(AUGUSTA, NJ) – Rockland mounted two rallies early in the game but could not muster a third late in the contest as they fell 6-5 to the Sussex County Miners on Thursday night at Skylands Stadium. It was the second straight loss for the Boulders (35-23) as the Miners (23-36) took the series.
Sussex County got on the board early in the first with a two-out, two-run double to give the Miners a 2-0 lead against starter Mike Adams. The Boulders rallied in the third thanks to an RBI triple by Jared McDonald before a double from Junior Arrojo off Ryan Kulik knotted things up.
The Miners quickly responded in the home half scoring two more runs on doubles from Nick Giarraputo and Chris Jacobs. From there, it seemed as though both pitchers would settle down until they each unraveled in the sixth. It started with Kulik who gave up an RBI double from Marcus Nidiffer before Mike Fransoso tied it up on a triple.
That chased Kulik as Sussex County went to the bullpen for reliever Michael Suk. He would allow one inherited runner to score as Mike Montville singled up the middle to give the Boulders a 5-4 lead. It would be a short lived advantage though as the Miners once again responded in the home half.
Former Boulders player Alex DeBellis singled to lead off the inning and scored two batters later on Nate Irving’s double. After a passed ball allowed him to advance to third, Nidiffer’s wild throw brought him in to give the Miners the lead back.
Rockland attempted to make another rally, putting the tying run in scoring position in the eighth. However, closer Jesse Beal got Devin Harris to ground into an inning-ending double play before setting down the side in order in the ninth for his fourth save of the year.
Suk (5-5) got the win going two scoreless innings, despite allowing the inherited runner, while Adams (3-2) took the loss. It was his first loss since his professional debut, which was also on the road against Sussex County.
The Boulders return home on Friday, July 22 when they host Ottawa for the first game in a three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00pm against the Champions and great tickets are still available at the box office or at www.RocklandBoulders.com.