STATEN ISLAND, NY- Timely hitting and steady pitching led the way for the Hudson Valley Renegades Tuesday night as they easily defeated the Staten Island Yankees 7-1 at Richmond County Bank Ballpark to win their best-of-three New York-Penn League Semifinal Series 2-1. With the win, the Renegades advance to the New York-Penn League Championship Series where they will face the Vermont Lake Monsters, also in a best-of-three series, beginning Wednesday night at Dutchess Stadium. It is the second year in a row the Renegades have advanced to the Championship Series.
Hudson Valley drew first blood in the first. With one out, centerfielder Carl Chester sent a looping line drive down the rightfield line for a double. A wild pitch moved him to third before third baseman Deion Tansel, with the infield drawn in, sent a hard groundball off the glove of Staten Island shortstop Wilkerman Garcia into leftfield for an RBI single to give the Renegades a 1-0 lead.
The Renegades powered up to add to their lead in the second. Designated hitter Rafelin Lorenzo led off the inning with a solid single to right. With him at first and no one out, rightfielder Angel Perez launched his first homer of the postseason over the right-centerfield wall. It was also his fifth hit of the series as his two-run shot gave Hudson Valley a 3-0 lead off Yankees starting pitcher Juan De Paula.
The visitors added to their lead in the fourth. Leftfielder Oscar Rojas began the frame with a resounding double to straightaway centerfield. He moved to third on a passed ball before designated hitter Rafelin Lorenzo lifted a sacrifice fly to center to make the score 4-0 Renegades.
Staten Island tried to claw back into the game in the sixth. With two out and nobody on, centerfielder Andy Diaz lifted a wind-blown solo homer over the right-centerfield wall to make the score 4-1. It was his first homer of the postseason and his third of the year.
But the Renegades would put the game away in the seventh. First baseman Justin Bridgman led off the inning with a walk. He went to second and second baseman Vidal Brujan would reach first on a sacrifice bunt. The throw from Yankees relief pitcher Will Jones was dropped by first baseman Manny Argomaniz to put runners at first and second with no one out. Shortstop Taylor Walls then laid down a sacrifice bunt to third to move Bridgman to third and Brujan to second with one out. Jones would be lifted for right-hander Kaleb Ort who intentionally walked Chester to load the bases, then got a foul out to first from Tansel for the second out. That's when catcher Zac Law roped a bases-clearing double to left to score all three runs and give the Renegades a 7-1 lead. The hit gave Law six RBI for the series.
That was all Renegades pitchers would need as the combo of starter Brendan McKay and reliever Jhonleider Salinas teamed up to hold Staten Island to three hits. McKay (1-0) tossed five shutout innings of one hit ball to get the win. His fourth inning infield single to Yankees rightfielder Timmy Robinson was the only baserunner he allowed. Salinas (1) got the save after he allowed only one run on two hits in four innings. He also walked two and struck out four.
De Paula (0-1) suffered the loss for Staten Island after he gave up four runs on seven hits in 3.1 innings.
The Renegades knocked out nine hits in the game, including a 2-4 night from Perez who homered, singled, scored a run, and drove in two more. He finished with a team-high six hits for the series. Staten Island had only three hits for the game and 13 for the three-game set.
The Renegades now head back home to Dutchess Stadium where they will take on the Vermont Lake Monsters in game one of the best-of-three New York-Penn League Championship Series Wednesday beginning at 6:35p.m. Starting pitchers have not been announced for the game. 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.