5,445 fans were on hand for the second-to-last home game of the regular season, the 15th-largest crowd in franchise history and the second consecutive night with a top-15 attendance. The ValleyCats officially surpassed their season record of 145,976 fans, setting a new milestone for the seventh consecutive season.
Tri-City reliever Mike Ness uncharacteristically got himself into trouble in the final frame. Ness hit Chris Winder with his first pitch of the night, the first batter he has hit this season. Ness got a pair of outs on the ground, each of which advanced Winder one base. Ness then issued free passes to Nick Schwaner and Steven Tinoco, who were each swinging hot bats.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Derek Dietrich hit a hot liner to first base that Marcus Nidiffer got a glove on but could not hold. Nidiffer grabbed the bouncing ball and looked to first, but Ness reacted slowly to the play and Dietrich was easily safe, bringing home Winder with the go-ahead run.
Tyler Burnett drove a one-out double to left field in the bottom half of the twelfth, giving the ValleyCats some life. But closer Austin Hubbard recovered to retire Dan Adamson and Nidiffer on fly balls, earning his tenth save and ending the game.
The ValleyCats had their best opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the eleventh inning. Nidiffer led off the inning with a line drive into the left-field corner for a stand-up double. Hudson Valley intentionally walked Mike Kvasnicka, preferring to pitch to the righty Wallace, who laid down a successful sacrifice. With runners on second and third and one out, Steven Hiscock issued another intentional walk to Wilton Infante, setting up a force play at home. The ploy worked, as Jacke Healey flew out to center field - too shallow for Nidiffer to think about tagging - and Ben Orloff did the same to end the inning.
The hosts had some poor luck with hard-hit balls as well. Chris Wallace drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the ninth inning and pinch-hitter Austin Wates hit a screaming line drive, but it went right to second baseman Elias Otero. One inning later, Oscar Figueroa pulled what looked like a sure double down the third-base line, but Schwaner made a leaping grab.
Schwaner almost robbed the next batter, Burnett, of another hit, but the liner ticked off the top of his glove and into left field. Burnett reached second base on the play but was stranded by an Adamson groundout.
Murillo Gouvea entered for the hosts with two outs in the eighth and was nearly untouchable, allowing only one hit in 3.1 innings. Gouvea racked up eight strikeouts, including four in the tenth inning - Dio Luis reached base after striking out on a wild pitch.
The Renegades struck first, building a two-out rally off Bobby Doran. After the righty retired the first two hitters, Schwaner doubled to left-center and Tinoco followed with a run-scoring single.
Doran settled down and did not allow another run in his five innings, striking out six. But the Renegades, sparked again by the middle of their order, rallied against lefty Alex Sogard. Schwaner drew a walk and Tinoco doubled, putting runners on second and third with nobody out. Sogard nearly escaped the jam, getting Dietrich to line out and fanning Mayo Acosta, but Luis lined a shot into the right-center gap. Adamson, playing shallow, could not cut the ball off and it rolled to the wall as Luis raced to third for a triple. Adamson's throw back to the infield eluded Healey, allowing Luis come all the way home.
The ValleyCats briefly took the lead before the Hudson Valley rally. Nate Garcia was dominant for the first four innings, but made one mistake on a 2-1 pitch to Chris Wallace in the fifth inning. Wallace drove it over the right-center-field fence for his second homer of the season, bringing home Mike Kvasnicka to give the 'Cats a 2-1 advantage.
Wallace's homer was Tri-City's first hit of the game.
Facing a 4-2 deficit after the three-run sixth, the 'Cats rallied again in the eighth against reliever Adam Liberatore. Healey led off the inning with a single, and Ben Orloff followed suit. Oscar Figueroa attempted to give himself up and advance the runners but instead did even better, watching four balls to load the bases. Tyler Burnett hit a slow two-hopper to second, and the Renegades got the first half of a double play, but Luis's throw to first was wide, allowing Orloff to score all the way from second.
The ValleyCats look to rebound on Monday as they play their final regular-season game at Joe Bruno Stadium. Jake Buchanan will start for the hosts against Miguel Sierra on Fan Appreciation Night, with a 7 pm game time.