The Boulders entered Thursday’s game with the Trois-Rivieres Aigles in hope to complete a three-game sweep and improve to 8-0 on the season. Unfortunately, they came up short in a 9-6 slugfest which saw six first-inning runs.
Rockland kicked things off with hits from Jared McDonald, Dylan Tice, Marcus Nidiffer and Cody Regis to bring home three. The Aigles did the same with a two-run single from Daniel Mateo and a sacrifice fly from Trevor Gretzky.
Starters Markus Solbach (Rockland) and Chris Murphy (Trois-Rivieres) retired the side in the second and gave up runs in the third. The Boulders added a run on a long single from Mike Fransoso to take a 4-3 lead. Trois-Rivieres then gained control with runs on a wild pitch and an Alexander Ayala RBI-single to make it 5-4.
After a hitless fourth and fifth innings from both teams, things got going in the sixth. A Joe Maloney two-out walk led to a Regis RBI-double to even things up. Murphy was then replaced by Owen Boon for the Aigles. He totaled 5.2 IP, six ER, seven SOs and two BBs.
The pitching change did Trois-Rivieres no good as Mike Montville singled to give Rockland the lead. Southpaw Jason Byers relieved Solbach in the bottom of the inning. Solbach finished the night with five IP, five ER, five SOs and two BBs. Andrew Chin would toss a scoreless top of the seventh to keep the Aigles down one run.
With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Trois-Rivieres bursted the game open. Ethan Elias took the mound for the Boulders and gave up a Javier Herrera RBI-single and Ayala two-run double. Byers was credited with two of the runs and Elias was given the other. Thomas Lawrence would replace Elias and give up a Gretzky RBI-single to make it 9-6.
Ryan Leach took over for Chin in the top of the eighth and got an enormous third out against a red-hot Jon Smith. Lawrence prevented further damage for Rockland in the bottom half and Aigles closer Nick Sarianides shut the door in the ninth to secure the win.
The Boulders will take on the Quebec Capitales on Friday at 7:05 p.m. at Palisades Credit Union Park to begin a seven-game home stand.