The Rockland Boulders hosted an unusual opponent Wednesday night at Palisades Credit Union Park, the Cuban National Team. Batting ninth for the national squad was a familiar name to New Yorkers, but a different face. Nineteen year old Yoelkis Cespedes, the younger brother of Mets’ Cuban all-star Yoenis, patrolled right field for his native team.
After dropping the first game of the three game series, the Boulders looked to get back to their hot start to the season. The Boulders sent out their ace, German right hander Markus Solbach who looked to stay undefeated on the season (5-0).
Solbach dominated the free swinging Cuban lineup working in and out of trouble allowing only one run in seven innings. The offense stayed hot as it has been for most of the season putting up twelve runs in an eleven run massacre over the Cubans.
Boulders manager Jamie Keefe commented on the success so far this season, “The work ethic on this team is second to none. I’ve never had a team put the time in like they do.”
Keefe has a manta that the whole team has bought into and it has led to the success, “One it’s win first, and two your numbers come second… It’s win first and that’s how it’s got to be.”
And that is how it has been for the Boulders who are an astonishing 29-10 through their first 39 games of the season, which is surprisingly only good enough for a 2.5 game lead over the second place Quebec Capitales.
The dangerous 2-3 punch in the Boulders’ lineup came through once again as rookie infielders Dylan Tice and Cody Regis added to their all-star worthy stats. Tice went 3 for 4 with a homerun and 4 RBI’s and Regis had yet another multi-hit game, his 21st in 39 games.
Since joining Rockland this season from the Visalia Rawhide of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, Cody Regis has rediscovered his approach at the plate. His .355 average and 8 homeruns are both in the top five among league leaders and have provided a huge boost in the middle of the Boulders’ lineup.
After a victorious effort on Wednesday Regis commented on his bounce back season, “This offseason I worked on a lot of things at the plate. Changed my approach a bit and something just clicked and I’ve stuck with it. The biggest thing is going up to the plate every day and trusting my approach and its been working for me.”
As those in the game of baseball know, hitting is contagious and this Rockland Boulders lineup has been on fire all season long. The Boulders look to do more damage at the plate in the rubber game against the Cuban National team at home Thursday night.