The weathered a 24-minute rain delay at the start of the night Thursday, but weren’t able to hold off the Newark Bears, who posted a pair of runs in the top of the ninth to take a 5-3 victory.
Newark took the final two games of the three-game set.
Newark broke on top quickly in the first, as with two out and nobody on, Daryle Ward sent one deep to right off Rockland’s Pat Moran to put the Bears on the board. The Boulders tied the score in the second when Norm Hutchins walked and came all the way around to score on Ryan Mollica’s double off the center-field fence.
Fielding got Rockland in trouble in the top of the third, as Matt Nandin and Moran committed back-to-back errors to put Newark runners on second and third with nobody out. Quentin Davis put the Bears back on top with an RBI groundout, and Juan Martinez followed by singling in another. Rockland trimmed the margin to 3-2 in the third off a Qualon Millender bunt single, stolen base, and eventual RBI ground out by Nandin.
Moran took charge, working eight innings in all, allowing just four hits striking out 12. Keith Brachold hit his first Provident Bank Park homer as a Boulder and second of the season to tie the game at 3-3. The contest stayed that way until the top of the ninth, when Rockland closer Adrian Martin took over. Eric McGee welcomed him into the game with a double inside the third base bag. Martin rebounded to retire the next two batters, but Billy Alvino came through with an RBI single and Qualon Millender’s throw from center field was just late, allowing Alvino to move to third. That would come into play when Matt Tomczyk followed with a run-scoring single, providing the final margin of victory.
Anthony Pluta picked up his second win in as many days for the Bears, while Martin took the loss for Rockland. Jorge Vasquez worked a scoreless ninth to pick up the save.
The Boulders return to action today when Jose Canseco and the Worcester Tornadoes start a three game weekend series at Provident Bank Park. The Friday and Saturday contests start at 7:05 pm, while Sunday’s game is a matinee 2:05 pm start.