Photo - Nick Kennedy (credit - Drew Wohl, Rockland Boulders)
Chase Harris and Grant Heyman proved to be clutch with two-out, two-run singles, and the mound crew did the rest as the Rockland Boulders (5-5) topped the Ottawa Champions (4-7), 4-3, at RCGT Park in Ontario, Canada.
Harris, who spent all of last season with Ottawa, celebrated his return with a big hit which gave the Boulders the lead at 2-1 in the sixth after threatening but coming up empty to that point. Heyman came through in similar fashion to add a big pair of insurance runs in the visiting eighth.
Reinaldo Lopez was impressive in his Rockland debut, allowing just one run on five hits before running into trouble in the sixth. With his team just having taken the lead. a hit batter and a walk spelled the end of his night. Nick Kennedy, who has been near-perfect thus far, continued his strong relief work by emerging from that jam unscathed and adding another scoreless frame.
Ottawa threatened in the home eighth, loading the bases with none out, but the Champions plated just one run and Robbie Gordon came on for the save despite allowing a run in the ninth. Including those two late runs, Boulders relievers have allowed just three earned runs over their past 29.0 innings of work.
Ryne Birk went 4-for-5 and Mitch Piatnik added three hits in the Boulders' 16-hit attack, with Lopez taking the win and Phillippe Aumont taking the loss.
Rockland is now 4-1 with two games remaining in their Canadian trip, which continues with a 7:05 Wednesday start at RCGT Park. The Boulders return south to start a six-game homestand on Friday, hosting the Quebec Capitales at Palisades Credit Union Park.