The Rockland Boulders had an exciting first season, but like any new sports franchise, there were some growing pains — and grow they did.
“What a difference a year makes,” said Shawn Reilly, one of the team's owners. “It felt like we were running around with our pants on fire for three months last year. This year we have a staff in place and we can focus on what we’re supposed to be doing, which is creating fun and sell tickets.”
The Boulders got off to a shaky start to their 2012 season. They opened the campaign on a 4-game road trip in Quebec and lost their three first games. They won the fourth game, avoiding the sweep and headed back to Rockland to get things started at Provident Bank Park on Tuesday.
“We did not have a good team last year. Just flat out didn’t have a bunch of real baseball players. This year we do,” said Boulders Manager Dave LaPoint. “If we can win games [scoring runs] like this we will be a good team. We’ve got a good defense out there. We got in trouble tonight when we walked people. That’s when they hurt us. If we can stay away from that, we’re going to be in the race.”
Bobby Blevins pitched 6.2 innings and allowed four earned runs in the Boulders’ 8-4 win on Tuesday. Blevins is looking on the upcoming season with a sense of comfort and a positive light, especially at home.
“Starting off this year the whole team camaraderie was just totally different,” said Blevins. “Being here in front of our fans is just totally different. You can’t ask for a better ballpark or a better environment. Once we start rolling and putting up wins, I think we’re going to get even more of a crowd.”
After a 21-25 season -- which included a stretch of 11 straight road games to start the season as Provident Bank Park was being completed -- the Boulders are ready to roll. Additions were made in the offseason in an attempt to improve on the below par offensive season the Boulders turned in during 2011.
“We got all the kinks of being a first-year franchise out of the way last year,” said player Ryan Mollica. “We’ve brought in some guys from winning clubs and we’re still getting used to playing together so it should only get better.”