BROOKLYN, NY-A walkoff, wind-blown RBI double by Cyclones rightfielder Ranfy Adon proved to be the difference as Brooklyn defeated the Hudson Valley Renegades 4-3 in game three of the New York-Penn League Semifinal Series Friday evening from MCU Park. With the victory, the Cyclones win the series 2-1 and end the Renegades' season.
Hudson Valley started the scoring in the first as rightfielder Hill Alexander belted his first homerun of the postseason, and fifth of the year, over the rightfield wall to give Hudson Valley a 1-0 lead.
Brooklyn would get the run right back in the bottom-half. Leftfielder Antoine Duplantis started the inning with a bloop single into left. He would steal second, then move to third when shortstop Wilmer Reyes grounded a single into right. With one out, second baseman Luke Ritter skied a sacrifice fly to center and the game was tied at one.
Hudson Valley took the lead right back in the second. A single by catcher Luis Leon and back-to-back walks from Brooklyn starter Matt Cleveland loaded the bases with no one out. Second baseman Ben Troike followed with an RBI fielder's choice to short to put the Renegades back in front. However, Brooklyn went to their bullpen and brought in reliever Daniel Goggin. The right-hander got a strikeout of centerfielder K.V. Edwards and a groundout to second from shortstop Greg Jones to keep it a 2-1 game.
The visitors tacked on another run in the third. Third-baseman Nick Sogard started the inning with a lined single to center. With one out, he advanced to third on a stolen base and wild pitch from Goggin. First baseman Jacson McGowan stood in and it a groundball that deflected off the glove of Goggin to short for a 1-6-3 putout that allowed Sogard to come in from third.
The Cyclones, however, would get single runs in the third and fourth innings to tie the game. In the third, rightfielder Ranfy Adon launched a solo homer to left. It was his third round-tripper of the season, and first of the postseason, to cut the Renegades' lead to 3-2. In the fourth, there were two out and nobody on base when centerfielder Jake Mangum grounded a single into right. A wild pitch from Hudson Valley starter John Doxakis sent him to second before another wild pitch moved him to third. On the play Leon threw wildly to third and Mangum came into score as the unearned run tied the game at three.
After the third inning, the Renegades could only manage two hits and three baserunners the rest of the way with none making it past first base. Brooklyn pitchers also struck out nine of the final 12 Hudson Valley batters they faced.
As for the Cyclones, they kept the Renegades on edge by getting the leadoff runner to second in both the sixth and seventh innings only to come up empty. In the eighth, Brooklyn got a one out single to left from Reyes. He was retired on a 9-6 fielder's choice when a windblown popup to second from Ritter carried Troike into shallow right before it fell in. Alexander was able to pick up the loose ball and fire to second for the fielder's choice; but it was a sign of things to come.
With two out and a runner at first, first baseman Joe Genord hit what appeared to be a routine popup to Sogard to end the inning. However, the wind again took hold of the ball and fell near short for a single that moved Ritter to third. However, Mangum came up next and grounded to second to squash the rally.
However, in the ninth, Hudson Valley reliever Eleardo Cabrera issued a leadoff walk to Brooklyn third baseman Yoel Romero. Catcher Jake Ortega then laid down a sacrifice bunt to the mound to send Romero to second. That set the stage for Adon who lifted a flyball to right. One final time the wind carried the ball, this time over the head of Alexander for a double, which allowed Romero to come in with the game-winner.
Getting the win for Brooklyn was reliever Andrew Edwards (1-0) who struck out five batters in two scoreless innings as Cyclones hurlers struck out 13 Renegades for the game. Cabrera (0-1) suffered the loss for Hudson Valley after allowing the winning run on a hit and walk in 0.1 innings. The loss overshadowed a nice outing from reliever Daiveyon Whittle who fired 4.1 innings of scoreless relief on four hits with three strikeouts.
Hudson Valley had five hits in the contest, while Brooklyn finished with 10. Reyes went 4-4 with four singles to lead the Cyclones, while Adon was 24 with a homer, double, a run scored, and two RBI including the game-winner.
The Renegades end the 2019 season at 43-32 with the Wild Card and a fourth consecutive trip to the postseason.
Season tickets for the Hudson Valley Renegades' 2020 season are currently on sale and can be purchased online at hvrenegades.com, at the Dutchess Stadium ticket window, 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.