The Renegades (19-13) held off a ninth-inning rally for the second straight game from the IronBirds (11-21), building some momentum before heading down to Aberdeen for the back end of the four-game home-and-home series.
Hudson Valley opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning. Shortstop Ryan Dunn led off with a single up the middle. Right fielder Joel Caminero grounded into a fielder's choice to second base, but Tom Winegardner slipped and couldn't make a throw, allowing Dunn to reach second and Caminero to make it safely to first. With one out, the Renegades executed a double steal to move the runners to second and third. Catcher Jake DePew hit an RBI ground out that scored Dunn from third, giving the Renegades the early 1-0 lead.
Aberdeen tied the game in the top of the third inning. With one out, Sam Kimmel lined a single to center, and stole second off Renegades starter Taylor Guerrieri. Anthony Vega singled through the middle to bring Kimmel around to score, tying the ballgame at one run apiece.
The Renegades answered in the bottom of the inning. Second baseman Tommy Coyle drew a two-out walk, and moved up to second on a wild pickoff attempt by Aberdeen starter Mark Blackmar (2-3). Dunn grounded to third, but Torsten Boss muffed the play, allowing Dunn to reach first and Coyle to reach third safely. With runners on the corners, Blackmar was called for a balk, scoring Coyle and allowing the Renegades to take a 2-1 lead.
The 'Gades tacked on a crucial insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Left fielder Marty Gantt led off with a double to left, and Coyle walked behind him. Dunn was plunked by Aberdeen reliever Kenneth Wise to load the bases with no outs. After Caminero fanned, third baseman Leonardo Reginatto laced a single through the left side of the infield to score Gantt and give the Renegades some breathing room at 3-1.
The run would prove critical in the top of the ninth. With reliever Shay Crawford on to close out the game for Hudson Valley, Cameron Edman hit a one-out homer to left field, drawing Aberdeen within one run. Joel Hutter hit a two-out pinch-hit double to center, and Creede Simpson drew a walk in his pinch-hit plate appearance to put the potential go-ahead run aboard. But Crawford settled down, striking out Vega to end the ballgame and preserve the 3-2 victory for the 'Gades.
Guerrieri went four innings deep, allowing a run on three hits and striking out three. Reinaldo Lopez (2-1) earned the win with three scoreless frames of relief, giving up just one hit and one walk while striking out one. Rob Finneran pitched a perfect eighth inning, and Crawford picked up the save in the ninth, allowing a run on two hits and a walk against one strikeout.
Blackmar took the loss, giving up two runs (one earned) over six innings on one hit and two walks; he struck out one. Wise allowed a run on two hits and a walk in two innings of relief, whiffing four batters.
The Renegades and IronBirds tangle again Saturday night at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. Righty Jeff Ames will toe the rubber for Hudson Valley against Aberdeen right-hander Juan Guzman. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., with Ben Gellman's pregame show starting at 6:50 p.m. on 1450 and 1370 AM WKIP as well as online at HVRenegades.com.