The Renegades were baffled all game by Cyclones starter Hansel Robles, who turned in a complete game shutout performance to down Hudson Valley. The game marked the first playoff appearance by the Renegades since 1999, when they won the New York-Penn League championship.
The Cyclones got the scoring started in the bottom of the first, as leadoff man Brandon Nimmo bounced a single up the middle off Renegades starter Jesse Hahn. Dimas Ponce was hit by a Hahn fastball to put runners on first and second with no outs. Hahn was able to get Phillip Evans to bounce into a 5-4-3 double play, putting Nimmo on third with two outs and an escape from the inning in sight. But Jayce Boyd pounded a single through the middle that scored Nimmo and made it a 1-0 Brooklyn lead.
The Cyclones expanded their advantage in the bottom of the second. Stefan Sabol led off with a single to Richie Shaffer at third base, and moved up to second when Shaffer's throw went awry. Juan Carlos Gamboa dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Sabol to third, but made it safely to first when Hahn bobbled the ball attempting to field it. Hahn was able to strike out Eudy Piña, but gave up a line drive double to Jorge Rivero. Sabol scored on the play, and advanced to third base. The Renegades elected to intentionally walk Nimmo to load the bases and set up a double play. The strategy backfired when Ponce and Evans laced back-to-back singles to score two more runs and make it a 4-0 Brooklyn lead.
That was all the help Robles would need. The Dominican righty never allowed a runner past second base over the game, tallying ten strikeouts against just four hits and one hit batter to keep Hudson Valley off the board. The Renegades never got the leadoff man on against Robles, who took the win for Brooklyn.
Hahn took the loss, having allowed four runs (three earned) over three innings on seven hits and a walk. The righty hit one batter with a pitch and struck out five. Jordan Harrison pitched two scoreless innings of relief, allowing two hits and a walk. Rob Finneran tossed a perfect frame of relief in the sixth inning. Alex Moshier recorded two outs, allowing one hit against one strikeout. Jose Molina pitched 1.1 perfect innings of relief, striking out one.
The Renegades will try to even up the series Saturday at Dutchess Stadium, with All-Star righthander Jeff Ames facing Brooklyn ace Luis Mateo. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m., with Ben Gellman's pregame show set for 6:50 p.m. on 1450 and 1370 AM WKIP, as well as online at HVRenegades.com.
Great seats are still available for the playoff games at Dutchess Stadium, with Game 3 on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. if the Renegades win Saturday. Tickets are going fast, so call the ticket office 845-838-0094 for information, or go to www.hvrenegades.com to order yours now!