05/08/2012 11:38 AM
(Ramapo, NY) – With training camp in full swing, Rockland Boulders fans can officially begin the countdown to the 2012 Can-Am League season. As they did in their inaugural season, the Boulders will start the campaign on the road in Quebec against the defending-champion Capitales slated for May 17. The Boulders’ home opener is May 22, when Rockland’s hometown team takes on the Newark Bears in a 7:05 pm start.
27 players are currently in camp vying for the 22 opening day rosters spots. Among the standouts returning from last season are starting pitchers Bobby Blevins and Jonathan Velasquez, and closer Adrian Martin, along with hard-hitting fan favorites Ryan Mollica and Norm Hutchins.
Promising off-season additions also have team Manager and former New York Yankees pitcher Dave LaPoint very excited about his crew’s prospects. Keith Brachold led the Can-Am League in runs batted in with 80 in 2011 with Brockton, while Pat Moran, 11-3 for Pittsfield in 2011, and Julian Sampson, 10-5 for Brockton last season, are expected to round out what could be a very formidable starting rotation.
Of course, question marks remain and as in any training camp, players will go all out and no slot is safe, as some new faces hope to make a major impression to earn a place on the team “What you look for in a camp like this,” skipper LaPoint explained, “is for everyone to come out and know he has to earn a spot. Whatever it takes for them to win a job, they’re going to do.”
Among the familiar names in camp are some major league bloodlines, as Glen Johnson, son of former New York Met Howard, and Todd Gossage, son of Hall of Fame former New York Yankee Rich Gossage. Others, such as pitcher MacKenzie King, shortstop Matt Nandin, and catcher Scott Knazek saw action in the Can-Am League last season, while three more - Jonathan Smith, Landis Wilson, and Nicolas Blanco – are pursuing their dream fresh off invites from the Boulders’ recent open tryout.
Spring is in the air as the Rockland Boulders look to welcome back the greatest fans in the Can-Am League to the facility voted best in the circuit, Provident Bank Park. Boulders Baseball is ready to roll back into town for its second season of professional ball in the Lower Hudson Valley.