Auburn, NY - The trend of great starting pitching continued Thursday night for the Auburn Doubledays. Wirkin Estevez threw five shutout innings, giving up just four hits and no runs, decreasing the Doubledays starting pitchers' ERA in the past eight starts to 1.64. Unfortunately, Auburn's offense scuffled all night long, posting just five hits in a 3-1 loss to Hudson Valley at Falcon Park.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Doubledays, who were looking to improve to six games above .500 for the first time this year.
While Estevez was dealing, his counterpart was doing the same. Jacob Partridge gave up just one hit, a double to Angelberth Montilla, in five innings of work. Like the Doubledays though, the Renegades were just as incompetent offensively, giving Partridge no run support. As a result, the game was handed over to the bullpens, where Hudson Valley would capitalize.
Against Auburn reliever Taylor Hill, the Renegades rallied in the seventh. A leadoff single by Craige Lyerly, followed by a double by Leonardo Reginatto put runners on second and third and nobody out. Hill then walked Tanner Biagini to load the bases, and the Doubledays brought their infield in.
The defensive strategical move ended up paying off, as Raymond Church hit a grounder to third, and Matt Skole threw out Lyerly at the plate, preventing the Renegades from getting on the board. The bases were still loaded, however, and Chris Winder took advantage. Winder lined a base hit down the leftfield line, scoring two runs and delivering the game's first blow. Next up was Juniel Querecuto, and he hit into a fielder's choice, putting runners at first and second with two outs. Then Jeff Malm stepped up and lined a single to rightfield, scoring Church from second, and giving the Renegades a 3-0 lead.
Auburn wouldn't score until the eighth on the speed of Billy Burns, turning his one out single, followed by a pair of stolen bases, into a run when Bryce Ortega reached first on a fielding error by Renegades short stop, Juniel Querecuto.
But that was all Auburn could muster as they fell for the first time in their past four games.
Despite the loss, the Doubledays remain in a tie for first place in the Pinckney division because Mahoning Valley and Jamestown also lost on Thursday.
The Doubledays will look to win their third-straight series Friday night when they meet Hudson Valley in a 7:05pm first pitch at Falcon Park. Friday is Doubledays Hat Giveaway night at Falcon Park, presented by the Auburn Police Union 195. Fans in attendance can also enjoy post-game fireworks. For tickets, please visit www.auburndoubledays.com.