New Jersey’s two-out double after a lengthy delay in the sixth inning led the Jackals to a 4-3 decision over the at Yogi Berra Stadium in Little Falls, NJ, on Friday.
The loss snapped Rockland’s six-game winning streak and pushed them back to three games behind New Jersey for second place in the Can-Am League standings.
Coming off victories in the first two games at New Jersey, the Boulders faced a stern test in Jackals ace Isaac Pavlik, but would take the lead in the top of the third on Landis Wilson’s second homer of the season. They tacked on another in the fourth when Keith Brachold led off with a single, moved to third on Melvin Falu’s hit, and came in on Ryan Scoma’s double-play grounder. Rockland starter Will Hassett, in just his second start after an extended stay on the disabled list, looked strong through three innings but the hosts found their stride the second time through the order.
New Jersey’s Angel Berroa cut the deficit in half leading off the last of the fourth with his 12th home run of the season. The Jackals were far from finished, as Matt Cusick singled, Francisco Caraballo doubled, and Nick Giarraputo put his team ahead by bringing both in with a single. Nick Salotti then walked and both runners were advanced on a sacrifice, putting men on second and third with just one out. Hassett would display his toughness, proceeding to escape further damage by striking out former-Boulder Matt Nandin and Chris Henderson to end the inning.
Qualon Millender’s single in the top of the fifth capped a two-out rally, scoring Cole Kraft to draw the game even at 3-3. Hassett contributed five competitive innings before giving way to reliever Dan Jurik in the sixth, when fate took a turn in the batter’s box. After retiring the first two batters of the frame, a power outage combined with a rain storm forced a delay that sent the teams to their respective benches for over 30 minutes. Jurik was not as sharp when play resumed, yielding back-to-back doubles to Carlos Guzman and Nandin to put New Jersey back on top by one.
Pavlik, meanwhile, had thrown just 70 pitches through six innings but was not on top of his game, allowing nine hits through the first season. He displayed some toughness of his own, returning to the hill in the seventh after the lengthy delay and retiring the Boulders while allowing just a leadoff single.
Jurik allowed just the one run in three relief innings to pick up the hard-luck loss for the Boulders, while Pavlik persevered to collect the win for the Jackals, improving to 6-1 on the season. Keith Cantwell worked a scoreless ninth to earn his eighth save of the campaign.
The Boulders have now won two of the first three games of this five-game series, and will conclude the New Jersey portion of it today in a 6:35 start. The set concludes on Sunday when the teams meet at Provident Bank Park in Pomona in a 5 p.m. start.