had three hits and drove in a pair of runs but it was not enough as the fell to the Quebec Capitales, 5-4, in 15 innings, at Stade Municipal in Quebec.
Rockland held a 4-3 lead into the eighth but Jeff Helps’ two-out RBI single knotted the score, and Steve Brown’s single with two out in the 15th inning brought an end to the affair that lasted well in excess of four hours.
Rockland posted a run in the first when Cole Kraft doubled and eventually came home on a Ryan Mollica single. The Boulders tacked on a pair in the third off Quebec ace Bryan Rembisz when Mollica once again singled in Kraft, who led off the inning with a hit. Ryan Scoma then came home on a Phil Cuadrado grounder to put the visitors up 3-0.
Velasquez was strong through the first three innings and his only blemish came in the last of the fourth. Steve Brown singled and Bobby Wagner walked to start the frame, but it appeared as though the Rockland righty would escape damage after retiring the next two batters. A walk to Patrick D’Aoust loaded the bases for James Roche, who promptly doubled in all three runners to tie the score.
The Boulders would answer in the next frame when Keith Brachold reached on an error credited to shortstop Jeff Helps, and moved to third on Mollica’s third single of the game. Brachold would come in on Cuadrado’s single to regain the advantage. Velasquez worked 6.2 strong innings before turning it over to Garrett Johnson, who also worked a scoreless inning of relief. Johnson left with two out in the bottom of the eighth after yielding a single to Roche. Rockland closer Adrian Martin was brought on but allowed back-to-back singles to Josh Colafemina and Jeff Helps to deadlock the score at 4-4 after eight.
Martin proceeded to work two scoreless innings of work but was matched by the Quebec pen, which saw five pitchers combine to allow just two hits over 10 innings of work. Dan Jurik kept the Boulders in it with three scoreless frames and Julian Sampson added another before surrendering the winner in the 15th. Sampson was on the ropes with runners at second and third and just one out, but he battled back to strike out Jonathan Malo and went 0-2 on Brown before he came back to drive in the winning run. Guillaume LeDuc worked four scoreless innings to earn his first win, improving to 1-3.
The setback dropped the Boulders to 3-3 in their seven-game road trip which will wrap up with a quick turnaround in an afternoon tilt in Quebec today. After a day off on Monday, the team will return to Rockland for a big three-game holiday series against the New Jersey Jackals on July 3-4-5.
The July 3 contest will be 3-D fireworks night, as the first 4,000 fans will receive 3-D glasses with which to enjoy the Fireworks Extravaganza show, courtesy of Ramsey Auto Group. On Wednesday, July 4, the Boulders celebrate with Dollar Hot Dogs as well as a Hot Dog Eating Contest, with a Fireworks Extravaganza show after the game.