Jared Schlehuber gave the Rockland Boulders some late game heroics with a game-winning homer in the tenth after the Quebec Capitales forced extra innings, as Rockland won the final game of the three game set, 5-4.
Rockland (6-4) led by two going into the bottom of the ninth and placed reigning Can-Am league saves leader, Hector Nelo on the mound to close out the game. However, Quebec (7-3) wouldn’t quit. An error and a walk placed runners on first and second, and then Nelo threw a wild pitch, putting runners on second and third with no one out. After scoring the runner from third, Yurisbel Gracial knocked in the tying run on a sacrifice fly.
However, on the third pitch of the next inning, Jared Schlehuber smacked a solo shot off of Capitales pitcher Shaun Ellis, his second home run of the season, to put Rockland up for good. Donnie Joseph came on in the bottom half of the tenth but got caught in a jam of his own.
After allowing a leadoff walk and striking out the following hitter, Derrick Pyles stroked a single, part of his 3-5 night, to put the tying run in scoring position once again. But that was as close as Quebec would get to playing another inning, as Joseph slammed the door shut, earning his first career save as a Boulder.
After being outscored by a combined 15 runs in their previous two games, Rockland struck in the top of the first off of a Brian Ragira double that plated Junior Arrojo, who reached by a hit-by-pitch. Jared McDonald and Arrojo each recorded an RBI in the fifth inning in order to give the Boulders a 3-2 lead. McDonald drove in Ray Frias, while Arrojo drove in McDonald on the corresponding at-bat.
Rockland would tack on an insurance run in the top of the ninth but it wouldn’t be quite enough to hold off the league leading Capitales, who had a four game winning streak coming into the game.
Rockland played their best game of the series behind the timely pitching of David Fischer. Fischer worked himself in and out of a few jams, including stranding two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the third by striking out consecutive batters.
He allowed two runs in the second inning off of a Pyles double, which marked his only blemish in five innings pitched. Pat Butler took over afterwards recording three shutout innings to set up Nelo for the save. Butler finished with two strikeouts, while Nelo and Joseph recorded one apiece.
Jared McDonald also continued his regular season on-base streak when he walked to leadoff the third inning. He has now reached safely in the past 73 straight games.
The Boulders continue their road trip by starting a three game series against the Ottawa Champions on Memorial Day, with the game starting at 7 PM. The Boulders finished a three game sweep of Ottawa on Thursday.