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Jackals Strike Early, Topple Boulders, 9-5

Boulders starter Jonathan Velasquez gives up back-to-back homers in first inning.

Nick Giarraputo hit a three-run homer as part of a four-run first inning uprising, leading the New Jersey Jackals to a 9-4 victory over the Rockland Boulders at Yogi Berra Stadium in Montclair, NJ.

The rain-soaked game was the home opener for New Jersey, which started the season by posting a 5-5 record in a 10-game road trip against American Association teams.

The Jackals broke on top on back-to-back homers in the first inning off Boulders starter Jonathan Velasquez, leading to a 4-0 edge. New Jersey starter Isaac Pavlik had control in keeping Rockland off the board for his six innings of work, and the hosts added a pair in fourth and two more in the sixth to extend their margin on Velasquez.

After a rain delay, the Boulders rallied for a pair in the top of the eighth but would be unable to cut further into the margin, leaving the bases loaded. Rockland added three more in the ninth when Chris Valencia’s triple brought home a pair, and scored on a Ryan Mollica sac fly, but it would prove to be too little, too late. 

Pavlik earned the win for the Jackals, while Velasquez was tagged with the loss for the Boulders, who have dropped two straight.

These teams return to action for an 11 am start today before wrapping up the three-game set on Thursday in a 7:05 p.m. start. The Boulders return to Provident Bank Park in Pomona for a three-game series against the defending league champ Quebec Capitales, Friday through Sunday, June 1 to 3.

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