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Boulders champion Ottawa, complete road sweep

By Dan Popoloski, 07/17/16, 5:00PM EDT


OTTAWA, ONTARIO- Jason Byers picked up his first professional win, and Mike Fransoso and Devin Harris each drove in a pair as the Boulders finished the sweep of Ottawa, 7-4 at RCGT Park on Sunday.

                Rockland (34-21) struck first in the top of the second, and never trailed the entire game. Devin Harris opened the scoring with a two run double. The next inning, the Boulders extended their lead when Junior Arrojo scored on a Jared Schlehuber sac-fly, and Mike Fransoso chipped in an RBI single.

                Fransoso and Harris led the way, each going 2-4 with two RBI. Pat McKenna and Junior Arrojo also joined in on the barrage, each scoring two runs, with McKenna finishing 3-4 with a walk. Over the past four games, Rockland has scored 23 runs. Elvin Soto and Jared McDonald were the only members of the starting nine that did not record a hit in the game.

                The Boulders had no problem feeding off of Laetten Galbraith’s (1-5) struggles, tagging him for seven earned runs in six innings. They did so by pelting him to a tune of eleven hits. The offense didn’t fare as well when Ottawa (29-27) sent out the relief corps in the form of Miles Moeller and Josh Blanco who collectively shutout Rockland for the remaining three innings.

                Those runs would be more than was necessary for rookie Jason Byers (1-1) to get the win, who recovered from a shaky professional debut to shut down the Ottawa offense. After giving up five earned runs in less than five innings against New Jersey, Byers settled down, allowing only one earned run in six innings pitched. Edgar Valle came in relief of Byers, and pitched the final three innings, allowing two runs, but he still picked up his third save of the season after shutting down Ottawa in the bottom of the ninth.

                Despite the win, the Boulders remain a half game behind Quebec for lead in the Can-Am league, but they do hold onto sole possession of second place in front of New Jersey.

                Rockland has an off day on Monday, but will resume action on Tuesday on the road against the Sussex County Miners, with the first pitch scheduled for 10:30 AM. The squad returns to Palisades Credit Union Park the next day.