FISHKILL, NY - A couple of sun-splashed hits and brilliant pitching by the opponent sent the Hudson Valley Renegades to a 3-0 loss against the State College Spikes Sunday afternoon at Dutchess Stadium. With the loss the Spikes have taken a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three New York-Penn League Championship Series. The Renegades will have to win the next two games at State College in order to claim the 2016 New York-Penn League title.
The game was a pitcher's duel as starters Noel Rodriguez for Hudson Valley and Steven Farinaro of State College matched each other zero for zero through the game's first five innings. However, some bad luck would doom the Renegades in the sixth as Rodriguez was lifted for reliever J.D. Busfield.
Second baseman Adam Young of State College started the inning with a lined double down the leftfield line. With him at second and no one out, centerfielder Vince Jackson lofted what appeared to be a routine flyball to centerfielder Jake Fraley. However, Fraley lost the ball in the sun as it landed behind him and rolled to the wall for a fluky RBI triple for Jackson to make it 1-0. Catcher Jeremy Martinez followed Jackson and looped a single down the rightfield line to make the score 2-0 Spikes.
State College would get another run in the seventh as first baseman Elier Rodriguez started things with a single to right. He would move to second Fraley again lost a ball in the sun, this time off the bat of leftfielder Mick Fennell to put runners at first and second with one out. After a fielder's choice put runners at first and third with one away, Young lined a single to left to score Rodriguez and give State College 3-0.
The Spikes had eight hits including a 2-4 performance from Young who doubled, scored a run and drove in another run. Martinez chipped in by going 2-3 with two singles and an RBI. The Renegades had only four hits including two singles from second baseman Miles Mastrobuoni.
Getting the win for State College was Farinaro (1-0) who tossed six scoreless innings of two-hit ball. He also walked two and struck out one. The loss went to Busfield (0-1) who allowed three runs on seven hits in 1.1 innings. Max Almonte (1) fired three scoreless innings of relief to nail down the win for State College.
The Renegades will try to keep the season alive as they hit the road to play the Spikes at State College. First-pitch will be at 7:05. Hudson Valley will send southpaw Travis Ott (6-0, 1.06 ERA) to the hill against lefty Jordan DeLorenzo (2-1, 2.90 ERA) of the Spikes.