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Cuba completes sweep of Rockland

By Dan Popoloski, 06/26/16, 4:45PM EDT


Boulders lose their fifth straight game

POMONA, NY- The Rockland Boulders couldn’t get anything going against the Cuban National Team Sunday afternoon, as they got swept in three games, losing 5-1 at Palisades Credit Union Park. 
    The Boulders (20-16) offense couldn’t get much of anything going against Cuban starter Vladimir Banos (2-0) who threw six inning while only allowing one run. That one run came in the fifth inning after Marcus Nidiffer tripled with one out. Two pitches later, Nidiffer scored easily on a wild pitch. 
Later that inning, Pat McKenna stroked a double to deep right-center and Boulders manager Jamie Keefe waved in Jared Schlehuber who was coming from first base, but he was thrown out after a rocket throw from Julio Martinez in center. McKenna’s double would be the last hit of the game for Rockland as Banos and relievers Livan Moinelo and Jose Garcia would continue to shut down the Rockland lineup. 
Markus Solbach (4-2), Rockland’s ace of staff, started but wasn’t able to stop Rockland’s losing streak. He threw seven innings while allowing five runs but only three being earned. He only recorded one strikeout, which was the lowest in a game in his Boulders career. The big hit against him was a three-run home run by Julio Martinez in the top of the fifth inning. Martinez would finish the night 2-5 with a run scored and three RBI.  
Pat Butler came in to relieve Solbach for his 17th appearance of the season, which is good for a tie for fourth place in the Can-Am League in that statistic. He wouldn’t have many issues in his two innings of work however, only allowing one runner to reach base and striking out another.  
The loss was Rockland’s fifth in a row, as well as their seventh in the last eight games. It also marked the fifth straight International loss for the Boulders who dropped the last two games of their series against the Shikoku Island League All-Stars of Japan. The Boulders were outscored 21-8 in their series with Cuba. The game also concluded Rockland’s slate of International games for the 2016 season.

  The game also marked the professional debut of second baseman Aaron Wilson who was brought after graduating from the University of Hartford this year. He went 0-3 with two strikeouts, and reaching on a fielder's choice. 
After a day off on Monday, the Boulders will look to get back on track against the Sussex County Miners in Augusta, NJ on Tuesday, with the first pitch scheduled for 7 PM.