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Boulders Complete Sweep of Miners

By Dan Popoloski, 08/28/16, 8:00PM EDT


Boulders keep close to top of the league with win

POMONA, NY- The Rockland Boulders continued their winning ways, topping the Sussex County Miners 4-2 at Palisades Credit Union Park, sweeping the four game series, and earning their sixth consecutive win . 
    The Boulders (53-39) were led yet again by a strong pitching performance by Richard Salazar (9-6), who continued to shut out his opposition. He faced barely any issues throughout the game, firing seven shutout innings, with four strikeouts, while allowing only four hits and three walks. The performance extended his scoreless innings streak up to 27 innings, as he hasn’t allowed a run in his last four starts, with the Boulders winning each of them. 
    Through the fourth it appeared that Salazar and Miners (37-55) starter Joe Donino (2-10) were locked in a pitchers’ duel. However, The Boulders offense busted out in the fifth, starting with Mike Montville’s lead-off double. Pat McKenna followed up with a single, and after an error by the second basemen, Montville came home to give the Boulders a lead they would never relinquish. McKenna would score later in the inning after a series of wild pitches by Donino. 
    Rockland would extend their lead in the seventh and eighth innings, scoring a run apiece in each. Nidiffer drove in his 65th RBI of the season with a sac-fly, and Mike Montville drove in his 40th with a sac-fly of his own. Montville finished 2-3 with a run scored and an RBI, leading the team. 
    Pat Butler came in with the lead after Salazar, and was able to make light work of the eighth, pitching a shutout inning, only allowing one hit while also striking out a batter. 
    Hector Nelo came in to pitch the ninth inning and made the game slightly interesting late when he allowed the first two batters of the inning aboard via walk. With the Boulders offense and starting pitching being so dominant as of late, the team hasn’t had many save opportunities, which has limited Nelo’s innings. He shook off the rust afterwards, retiring the next two batters with ease, before he would let up a two-RBI double to Miners catcher Alex DeBellis. Nelo would then retire the next batter, Dominique Taylor, on strikes to end the game, and earn his league leading 15th save.     
    The win for Salazar was number 99 in his long, and illustrious career. It also earned him his ninth of the season, making him just two short of his own Boulders team record of 11 in a season. He will likely have at least one more chance to earn his tenth win, which would make him the first pitcher in Boulders history to post three seasons of double-digit win totals. 
While the Boulders won, so did the New Jersey Jackals, keeping Rockland within striking distance of their third consecutive pennant, only 2.5 games behind. Four games plus the continuation of an earlier suspended game are still on the docket between the Boulders and New Jersey in the final week of the season. 
    The Boulders will have an off-day on Monday, before starting a three game series at home against the Ottawa Champions. The first pitch for Tuesday’s game is scheduled for 7 PM.