BROOKLYN, NY- Hudson Valley pitchers held Brooklyn to only two hits as the Renegades claimed their fifth McNamara Division championship, and second in the last three seasons, with a 4-1 victory over the Cyclones Friday night at MCU Park. With the win, the Renegades also reduced their magic number for clinching homefield advantage throughout the New York-Penn League playoffs to one.
Hudson Valley started the scoring in the first. Shortstop Ford Proctor lined a one-out single to left then moved to second on a groundout. With two away, first-baseman Jacson McGowan grounded another single to right to bring in Proctor and give the Renegades a 1-0 lead.
The Cyclones came back with their lone run of the game in the bottom-half. Leftfielder Dylan Tice drew a one-out walk, which was followed up with a steal of second. Second-baseman Carlos Cortes came up next and grounded a ball that was booted by Renegades second-baseman Jonathan Aranda. Tice came around to score on the play and the game was tied at one.
The Renegades, though, would take the lead for good with two runs in the third. Centerfielder Tanner Dodson led off the inning with an infield single to short then scored when the next hitter, Proctor, roped a double to center to put Hudson Valley ahead. After a groundout moved him to third, Proctor scored when third-baseman Kaleo Johnson reached on a fielder's choice to make the score 3-1.
The visitors would get their final run in the fourth, and it all started with two out and no one on base. Leftfielder Michael Smith grounded a single to right, which set the stage for Dodson who drilled a double to left to score Smith from first and up the Hudson Valley lead to 4-1.
That was enough for the Renegades' pitching staff. Hurler Christopher Sanchez (1-0) started the game by striking out six and surrendering a single run over five innings on one hit. After that, the trio of relievers Stephen Yancey, Jose Roca and Nick Sprengel combined to hold the Cyclones scoreless over the final four innings on one hit with six more strikeouts. Sprengel struck out two of the three hitters he faced in the ninth to nail down his second save of the season.
Taking the loss for Brooklyn was starter Kyle Wilson (4-4) who allowed four runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings.
The top two hitters in Hudson Valley's order, Dodson and Proctor, combined to go 5-8 with two RBI and three runs scored. Dodson finished 3-4 with a double, run and RBI, while Proctor went 2-4 with a two-bagger, two runs scored and an RBI as well.
Hudson Valley returns home Saturday for the final homestand of the regular-season when they take on the Aberdeen Ironbirds in the first of a three-game series. First-pitch is slated for 6:05 and there will be fireworks following the game. The Renegades will start right-hander Zack Trageton (1-0, 0.82 ERA) against Aberdeen righty Jimmy Murphy (3-6, 3.61 ERA). 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.