Two Rays affiliates clinch division titles

Hudson Valley tops NY-Penn McNamara; Princeton takes Appy West

Hudson Valley clinched its second McNamara Division title in three years Thursday. (David Spagnolo/Renegades)

By Robert Emrich / | August 28, 2014 11:51 PM ET

Hudson Valley may have taken care of business Thursday, but there's still work to be done as far as the club is concerned.

The Renegades, Tampa Bay's short-season affiliate, wrapped up the New York-Penn League's McNamara Division by defeating Connecticut, 5-3. Meanwhile, in the Rays' Rookie-level Appalachian League Princeton secured the West Division title.

In front of the home fans at Dutchess Stadium, the Renegades got out to a quick start as Coty Blanchard, Casey Gillaspie and Jace Conrad drove in runs.

"Going in, the guys really had a lot of energy, they wanted to end it tonight with a win," manager Tim Parenton said. "They wanted to win the division outright and that was a big thing for them tonight, to come out and play hard and do their thing. 

"It was awesome to do it at home, they wanted to do it at home. They were ready for it tonight. For our fans to get to see it on our field was a great thing."

The Renegades, who last won the McNamara Division in 2012, still remain in the hunt for the league's best record. They have a one-game edge over State College with four games to play.

"We'll get some guys some rest before the playoffs start," Parenton said of the remaining games. "Going in, we're still playing for the top record in the New York-Penn. When you get that top record, you get home-field advantage which is a big plus. So we gotta keep playing a few more games and see what happens."

With many of the players on the roster having been drafted just a few months ago, giving them their first taste of winning is important according to Parenton, who is in his first year as a pro manager.

"You want to start winning when you're at the lower levels so that they understand," he said. "As you move up ,that's what you want to do. You're playing the Red Sox, the Yankees, guys that are in our division, and as you move up, if you start beating them down here it's the same guys you're going to move up against."

While players like Gilliaspie, the Rays' No. 1 prospect, and All-Star Hunter Lockwood have played big roles in the club's success, Parenton feels everyone has contributed.

"It's a cliche, but it's been the entire roster," he said. "We believe in playing everybody and putting them out there day in and day out. We don't have a set lineup, we play guys in different positions and when they've been called on, they've done it."

Other clinchings:

New York-Penn League

Tri-City 4, Brooklyn 3

Mott Hyde scored the winning run on a fielding error to break a 3-3 tie in the ninth inning as the ValleyCats walked off with the Stedler Division. Jose Solano had two hits and two RBIs while Alfredo Gonzalez scored twice to lead the offense. Box score

Appalachian League

Princeton 4, Burlington 3

Angel Moreno slugged a solo homer to break a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning and David Garcia singled home the eventual winning run to lead the Rays a West Division title. Yonny Chirinos gave up a run on four hits and struck out five over five innings for Princeton. Box score

Elizabethton 13, Kingsport 6

Twins' No. 6 prospect Nick Gordon plated four runs in the seventh inning as the Twins overcame a 6-0 deficit to clinch the East Division. Tyler Mautner homered on a four-RBI night and Kuo Hua Lo earned the win giving up two hits and fanning five in two innings of relief. Game story

Robert Emrich is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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