The 'Gades (37-20) squandered a two-run advantage in a disastrous sixth inning, allowing the Tigers (25-31) to avoid being swept on their home turf. The two teams will tangle again in a three-game set at Dutchess Stadium starting Tuesday.
Connecticut opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning. Jake Stewart drew a one-out walk from Hudson Valley starter Matt Spann (2-4), and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Danry Vasquez. Patrick Smith hit a ground ball to the left side that shortstop Ryan Dunn couldn't throw accurately to first, allowing Smith to reach safely and scoring Stewart from second on the play to give the Tigers an early 1-0 lead.
Hudson Valley erased the deficit quickly, as Dunn led off the top of the second with a single. He moved to second on a passed ball, and stole third with one out. Catcher Jake DePew took advantage, dropping a soft liner into left field for an RBI single that plated Dunn and tied the ballgame at 1-1.
The Renegades surged into the lead in the top of the fifth inning. DePew led off the inning with a double to right field, and right fielder Charles Epperson got hit by a pitch from Connecticut starter Endrys Briceno to put runners on first and second with no outs. After left fielder Marty Gantt struck out, center fielder Joey Rickard shot a hard liner to left for a double. DePew raced home to score, but Epperson was tagged out at home on the play; Rickard moved to third on the throw. Second baseman Tommy Coyle drew a walk, and third baseman Richie Shaffer pounded a grounder through the left side for an RBI single to score Rickard and give the 'Gades a 3-1 advantage.
Spann came apart in the bottom of the sixth, when the Tigers took the lead for good. Smith roped a one-out double to right-center, and Spann hit the next two batters to load the bases. After inducing a pop to first for the second out, Spann allowed a bases-loaded walk to Tim Remes, scoring Smith from third. Jordan Dean hit a hard grounder to first that Maile couldn't quite glove in, and two runs came in on the single to give Connecticut the 4-3 lead.
The Tigers padded their lead in the eighth against reliever Kris Carlson. The righty gave up a one-out walk to Edgar Corcino, and Juaner Aguasvivas ripped a double to right field to score the runner and make it 5-3 in favor of the home team.
Spann took the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits and two walks in 5.2 innings; he earned three strikeouts and hit two batters. Ian Kendall tossed 1.1 perfect innings of relief, striking out three of four batters faced. Carlson surrendered a run on one hit and one walk in his single inning of action.
Briceno got a no-decision for five innings of work, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits and two walks; he struck out one and hit one batter. Angel Nesbitt (2-3) earned the win on two scoreless innings, giving up one hit and one walk. Hunter Scantling tossed two perfect frames for the save, fanning two.
The Renegades return to action Saturday against the Lowell Spinners at Fenway Park in Boston for Futures at Fenway! Righty Taylor Guerrieri will get the start for the Renegades against Lowell lefty Brian Johnson. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m., with Ben Gellman's pregame show set for 12:50 p.m. on 1450 and 1370 AM WKIP, as well as online at HVRenegades.com.
Great seats are still available for all of the remaining Renegades regular season games, and playoff tickets are also now on sale. Call the ticket office 845-838-0094 for information or go to www.hvrenegades.com!