Rockland entered today’s doubleheader looking to end a two-game losing streak and stay atop the Can-Am League. That losing streak wasn’t snapped in Game One as the Boulders fell 6-5.
The Jackals got off to a hot start on a lead-off triple from Johnny Bladel who then scored on a Conrad Gregor grounder. Quiet second innings from Markus Solbach and Isaac Pavlik led to a noisy third for both teams.
Max Casper singled to begin the inning for New Jersey before Gregor went yard to make it 3-0. Rockland answered with two of their own on a Cody Regis single which scored Mikael Mogues and Jared McDonald. More action would ensue in the fourth.
Daniel Arribas poked a three-run opposite field blast to give Rockland a 5-3 advantage. The homer was Arribas’ second as a member of the Boulders. Solbach and Pavlik would settle in and have a solid fifth. Pavlik finished with five innings, five hits, five earned runs, three strikeouts and four walks.
Solbach took the mound again in the sixth and got hit hard. Brian Burgamy and Brian Joynt singled before Richard Stock brought home Burgamy on a double down the left field line. The inning would get worse after a one-out ground ball got by Regis and scored two. Solbach concluded the day with 5 1/3 innings, eight hits, six runs (five earned), four strikeouts and one walk.
Reliever Matt Kostalos produced a one-two-three top of the seventh for the Boulders, but the bats stayed silent in the bottom half. Jackals closer Johnny Hellweg would retire Dylan Tice, Regis and Joe Maloney in order to record his league-leading 17th save of the year.
Rockland would play a meaningful seven innings shortly after looking for revenge.
The Boulders knew exactly how meaningful Game Two was as they took care of business 8-2.
Starters Bo Budkevics and Issac Gil posted quick first innings to bring it to the second. The inning became a big one for Rockland when they loaded the bases with no one out. Maloney would score on a wild pitch and McDonald walked to go up 2-0.
Yariel Vargas singled for the Jackals to kick off the third, although Budkevics went to work and sat down the next three batters. Gil answered with a one-two-three inning against the heart of the Boulders’ lineup, however the fourth would be the exact opposite for him.
Rockland bursted the game open with a six-run inning. McDonald earned another RBI on a walk, Tice singled home a run and Regis flexed his muscles on a grand slam to right center. Gil took the majority of the beating while Kuehl McEachern was credited with two of the runs. Gil ended the night with 3 1/3 innings pitched, two hits, six earned runs, three strikeouts and seven walks.
Budkevics on the other hand threw the fifth and came out unscathed. He finished his outing with five innings, three hits, no runs, one strikeout and one walk.
New Jersey would cut into the deficit with two runs on a Joynt sacrifice fly in the sixth and Gregor RBI walk in the seventh, but that would be all for New Jersey.
Both teams will gear up for the rubber game of the series tomorrow at Palisades Credit Union Park. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.