NORWICH, CT-It was the pitching that once again led the way for the Renegades as Hudson Valley defeated the Connecticut Tigers 5-1 at Dodd Stadium Wednesday night to sweep the three-game set and move three games up on the Brooklyn Cyclones for the McNamara Division lead with 12 games to play. The Renegades outscored the Tigers 14-2 over the three games, and took eight out of nine games from Connecticut in the season-series.
The scoring started for the Renegades in the first as leftfielder Michael Smith led off the game with a solo homer over the rightfield wall. It was his third dinger of the season and gave Hudson Valley a 1-0 lead.
Later in the inning, Hudson Valley loaded the bases with one out when first-baseman Allen Smoot lifted a sacrifice fly to center to open the Renegades lead to 2-0.
Things stayed that way until the sixth when the visitors put two more on the board to increase their lead to four. Catcher Chris Betts belted a solo-homerun to right for his ninth round-tripper of the season to start the frame. Smoot followed with a triple right, then scored on a wild pitch from Connecticut reliever Dylan Stock to make it 4-0.
Hudson Valley added their final run in the seventh when Betts reached third on a fielding error from Tigers centerfielder Isrrael De La Cruz with two away. Stock followed by uncorking yet another wild pitch to bring in Betts with the Renegades' fifth run of the game.
The lone run for the Tigers came meaninglessly in the ninth as a one-out double from second-baseman Jeremiah Burks was followed with a wild-pitch from Renegades reliever Nick Sprengel. Burks then scored on a groundout to second from leftfielder Eric De La Rosa.
The pitching was sound again for Hudson Valley as they held the Tigers to only three hits for the second-consecutive night. Starter Joe Ryan (2-1) got the win by firing five scoreless innings and striking out seven on two hits. Relivers Sprengel and Trey Cumbie went two innings apiece and combined to strike out five batters, giving the Renegades 12 punchouts for the game.
Starting pitcher Gio Arriera (2-4) took the loss for Connecticut after he allowed two runs on three hits over five frames. The right-hander also walked five and struck out four.
Hudson Valley had nine hits in the game, including two apiece from Smoot, shortstop Ford Proctor, and Smith. Smoot doubled, tripled, scored a run, and drove in two, Smith homered and singled, and Proctor went 2-4 with a run scored as well. Smoot finished 4-8 over the final two games of the series with two doubles and a triple.
Hudson Valley returns to Dutchess Stadium on Thursday to kick-off a six-game homestand against the Tri-City ValleyCats with a 7:05 start. The Renegades will trot right-hander Miller Hogan (2-2, 4.15 ERA) to the mound in game one against fellow-righty R.J. Freure (3-0, 0.44 ERA) for the ValleyCats. Tickets 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.