Rockland County, NY – In the second week of voting to fill out the New York Boulders’ All-Decade team, Richard Salazar and Bo Budkevics finished atop the balloting for starting pitchers and earned spots on the roster.
As part of the New York Boulders’ Bould Decade celebrating the franchise’s first 10 years of play, fans have been voting to fill one position on our All-Decade team each week for eight successive weeks.
Voting for starting pitchers, which concluded on Thursday, April 23, was sponsored by Clarkstown Collision of Nanuet and offered fans the opportunity to select one nominee from a group of nine hurlers that toed the rubber in Rockland County and excelled for the Boulders. The top two finishers landed on the All- Decade team.
Salazar, a lefthander, came to the Boulders in 2014 after seven seasons in the Baltimore Orioles’ organization. In four years (2014-2017) with the Boulders where he also saw time as the pitching coach, Salazar went 36-18 with a 3.40 ERA, notching double digit wins in three years, including a high of 11 in 2015 (11-4). A member of the 2014 Can-Am League championship team, he split two decisions in the championship series – losing game one and winning game five.
“(The spot on the All-Decade team) means a lot to me,” Salazar said. “Rockland County was a great place for me to go to – from the guys to the staff, everything was great.”
Meanwhile, the righthander Budkevics toiled for the Boulders from 2013-2018 and is best remembered for his three-hit, nine strikeout, eight scoreless inning performance against the New Jersey Jackals that earned him the win in the sixth game of the 2014 Can-Am League Championship Series that clinched the pennant for the Boulders and earned him the nickname “Big Game Bo.” In portions of six seasons with the Boulders, Budkevics went 22-19 with a 4.86 ERA.
“Rockland has a special place in my heart,” Budkevics said. “To be able to play there for six years and to build the relationships with these guys – it was something. Being named (to this team) is something special.”
Other starting pitcher candidates included Sean Bierman (2014), Bobby Blevins (2011-2013), David Fischer (2016-2017), Pat Moran (2012-2013), Markus Solbach (2016-2017), Justin Topa (2017-2018) and Jon Velasquez (2011-2012, 2017).
Voting for the All-Decade team is continuing this week as fans have the opportunity to select a closer from a group of five shutdown relievers who excelled for the Boulders. The voting to select a closer is sponsored by Clarkstown Coin and Jewelry of Nanuet.
Fans can cast their vote for their top pitcher through Thursday, April 30, by sliding to www.NYBoulders.com. The closer receiving the most votes will land a spot on the All-Decade team.
Altice cable television in Rockland County will also rebroadcast each week’s All-Decade team announcement every Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. on channel 76, except for channel 77 in Ramapo and channel 15 in North Rockland.
Over the first two weeks of voting fans have selected Marcus Nidiffer as the catcher, along with starting pitchers Richard Salazar and Bo Budkevics to the All-Decade team.
Here is a breakdown of the closers on this week’s ballot:
Adrian Martin (2011-12): Perhaps the top reliever in the Can-Am League for his two seasons in Rockland, Martin recorded 22 saves in 2011 and 19 the following year. Over the two-year span, Martin won 11 of 16 decisions and surrendered only two home runs in 85 appearances that covered 93 1/3 innings of work.
Kevin Fuqua (2013): In his lone season in Rockland, Fuqua saved 21 games, finishing with a 3-2 record and a 1.71 ERA. In 42 innings over 42 appearances that year, he allowed only 31 hits, walked 17 and struck out 36 while posting a 1.14 WHIP.
Chad Robinson (2014-15): The closer on the 2014 Can-Am League pennant winners, in the championship series that year versus New Jersey, Robinson won game four with two scoreless innings of relief in an 8-7 10-inning win, then struck out the side in the ninth inning of game six to wrap up a 4-0 victory that gave Rockland the crown. In 31 appearances in 2014, he went 2-1 with 14 saves with a sparkling 1.04 ERA, not allowing a home run in 34 2/3 innings of work and striking out 45. Robinson followed up with a 6-1 season in 2015 with a 3.09 ERA and a pair of saves in 44 games and 43 2/3 innings of work.
Luis Sanz (2014-16): After being the set-up man for Robinson in 2014, Sanz took over the closer’s role in 2015 and chalked up 18 saves in 35 appearances, winning two of three decisions and pitching to a 1.26 ERA. In 2014, Sanz finished 2-1 with a 2.16 ERA and a pair of saves. In 2016, Sanz dropped both of his decisions.
Hector Nelo (2016): The hard throwing righty registered 17 saves and a 4-2 mark with a 2.45 ERA in 37 appearances in 2016 for the Boulders. In 40 1/3 innings, Nelo set down 44 batters on strikes.
The final results will be announced during a Podcast on the Boulders’ Facebook page on Friday, May 1, at 9:30 a.m., hosted by Seth Cantor, the voice of the Boulders and the Vice-President of Business Development.
Debuting in 1993, the Frontier League is the largest and longest-running of the modern independent leagues and features teams stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from the Ohio River to the St. Lawrence Seaway. More information and the complete 2020 schedule can be found at www.frontierleague.com.
About the New York Boulders:
The New York Boulders are entering their 10th season of Professional Baseball as part of the newly-formed Frontier League and are in pursuit of a post-season appearance for the seventh straight year. Founded as the Rockland Boulders in 2011 and playing their homes games at Palisades Credit Union Park in Rockland County, NY, the franchise rebranded as the New York Boulders in advance of the 2020 season. The Boulders won the 2014 Can-Am League Championship and hosted the Frontier League vs. Can- Am All-Star Game in 2019. Proud to be part of the rich history of professional baseball in the New York City region, during the 2017 season the team welcomed its 1,000,000th fan to Palisades Credit Union Park located in Rockland County, NY.