ABERDEEN, MD - One night after a comeback, walk-off win put the Renegades in the driver's seat for homefield advantage throughout the New York-Penn League playoffs, Hudson Valley came out flat as they lost to the Aberdeen Ironbirds 5-2 Sunday night on Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium. The loss, coupled with a win by the State College Spikes, puts Hudson Valley percentage points behind State College for homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. The Renegades will need a win in Monday's regular season finale, and a loss by State College against Williamsport, to clinch homefield advantage for the championship series.
The Ironbirds got on the board in the second by scoring two runs off of Renegades starter Eduard Rosillo. Centerfielder Ryan McKenna started the inning with an infield single to short. Shortstop Irving Ortega followed that with a line drive single to center. Hudson Valley centerfielder Jake Fraley misplayed the ball, as it rolled behind him, allowing McKenna to score from first and for Ortega to move to third. Leftfielder Jaylen Ferguson then stepped in and lifted a sac fly to left to score Ortega and give the Ironbirds a 2-0 lead.
Aberdeen would break the game open with three more runs in the third. Second baseman Kirvin Moesquit singled to left to start the inning. Rightfielder Cole Billingsley came up next and grounded a single to right, sending Moesquit to third. Rosillo then settled down and got a pop up and strikeout to give himself a chance to get out of the inning unscathed.
However, the right-hander couldn't finish the job. After Billingsley stole second to put runners at second and third, Rosillo uncorked his team-high 13th wild pitch of the game to score Moesquit and move Billingsley to third. McKenna followed with an RBI single to right, as Billingsley scored, to make it 4-0. Rosillo would then walk Ortega before Ferguson lined a double to center to score McKenna from second and make the score 5-0.
Hudson Valley tried to make a comeback in the fourth. Leftfielder Garrett Whitley started the inning with a groundball single to left. After the next two men were retired, first baseman Nate Lowe lined a single to right to move Whitley to second. Rightfielder Angel Perez then hit what appeared to be an inning-ending grounder to second. However, the throw from Moesquit to the shortstop Ortega on the fielder's choice attempt was wide of the bag and rolled away allowing Whitley to score from second.
Designated hitter Chris Betts followed the error with a walk to load the bases and Hudson Valley needing a hit to get back into the game. But it was not to be as catcher Danny De La Calle grounded out to second to end the threat.
The Renegades threatened again by posting another run in the eighth. Whitley singled to center and second baseman Miles Mastrobuoni walked to start the inning, before third baseman Jim Haley grounded into a fielder's choice to third. Mastrobuoni was retired at second on the play and Whitley moved to third to put runners at the corners with one out. Lowe then stepped in and hit a sac fly to left to score Whitley and make the score 5-2. After a stolen base and wild pitch moved Haley to third, Perez grounded out to short to end the inning.
Getting only his second win of the season for Aberdeen was southpaw Travis Seabrooke (2-7) who allowed an unearned run on five hits in five innings of work. He also walked one and struck out two to finish with a 3.53 ERA. The loss went to Hudson Valley's Rosillo (2-3) who allowed four runs on nine hits in four frames. He also walked one and struck out five.
Aberdeen pounded out 12 hits including three from Billingsley who also scored a run. Moesquit, McKenna, Ortega and Ferguson each had two hits for the game. Moesquit and Ortega each singled twice and scored a run, McKenna scored twice and drove in a run, and Ferguson doubled twice while driving in two runs.
Hudson Valley meanwhile had only seven hits including three singles and a triple from Whitley who finished 4-4 for the night. He also scored both of the Renegades' runs.
The Renegades finish their regular season Monday with a 1:05 start at Aberdeen. Righty Noel Rodriguez (4-2, 2.44 ERA) will go for the Renegades against lefty Zach Muckenhirn (5-2, 2.67 ERA) against the Ironbirds. The Hudson Valley Renegades are headed for the playoffs and will play at Dutchess Stadium in game two of their semifinal series on Thursday against a to-be-determined opponent. First-pitch scheduled for 6:35. For tickets, call 845-838-0094 or go to hvrenegades.com.