FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Josh Caray
September 5, 2018 Media Relations Director
Drawing First Blood
'Gades Pound Doubledays; Put Auburn on Brink of Elimination
AUBURN, NY-Renegades' second-baseman Jonathan Aranda went 4-4 with a triple, double, and two RBI, while first-baseman Jacson McGowan drove in three runs with a double and two runs scored as Hudson Valley defeated Auburn 11-5 Wednesday night at Falcon Stadium to go up 1-0 in the best-of-three Semifinal Series of the New York-Penn League Playoffs.
Auburn garnered the first run of the game in the first as rightfielder Jacob Rhinesmith belted his first homerun of the postseason over the rightfield wall. It was a solo-shot that gave the Doubledays a 1-0 lead.
Hudson Valley would respond with two runs of their own in the third. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases to start the inning, before designated hitter Erik Ostberg and McGowan lifted back-to-back sacrifice flies to give the Renegades a 2-1 lead.
The Renegades followed that with two more runs in the fourth. With runners at second and third with two away, centerfielder Michael Smith roped a single to center to bring in both runners and up the Hudson Valley lead to 4-1.
The visitors then took control of the game by scoring three more in the fifth. Back-to-back singles started the frame, setting the stage for McGowan who drilled a two-run double to right-centerfield to give Hudson Valley a five run lead. After a wild pitch moved him to third, McGowan would score on an infield single second by Aranda to make the score 7-1.
Auburn would make a game of it by plating three runs in the bottom-half. With one out and runners at the corners, leftfielder Pablo O'Connor reached on a fielder's choice to bring in a run, before a walk to Rhinesmith loaded the bases. Designated hitter Wilmer Perez followed with a RBI single, and Renegades reliever Tanner Dodson uncorked a wild pitch to score two more runs and close Hudson Valley's lead to 7-4.
But the Renegades would not be denied, as they put the game away with four more runs in the sixth. A walk and a two-base throwing error on a pickoff attempt started the inning before shortstop Ford Proctor lined an RBI single to increase the lead to 8-4. Another walk and a single loaded the bases with one away when a wild pitch from Doubledays reliever Alfonso Hernandez plated a run. With runners at the corners and two away, rightfielder Jordan Qsar lined a single to right-center and Aranda lined a double down the rightfield line to score another run, and Hudson Valley's lead stood at 11-4.
Auburn plated their final run in the seventh as a two-out RBI single to center from second-baseman Kyle Marinconz closed the Doubledays' deficit to six.
But that would be as close as the Doubledays would get as relievers Dodson and Trey Cumbie held Auburn to only one run over the final 4.2 innings. Dodson (1-0) got the win by allowing that run on three hits over 2.2 innings with four strikeouts. The loss went to Auburn starter Luis Reyes (0-1) who gave up seven earned runs on 10 hits in 4.1 innings.
The teams combined for 28 hits with the 'Gades collecting 16 of them. In addition to Aranda and McGowan, Smith went 3-4 with a double, two RBI and two runs. Proctor finished 3-4 with two runs and a RBI. Leftfielder Bryce Brown chipped in by going 2-4 with a double and two runs scored.
For Auburn, O'Connor, Rhinesmith, Marinconz, and centerfielder Ricardo Mendez each collected two hits. O'Connor doubled, scored a run, and drove in a run. Rhinesmith homered, doubled, scored twice and picked up an RBI. Marinconz finished 2-5 with an RBI, and Mendez had two singles.
Hudson Valley will return home tomorrow for game two of the Semifinal Series against Auburn with first-pitch slated for 6:35. Easton McGee (7-3, 5.23 ERA) will toe the bump for Hudson Valley against fellow righty Niomar Gomez (2-1, 3.00 ERA) for Auburn. All tickets are $2.50, can be purchased online at hvrenegades.com or by calling the ticket office at 845-838-0094.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.