Jake MacKenzie in action during New York Boulders game. Photo by: Drew Wohl/New York Boulders
As the 2022 Frontier League season comes to a close the New York Boulders are doing what they can to work back into a playoff spot for the first time since 2019 with a 12-5 win over the division rival ValleyCats, completed a much needed 3 game sweep.
Coming into this game riding a big 5 game winning streak after an 11-10 slugfest win the night before, the Boulders fell behind just 2 pitches in as Cito Culver launched a no doubt shot to right center for a quick Tri-City 1-0. However the team that far and away with the most runs in the league responded promptly with 4 runs in the first, however couldn’t keep the lead as Tri-City was able to tie things up by the end of their half of the third.
Boulder starter Andrew Hammond had a rough run of things, being pulled after just 4 2/3 inning with New York clinging to a tight 5-4 lead. However the bullpen, pushed to the limit the night before gave up only 1 run on 3 hits in 4 1/3 while the offense effectively put the game away between the fifth and sixth innings with 5 runs followed by 2 for what ended up as an eventual 12-5 final.
Much of the credit for the offensive numbers for the team, not just with his 8 RBIs in this series but the season as a whole is Infielder Chris Kwitzer. The twenty-seven-year-old Buffalo native has found a home with the Boulders with both personal and team highs of 20 home runs and 90 RBIs this season, the latter of a team high as well. With 5 games remaining the potential league MVP is still an outside shot for tying or surpassing the Frontier League record of 100 RBI’s in a season, done twice.
With the win, the Boulders currently sit in 4th place just ½ game behind the Miners & Titans who themselves are tied for the second & third playoff spot in the East. Up next after a day off New York will play host to a two game series against a heavily struggling team in the Empire State Greys who’ve won just 6 out of their 90 games this season, followed by 3 final games north of the border in Quebec for a match up with Trois-Rivieres.
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