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Budkevics Brilliant; Boulders Force Game 5

By Dan Popoloski, 09/11/16, 9:00PM EDT


"Big Game" Bo lives up to the name

POMONA, NY- Bo Budkevics dominated the Quebec Capitales, as the Boulders rolled on, winning 6-2 in a must-win Game 4, forcing a winner-takes-all Game 5. 
    Budkevics (1-0) was dialed in right away, working at his trademark blistering pace. He was able to keep Quebec (2-2) off balance all night, only allowing three runners past first base all day, including his two runs allowed. He earned his nickname of “Big Game” Bo, which he first received after a great performance in the 2014 Can-Am Championship Series, and in big starts since. 
With a 7.00 ERA during the regular season, Bo’s strong performance seemed unlikely. That didn’t stop Budkevics from firing ten strikeouts, walking nobody, and only allowing six hits in eight strong innings. 
    The start looks even more valuable when considering how exhausted the Boulder (2-2) bullpen was following Saturday’s game. Manager Jamie Keefe was forced to use seven pitchers during the game, making a long start by Budkevics a must to give the staff a rest. He came through in the biggest of ways, setting the Boulders up comfortably for the crucial Game 5. 
    The offense was able to support Bo from the beginning, after he allowed a run in the top of the first. It started with Saturday’s walk-off hero, Mike Montville, lacing a single. Two batters later, he and Pat McKenna would be plated by a mammoth double by Elvin Soto, to give the Boulders the 2-1 lead. 
    After Quebec tied the score in the top of the sixth, the Boulder offense, notably Soto, put the game away in the bottom half during a two-out rally. With the bases loaded and two down, Soto exploded again, stroking a double that would clear the bases. Junior Arrojo would drive him in two batters later to give Rockland a 6-2 lead that would stand for the rest of the game. Soto would finish the game 2-4 with four RBI, and a run scored. Montville was strong again as well, finishing 2-3 with two runs scored. McKenna scored two runs as well. 
    Matt Kostalos came in to shut the door for good on Quebec, and he delivered. Despite allowing two baserunners, he was still able to get two outs, and finishing the job by forcing Adam Ehrlich to strike out looking to end the game. The Boulders will be playing in a Game 5 in the Can-Am semifinals for the second consecutive year. 
    Game 5 will be on Monday night, with the first pitch scheduled for 7 PM at Palisades Credit Union Park. Tickets are still available for the game, and the first 1,000 fans will receive Boulders rally towels. The winner will clinch a spot in the Can-Am Championship Series, and will travel to take on the Ottawa Champions.