BURLINGTON, VT- On July 9th, the Hudson Valley Renegades blew a 4-1, ninth inning lead and lost to the Vermont Lake Monsters 5-4 from Centennial Field for their 11th consecutive defeat to fall to 6-13 on the year. On September 14, on the same field, they became champions.
Pitchers Drew Strotman and Andrew Gist held Vermont to one hit, and rightfielder Angel Perez and shortstop Taylor Walls each drove in two runs to lead the Renegades to a 6-0 win over the Lake Monsters Thursday night to claim the 2017 New York-Penn League Championship. Hudson Valley sweeps the best-of-three series 2-0, and claims their third league title, joining championships in 1999 and 2012.
Lake Monsters starting pitcher Parker Dunshee did not allow a run over 38.1 innings during the regular season. However, in the top of the second, he was blistered for five earned runs as Hudson Valley batted around and raced out to a 5-0 lead. With one out and leftfielder Oscar Rojas at first, designated hitter Rafelin Lorenzo lined a double down the leftfield line and moved Rojas to third. Perez came up next and, with the infield drawn in, hit a hard one-hopper past Lake Monsters second baseman Ryan Gridley into rightfield. Two runs scored on the play and Perez went to second on the throw to the plate to give the Renegades a 2-0 lead.
But Hudson Valley wasn't done there. After a wild pitch by Dunshee moved Perez to third, second baseman Vidal Brujan drew a walk to put runners at the corners with one out. Dunshee then delivered another wild pitch to score Perez and move Brujan to second. On the play, Brujan rounded second and tried to go to third as the wild pitch trickled towards the first-base dugout. Vermont catcher Jordan Devencenzi got to the ball and fired to third to try and retire Brujan. But the ball sailed on him into leftfield and Brujan came in to score to up the Renegades' lead to 4-0. Walls followed and capped the scoring by blasting his first postseason homerun over the rightfield wall. The dinger was a solo shot and increased Hudson Valley's lead to 5-0.
The Renegades added an unearned insurance run in the eighth. Lorenzo started the inning by reaching on a fielding error by Vermont third baseman Will Toffey. He moved to second on a groundout and stood there with two away when Walls chopped a single through the middle to score him as the Renegades lead it 6-0.
In the ninth, Vermont had a runner at first with two away when Gist struck out Devencenzi swinging to send the Renegades into celebration on the field.
Strotman (1-0) got the win after he allowed only three baserunners over six innings of work. He gave up an infield single to short from Vermont's Greg Deichmann in the fourth, after the rightfielder legged out a bang-bang play at first. Strotman also walked a hitter and another reached on an error. The right-hander finished with five strikeouts and held the Lake Monsters to one run on three hits over 22 innings and four appearances in 2017. After he left, Gist (1) recorded the save by tossing three no-hit innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
The loss fell to Dunshee (0-1) after the right-hander allowed five earned runs on six hits in only 1.1 innings. After those 38.1 scoreless innings during the regular season, Dunshee allowed seven earned runs over 3.1 innings over two starts in the playoffs.
The Renegades had nine hits in the game. Walls went 3-3 with a homer and two singles. He also scored a run, in addition to his two RBI. Perez went 2-4 with two singles and a run, along with his two RBI. Third baseman Deion Tansel chipped in with a pair of singles to aid the Renegades' cause.
Season tickets to the Hudson Valley Renegades 25th Anniversary 2018 season are already on sale. They 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.