Rockland entered last night’s contest with the Capitales hoping to extend their Can-Am League lead to four games. Instead, Quebec came out on top 5-4 and now sits just two back of first place.
Things looked good for the Boulders after a one-two-three top of the first and a Cody Regis solo blast in the bottom half. The homer marked the third baseman’s 10th on the season. The bats would then quiet down in the next four innings.
Starters Ari Kaufman and Arik Sikula worked their way into a vintage pitcher’s duel. Kaufman would allow two hits, strike out three and walk three. Sikula gave up three hits and struck out three. That pitcher’s duel then turned into a slugfest.
Kaufman dug himself in an early hole in the sixth by walking Yurisbel Gracial. Jordan Lennerton would then single before Maxx Tissenbaum drove everyone home on a three-run shot to right. Tissenbaum did the same in Wednesday’s outing.
Rockland quickly cut into the 3-1 deficit on a Marcus Nidiffer RBI-triple, but shortstop Yordan Manduley would save the Capitales on a phenomenal backhand play to rob Mike Montville of a game-tying hit.
The seventh inning changed the rest of the night. Ethan Elias took the mound in what would become a monsoon. James McOwen and Manduley singled before Gracial reached on an error that scored McOwen. Elias actually slipped on the play, causing the umps to call for a rain delay.
After the stoppage, Tommy Lawrence came on in relief and dug the Boulders out of trouble. Rockland had their chance to mount a comeback in the eighth after a Nidiffer RBI-single to make it 4-3, although Quebec’s Tyler Gillies punched out Aaron Wilson with the bases loaded to stop the bleeding.
Quebec added one more in the ninth on a Daniel Rockett bomb to left and the Boulders would make it interesting on a Regis RBI-single. Capitales closer Nolan Becker then struck out Joe Maloney to record his ninth save of the year.
The Boulders will look to bounce back in today’s bout against the New Jersey Jackals. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. at Palisades Credit Union Park.