In a game where the playoff buzz was in the air, the moment was perfect. Justin Topa (13-3) squared off against Lazaro Blanco (10-4) in what could be a preview of the playoffs. A crowd of over 6,500 came ready to party.
Things got started early in the first when Boulders right fielder Joe Maloney came to the plate and made history, securing his record breaking 32nd home run of the season. With that home run, Maloney now owns the CanAm League Single Season Home Run record.
After the early 1-0 lead, Topa continued to take care of Quebec in the second. In the bottom of the second, the Boulders would score two more after a single by Jared McDonald, a double by Mikael Mogues, and a single by Mike Fransoso.
In the third, Topa would give up a run on a fielder’s choice to make it 3-1. The scoring would stop for the Boulders after that.
In the fourth, Topa got into a jam, giving up two runs, to tie the score at three. That would be the last run Topa would give up. Topa would go 5 1/3, giving up three runs on six hits and striking out three.
The bullpen was almost perfect for the Boulders as Tommy Lawrence would get the team out of a jam in the sixth. C.J. Riefenhauser would come in in the seventh and close the door as well, keeping the game tied at three.
In the eighth, Jon Velasquez (3-2) would come in to continue the bullpen’s dominance, but rann into trouble, giving up three runs on three hits, going only a 1/3 of an inning. Liarvis Breto would come on to get the last 1 2/3 outs, giving up a run on three hits, to make the score 7-3.
The Boulders rallied a bit in the ninth, putting on runners at first and second after back to back walks to Mike Montville and pinch hitter Aaron Wilson, but it would end there as Daniel Arribas would ground out to Quebec’s shortstop Yurisbel Garcia for the third and final out.
With the loss, the Boulders drop to 59-33 and now fall to 1 1/2 games behind the first place Quebec Capitales, who improve to 60-31 with the win.
The Boulders are back in action tomorrow afternoon at 5 pm for the regular season finale at Palisades Credit Union Park. Great seats are available by sliding over to Rocklandboulders.com.