starter pitched 6 strong innings, but it was not enough as Rockland fell in the final game of the series to the New Jersey Jackals, 3-2.
The Boulders made their mark first, jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. On the first pitch of the inning, Ryan Mollica doubled off of Jackals starter Steve Fox. Mollica would then advance to third and eventually score on a Scott Clement ground out. It was the first time this season that the Boulders scored the first run of the game.
But the Jackals would strike back in the bottom of the second. New Jersey’s hottest hitter Nick Giarraputo started things off with a solo home run off of Sampson. After a Carlos Guzman double, Jackals catcher Chris Henderson knocked in Guzman on a two-out double to put New Jersey on top 2-1.
It did not take long though for Rockland to even things up. Keith Brachold tied the score in the top of the fourth with his third home run of the series. The right fielder’s solo shot put him in the league lead with 6 home runs.
Both offenses went quiet as the score remained tied at two, until the bottom of the seventh. Rockland brought in recently activated reliever Chris Rubio, who loaded the bases with 1 out. Jackals shortstop and former American League rookie of the year, Angel Berroa, would bring home Danny Santiesteban on a sacrifice fly to deep left which would prove to be the winning run. After two more pitches, Rubio would leave the game with an apparent injury after returning from the disabled list just days prior. Dan Jurik would enter and get the Boulders out of the jam by recording the final out.
Sampson finished the evening surrendering 2 earned runs and striking out 7, while Rubio was charged with the loss.
The Boulders return to Provident Bank Park in Pomona today for the start of three-game series against the defending league champ Quebec Capitales. Friday and Saturday’s contests start at 7:05 pm, while Sunday’s game is a matinee 2:05 pm start.