OTTAWA – The Rockland Boulders defeated the Ottawa Champions behind a dominant outing from starting pitcher Markus Solbach (3-0). Solbach threw seven shutout innings allowing just three hits to secure the win. Ottawa starter Steve Borkowski (1-3) gave up four runs in six innings to record the loss. Recently acquired left fielder Joe Bennie had three RBIs on the offensive side.
The game began as a pitcher’s duel as neither starter allowed a run through the first five innings. However, the Boulders broke through in the sixth inning by putting up a four spot. Shortstop Mike Fransoso led off the inning with a walk followed by a single from designated hitter Marcus Nidiffer. With runners on the corners, right fielder Aaron Wilson picked up his first hit of the season with a double bringing home Fransoso and moving Nidiffer to third. Two batters later, Mike Montville walked to load the bases.
Bennie would be due up next and proceed to single to drive in Wilson and Nidffer. Backup catcher Alex Herceg brought home the fourth and final run of the inning with an RBI groundout to give the Boulders a 4-0 lead.
Rockland continued the scoring in the next inning. Ottawa turned to their bullpen by bringing in relief pitcher Alex Luna but it made little difference. Second baseman Dylan Tice picked up a leadoff single followed by a Fransoso walk. The two base runners coordinated a successful double steal to put both into scoring position. Ottawa elected to intentionally walk the Pointstreak CanAm League Player of the Week Cody Regis, who is leading the league in batting average, to load the bases but the decision backfired.
Next batter Mike Montville cleared the bases with a base hit to tack on three more runs. After a Bennie single, Rockland scored again with Herceg at the plate to give the Boulders an 8-0 lead.. Chris Carmain relieved Solbach in the eighth to close the game out with two shutout innings for the Boulders.
After the win, the Boulders are now 14-5 and remain the best team in the CanAm. The series will continue in Ottawa tomorrow at 7 pm.