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Boulders Drop Final Playoff Tune-Up

By Dan Popoloski, 09/05/16, 6:15PM EDT


Soto and Montville homer in loss

POMONA, NY- In one of the most bizarre games of the season, the Boulders comeback fell just short, dropping a nailbiter, 9-8, to the New Jersey Jackals in 12 innings at Palisades Credit Union Park. 
    The Boulders started out the game well, plating two runs in the first inning, off of an RBI single by Marcus Nidiffer, and then an RBI double-play by Jared Schlehuber. However, starter Jason Byers was unable to keep up. He allowed runs in the second, fourth, and fifth innings, with Daniel Rockett and Art Charles hitting home runs. Byers finished the game with six runs allowed, five earned, in 4.1 innings pitched. 
    Rockland would not quit though, starting to tee off on New Jersey starter Matt Parish in the seventh, with Mike Montville and Elvin Soto each hitting home runs, to bring the score to 7-5. Mike Adams relieved Byers and stabilized the situation, tossing 3.1 innings, and only being tagged for one run. He gave way to Daniel Carela, who had a hard time, allowing a run and loading up the bases, which forced Jamie Keefe to call in Matt Kostalos (1-1). Kostalos worked out of the jam and pitched brilliantly to keep Rockland in the game. 
    The Boulders plated two more runs in the eighth to tie up the game before Carela gave the lead back to New Jersey. Down to Rockland’s final out, Leandro Castro placed a bunt perfectly to the third base side of the pitcher’s mound to drive in Quinnton Mack, who had pinch run for Marcus Nidiffer. The bunt forced extra innings, and would also mark the last time Rockland would score. Castro led the way for the offense, going 3-6 with a run scored and an RBI. Montville had a good day as well, finishing 2-6, with the home run, as well as an RBI and a run scored. 
Kostalos rolled through the tenth and eleventh innings, but struggled in the 12th, allowing Rylan Sandoval to score on a sac-fly by Eddie Newton. The sac would be the difference maker, as the Boulders couldn’t score a run against New Jersey’s Johnny Bladel, who earned the save and had to pitch due to a lack of available arms. Johnny Hellweg (3-1) got the win after a strong eleventh inning. Kostalos finished with one run, no earned, allowed in 3.2 innings pitched, punching out three batters in the process. 
The Boulders will have Tuesday off, and will begin the playoffs on Wednesday evening, on the road, against the Quebec Capitales. Games 1 and 2 will be at Quebec, with Boulder playoff baseball returning to Palisades Credit Union Park on Friday with Game 3 at 7 P.M. If necessary, Games 4 and 5 will be played on Saturday and Sunday in Pomona.