockland improved to 9-5 on the young season, in search of three consecutive wins Friday night in the second game of a game four-game set against Les Capitales (7-7).
Tag(s): Game Recaps