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Boulders Survive Seesaw Affair, Defeat Champions 7-5

2017 June 24

By Mike Nellis

Photo: Marc Lafleur

Ottawa, ON – A Saturday night win in front of a packed Palisades Credit Union Park will give the Rockland Boulders a series split at the very least in their four-game series against the Ottawa Champions.

They rallied for the second time in the series to beat Ottawa, trailing 4-2 in the fourth inning but winning 7-5.

“It was (a close game), said Champions manager Hal Lanier. “(Steve) Borkowski pitched well, a lot of positive things with Matt and Carson Helms getting multi hit games so there’s a lot to build off going into tomorrow’s game.”

The Champions scored first for the second time in the series in the top half of the first, with new acquisition Carson Helms getting on with a leadoff knock to start the game. Sebastien Boucher then roped a double, and both runners were brought in to score before the end of the inning.

Rockland tied the game 2-2 in the bottom half of the inning, and the Champions responded. They scored one run in each of the third and fourth innings, taking a 4-2 lead into the bottom half of the inning.

However the Boulders were able to capitalize on a mistake to take the lead in that frame. Alex Herceg began the offence with an RBI double, cutting Ottawa’s lead to one. Then, Mikael Mogues brought Mike Fransoso in with a sac fly, and an error by Tyler Nordgren at third base allowed Herceg to score for a 5-4 lead.

They built up a 7-4 advantage, before Danny Grauer singled with Steve Nyisztor standing on second to cut the Rockland lead to two. That’s all they could muster, however, after Mayckol Guaipe posted his league-leading 10th save of the campaign to end the game.

Steve Borkowski (L, 2-4) was charged with the loss after throwing six innings, allowing seven hits, five earned runs, striking out three and walking three.

Lanier didn’t have an issue with Borkowski’s performance on the mound, and was especially complimentary of reliever Matt Tulley, who pitched in his first career professional game.

“He is going to be fine in the Can-Am League, Lanier said of Tulley, who pitched for UMass Boston of the NCAA’s division 3 this school year. “He pitched very well – he has a good breaking ball and a good slider.”

Lanier said Tulley’s fastballs registered at 93 mph on the radar gun in Pomona, NY.

Tomorrow’s series finale would give the Champions a series split with the first-place Boulders if they come up with the victory. Yean Carlos Gil (0-3, 3.89 ERA) throws the first pitch at 2 p.m.