BURLINGTON, VT- The Hudson Valley Renegades saw a three-run ninth inning lead go by the wayside as they fell to the Vermont Lake Monsters 5-4 Sunday night at Centennial Field. With the loss, the Renegades have now lost 11 games in a row. The game also featured a crucial triple play by the Lake Monsters as the Renegades looked to blow the game open.
It appeared as if the Renegades would finally put themselves in the win column after jumping out to a 3-0 lead after six innings. In the fifth, designated hitter Rafelin Lorenzo walked, went to second on a wild pitch, then moved to third on a single to center by leftfielder Isaac Benard. With no one out, rightfielder Angel Perez grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to bring in Lorenzo and make the score 1-0. In the sixth, second baseman Vidal Brujan walked to start the inning. Two batters later, with one out, shortstop Taylor Walls launched his first professional homerun over the right-centerfield wall to give Hudson Valley a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, Vermont got on the board as third baseman Will Toffey led off with a double to left. After a sacrifice bunt moved him to third, second baseman Ryan Gridley doubled to center to score Toffey and bring the Lake Monsters to within two.
Perez got the run back for Hudson Valley in the seventh as he smacked a one-out solo homerun to right-centerfield to make the score 4-1. It was Perez's second round-tripper of the year.
The Renegades tried to add more in the ninth inning as singles by designated hitter Zach Law and Lorenzo put runners at first and second with no one out. However, Benard lined into a triple play as he hit the ball to Gridley, who tossed to shortstop Kevin Merrell covering second to retire Law. Merrell then fired to first to eliminate Lorenzo for the third out of the inning.
The play may have motivated Vermont's offense, which had been held to six hits entering the inning. Closer Eduard Rosillo, who had not allowed an earned run on the year, came in for Hudson Valley and walked Gridley then hit designated hitter Jarrett Costa with a pitch to put runners at first and second with nobody out. Rightfielder Anthony Churlin followed with a single to right to load the bases. Merrell came up next and coaxed a walk to force in a run and cut Hudson Valley's lead to 4-2.
After that, Renegades manager Craig Albernaz replaced Rosillo with southpaw Sam Long who proceeded to strike out centerfielder Jack Meggs swinging and get first baseman Aaron Arruda to pop out to first to put the Renegades one out away from the win. However Long walked catcher Jordan Devencenzi to force in another run to make the score 4-3, then gave up the game-winning two-run single to center by Toffey to give Vermont the 5-4 win.
The Renegades finished with six hits, but Lorenzo was the only one with more than one as he doubled and scored a run. The Lake Monsters had eight hits including two from Toffey who finished 2-3 with a run and the game-winning two RBI. Churlin also finished 2-4 with a run scored.
The win went to Vermont reliever Marc Berube (1-0) who allowed two hits in his lone inning of work, but got the inning-ending triple play to get out of the frame unscathed. The loss went to Rosillo (0-1) who did not record an out while allowing four earned runs on only one hit. He walked two and hit a batter as well.
The loss ruined fine pitching performances by starter Austin Franklin and reliever Andrew Gist of the Renegades. Franklin went five shutout innings on three hits. He also walked four and struck out five. Gist went three frames and gave up an earned run on three hits while striking out two.
With their run in the fifth, the Renegades ended a 30-inning scoreless streak dating back to Thursday's game at Staten Island.
Hudson Valley returns home Tuesday as they open a six-game homestand against the West Virginia Black Bears. Renegades right-hander Jhonleider Salinas (0-0, 6.17 ERA) will take on righty Gavin Wallace (0-0, 0.00 ERA) of the Black Bears. 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.