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Counting Down: Top 12 moments of 2022 (12-9)

A look back at some of the top moments of the past year
December 23, 2022

Wappingers Falls, N.Y. – The end of the year is always a time to look back and reflect on the year that was, and we wanted to get in the spirit and celebrate the top 10 moments of 2022. The only problem is that there were too many to pick

Wappingers Falls, N.Y. – The end of the year is always a time to look back and reflect on the year that was, and we wanted to get in the spirit and celebrate the top 10 moments of 2022. The only problem is that there were too many to pick from. So instead of making a hard choice to leave deserving moments out, we made the easier choice to celebrate the top 12 moments instead.

Without any further ado, let’s start the year-end trip down memory lane.

No. 12 – T.J. Rumfield goes over the railing

Kicking off our countdown of the top 12 moments of the 2022 season is a pair of plays by first baseman T.J. Rumfield. Despite missing significant time with an injury this season, Rumfield displayed a strong bat and made some highlight reel plays defensively. Not once, but twice this season, the Texas native left the playing field to make tumbling catches – the first time in April ending up in the first row, and the second time in the summer falling into the dugout.

Rumfield was acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies in November 2021 in exchange for RHP Nick Nelson and C Donny Sands. In his first year in the Yankees organization, he hit .284/.381/.411 in 52 games with the Renegades despite missing nearly three months with an injury. After the season, he starred in the Arizona Fall League, tying for the league lead with a .400 batting average.

No. 11 – Gomez makes highlight-caliber double play

Coming off of season-ending Tommy John surgery in 2021, the Renegades only saw Yoendrys Gomez in small spurts in 2022. He threw 28.0 innings across 10 starts, posting a fantastic 1.93 ERA in that time and showing off why he is still considered one of the top pitching prospects in the pitching-rich Yankees organization.

The biggest highlight of the season for “YoGo” came on July 15 in a start against the Greenville Drive. In the top of the third he hit Antoni Flores with a pitch to lead off the inning, but then Tyler McDonough lined an 0-1 pitch right back at Gomez, who snared the hot shot with cat-like reflexes. Then, from his knees on the pitcher’s mound, he threw back to first to double off Flores. The play netted him a spot in SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays, and was one of the most memorable web gems made by Renegades pitchers in 2022.

No. 10 – Gades explode for 22 runs in Greensboro

After a challenging month of May, the Renegades had started to turn the corner in early June and entered a two-week road trip to North Carolina one game under .500 on the season at 28-29. The Gades won the first two games of their series with the Greensboro Grasshoppers before a power outage postponed the third game. Then on Friday, June 17, they erupted for their biggest power surge of the season, rolling to a 22-2 blowout of the Grasshoppers.

The fun got started in the first inning, when Cooper Bowman and Trey Sweeney both singled before Everson Pereira whacked a three-run home run to center. Carlos Narvaez added a two-run shot in the first as the rout was on. Anthony Seigler hit a three-run homer in the second, Pereira hit his second of the night in the sixth, Narvaez added another in the eighth, and Bowman added the last of six long balls with a ninth inning solo home run.

Pereira had a monster game, finishing 4-for-6 with four runs scored, two home runs, a double and seven RBIs as the Renegades pounded out 23 hits and walked nine times. Four players scored four runs, while five players drove in multiple runs. This game ranks second in runs scored by the Renegades and fourth in hits by the Gades in a single game since 2005.

No. 9 – Trey Sweeney homers on first pitch of the season

There is a scene in the film Major League (1988) where Bob Uecker, playing Cleveland broadcaster Harry Doyle says you can tell how a season is going to go by how the first batter does. Willie Mays Hayes then singles and is promptly picked off first base.

For the Renegades in 2022, the first batter of the season was Trey Sweeney, the Yankees first round draft pick in 2021. He dug into the left-handed batter’s box at Flour Field in Greenville, South Carolina, ready to face Drive right-hander Brian Van Belle. On the very first pitch of the season, Sweeney swung and hit a deep drive down the right field line that stayed fair for a solo home run.

That was a foreshadowing of the excitement that Sweeney brought to the Hudson Valley this year, leading the team in doubles and runs scored while smacking 14 home runs, and making great plays defensively. Following a slump at the start of the season, he hit .264/.380/.444 in his final 75 games with the Renegades, and had nearly as many walks as strikeouts in the final two months of the season.

Stay tuned over the coming days for the rest of the countdown!