(QUEBEC CITY, Quebec) – Marcus Knecht hit a two-out bloop single to centerfield with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to give the Quebec Capitales a 5-4 walk-off win over the Rockland Boulders in the opener of the Can-Am League Semifinals. With the win, Les Capitales takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
The Boulders jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Pat McKenna launched a two-run homer to left off Quebec’s Karl Gelinas. Another long ball from Leandro Castro, a majestic solo shot to left, extended Rockland’s lead to 3-0 after four innings of play.
That lead would quickly be trimmed in the bottom of the fifth as Jonathan Malo and Jordan Lennerton collected back-to-back two-out RBI singles, making it a 3-2 game. However, Rockland’s Richard Salazar would retire Yurisbel Gracial on a lazy fly ball to left to escape further harm. After a base running blunder by Yeicok Calderon helped the Boulders out of a two-on, one-out situation in the sixth, they added an insurance run in the seventh.
With the bases loaded and one out, Junior Arrojo lifted a fly ball to deep center field, allowing Mike Montville to score on the sacrifice fly and make it a 4-2 lead. In the home half, Salazar would once again escape trouble after the first two Quebec batters reached. Following a strikeout of Malo, the veteran southpaw got Lennerton to ground into an inning-ending double play.
After Quebec scored in the bottom of the eighth, Les Capitales found a way to rally again in the ninth against Hector Nelo. The Boulders closer loaded the bases with two outs before Knecht’s heroics ended the night. Nelo (0-1) only allowed two hits, but walked two batters in the loss. The win went to Jasvir Rakkar (1-0) who recorded the final out of the ninth inning for Quebec.
Salazar finished the game allowing just two runs on nine hits and striking out five batters in seven innings of work. The lefty also walked just three batters in the game. Gelinas pitched even better, despite giving up four runs, three earned on 10 hits, striking out nine batters in his eight innings.
Game Two of this best-of-five series will take place on Thursday, September 8th at Stade Municipal with at 7:05pm first pitch. Fans can listen to all the action live on the “Boulders Broadcast Network” on 1700-AM, WRCR and worldwide on www.RocklandBoulders.com.