WAPPINGERS FALLS, NY-With homefield advantage already clinched, the Hudson Valley Renegades finished the regular-season with an 8-7 loss Monday night to the Aberdeen Ironbirds at Dutchess Stadium. With Aberdeen's win, all four teams in the McNamara Division finished above .500. The Renegades ended their regular-season with a New York-Penn League best 45-30 record.
Aberdeen started the scoring in the first. Shortstop Adam Hall started the game with a groundball single to center, went second on a groundout, stole third, then scored on an RBI groundout to the mound by rightfielder Robert Neustrom.
Hudson Valley responded in the bottom-half. With one out, centerfielder Michael Smith grounded a double down the rightfield line. He went to third on a groundout, then scored on an RBI groundball to center from first-baseman Kaleo Johnson to tie the game at one.
However, the Ironbirds would take control of the game with a five-run third inning. A double and single put runners at second and third to start the inning before Hall lifted a sac-fly to center to give Aberdeen the lead. After another single put runners at the corners with two away when catcher Cody Roberts lined another single to center to make the score 3-1. After that, it was third-baseman Willy Yahn grounding a single to center to score the third run of the inning. The next batter, designated hitter Alexis Torres, then roped a triple to right-center to bring in the final two runs of the frame and gave the Ironbirds a 6-1 lead.
Aberdeen added another run in the fourth. Second-baseman Jeam Carmona started the inning with a double to right; his second of the game. He went to third on a groundout, then scored two batters later on a 3-6 fielder's choice by first-baseman J.C. Escarra to give the Ironbirds a 7-1 advantage.
Hudson Valley, though, would get back into things on the strength of two two-run homers. The first came in the fourth by third-baseman Adrian Rondon who lined his fourth dinger of the year over the leftfield wall to pull the Renegades to within four. In the fifth, it was rightfielder Jordan Qsar going to the off-field for his fourth round-tripper of the season to make the score 7-5.
But Aberdeen would come back with a much-needed insurance run in the sixth. Leftfielder Robbie Thorburn started the inning with an infield single to second, stole second, then scored on a double from pinch hitter Ian Evans on a line drive to center to give the Ironbirds an 8-5 lead.
However, ineffective pitching put the 'Gades back into the game in the bottom-half. Hudson Valley loaded the bases with one away before Aberdeen reliever Josh Keaton issued back-to-back walks to Johnson and Qsar to bring the Renegades to within 8-7. However, Rondon struck out looking against Keaton to end the sixth with the bases loaded.
The Renegades also put a runner at third with one out in the seventh with a chance to tie the game. However, leftfielder Bryce Brown struck out and designated hitter Tanner Dodson grounded to short to thwart the threat. The 'Gades again loaded the bases, this time in the eighth, with one away before Rondon struck out and second-baseman Garrett Giovannelli grounded to short to end the inning.
That was the last best chance for Hudson Valley as Ironbirds relief man Moises Nolasco tossed a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save of the season. Getting the win for Aberdeen was Keaston who pitched 1.1 scoreless innings with three strikeouts. The loss went to Hudson Valley starter Jose Roca (0-1) after the right-hander allowed seven earned runs on 11 hits over five frames.
Aberdeen collected 15 hits with six different batters collecting two hits. Carmona doubled twice and scored two runs, Thorburn went 2-4 with two runs and a stolen base, Horvath had two singles, Torres went 2-4 with a triple and two RBI, Roberts finished 2-3 with a run and RBI, and Hall went 2-4 with an RBI, stolen base and run. The last four hitters in the Ironbirds order went a combined 8-18.
Hudson Valley had nine hits for the game. Smith went 2-4 with two doubles and two runs scored, Rondon went 2-5 with his two-run dinger, and catcher David Parrett finished 2-4 with two singles and a run scored.
The Renegades now head to Auburn where they will take on the Doubledays in game one of the best-of-three Semifinal Series of the New York-Penn League playoffs. Right-hander Nick Padilla (3-5, 3.30 ERA) will take the hill for Hudson Valley against fellow righty Luis Reyes (0-0, 0.00 ERA). First-pitch is scheduled for 6:30.
Hudson Valley will return home on Thursday 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.