LOWELL, MA- Hudson Valley hitters pounded out 22 hits, and its starting pitchers gave up only two runs over 10 innings as the Renegades swept a doubleheader from the Lowell Spinners, 5-1 in game one and 11-3 in game two, Monday afternoon at LeLacheur Park. With the win, the Renegades magic number to clinching the New York-Penn League wild card has been reduced to one. They also moved to within a game of Staten Island for first place in the McNamara Division with the Yankees owning the tiebreaker.
In game one, the Renegades started the scoring in the third. With one out, third baseman Bill Pujols was hit with a pitch from Spinners reliever Dakota Smith. After a pop out to first from second baseman Vidal Brujan for out number two, centerfielder Carl Chester lined a single to left to send Pujols to third. Shorstop Deion Tansel came up next and Smith uncorked a wild pitch, which allowed Pujols to score and give Hudson Valley a 1-0 lead.
However, the Spinners came right back to tie the game in the bottom of the third. With one out, catcher Charlie Madden belted a solo homer to centerfield off Renegades starting pitcher Brendan McKay. The dinger was Madden's first of the season and tied the game at one.
Lowell tried to take the lead later in the inning. After Madden's homer, with two out, centerfielder Cole Brannen reached base on a throwing error from Tansel. Brannen proceeded to steal second then went to third on a wild pitch by McKay. After McKay walked shortstop Frankie Rios to put runners at the corners, he got designated hitter Tanner Nishioka to ground into a 6-4 fielder's choice to end the inning.
Hudson Valley took the lead back in the fourth. With one out, rightfielder Oscar Rojas lined a double to center. First baseman Justin Bridgman grounded out to short for the second out, while Rojas went to third. Leftfielder Isaac Benard came up next and laced a double to left to score Rojas and give the Renegades a 2-1 lead.
Lowell threatened to score in the fifth. With one out, leftfielder Steven Reveles doubled to center. Brannen followed with a walk to put runners at first and second with one out. Rios came up next and he and McKay locked into a 12-pitch duel, which ended with Rios grounding into a 6-4-3 double play to get the Renegades out of the inning.
In the sixth, Everlouis Lozada lined a single into left, with two out and nobody aboard, to begin another rally attempt by the Spinners. Kervin Suarez came up next and reached on an infield single to short. As Tansel threw the ball to first, Lozada rounded second and tried to reach third. However, Bridgman fired to Pujols who put the tag on Lozada to end the inning.
The Renegades finally took control of the game in the seventh by plating three huge insurance runs. Benard, Pujols and Brujan began the inning with singles to load the bases with no one out. The singles by Benard and Brujan were bunt singles to the pitcher and third baseman respectively, while Pujols hit was a line drive into left. Chester was then hit with a pitch from Spinners reliever Devon Fisher to score Benard and move everyone else up a base. Tansel came up next and roped a single into center to score Pujols and Brujan to give the Renegades a 5-1 lead.
That was more than enough for the Renegades as closer Hunter Schryver replaced McKay in the sixth and tossed two scoreless innings with two strikeouts on three hits to record his sixth save of the season. McKay (1-0) recorded his first professional win by allowing a run on four hits in five innings. The southpaw also walked one and struck out four. The loss went to Smith (4-4) who allowed three runs on four hits in three innings of work with two strikeouts for the Spinners.
Each team had seven hits in game one. Leading the way for Hudson Valley was Benard who went 2-3 with a double, RBI and run scored. Lozada and Suarez each had two singles to pace Lowell.
Game two saw the Renegades pound out 15 hits in an 11-3 win. The scoring started in the first as Brujan led off the game with a groundball single to left. Chester followed with a double to center to bring Brujan to third with no one out. Tansel again came through with a big hit, a two-run line drive single to center, to give the Renegades a 2-0 lead.
They would double the lead with two more runs in the fourth. Lowell starting pitcher Tanner Houck was replaced by Juan Perez and the Renegades would pounce. Bridgman, playing third base in game two, started the inning by legging out a bunt single to Perez. After first baseman Matt Eureste lined out to short, Bridgman stole second. Catcher Jean Ramirez drew a one out walk to put runners at first and second before Brujan grounded a single to right to score Bridgman and move Ramirez to third. Brujan was out trying reach second 9-6 for the second out of the inning. Chester then ran out a soft infield single to second to score Ramirez and give the Renegades a 4-0 lead.
Lowell would get a run back in the fifth against Hudson Valley starting pitcher Austin Franklin. With one out, rightfielder Alexander Martinez roped a single to right then moved to second on a wild pitch. After catcher Samuel Miranda grounded to first to move Martinez to third, Reveles, playing second base in game two, reached on an infield single to third to bring in Martinez and make the score 4-1.
However, Hudson Valley would blow the game open in the sixth by scoring seven runs, which ties for the most runs in an inning this season by the Renegades. With one out, groundball singles to center and right by Ramirez and Chester, as well as a hit batsman of Brujan, loaded the bases. Tansel was then hit with a pitch to score a run. Rojas followed Tansel with an infield single to short to score Brujan and up the lead to 6-1. Designated hitter Rafelin Lorenzo stood in and doubled to left to bring in two more runs, before rightfielder Angel Perez capped the scoring with a three-run homer to left to make the score 11-1. It was Perez's third round-tripper of the season.
Lowell got two more runs in the sixth against Hudson Valley reliever Blake Pflughaupt. With one away, centerfielder Yoan Aybar doubled to right before designated hitter Marino Campana blasted a two-run homerun to right-centerfield to make the final 11-3. It was Campana's fourth homerun of the season.
Franklin (4-2) got the win for Hudson Valley after allowing only one run on four hits in five innings. He also walked three and struck out four. The loss went to Houck (0-3) for Lowell after he gave up two runs on five hits in three frames. He also struck out three.
Everyone in the Renegades starting lineup had at least one hit, and five men had multiples. Chester went 3-5 with two runs scored, a double and an RBI. Brujan, Rojas, Lorenzo, and Bridgman each had two hits. Brujan scored twice and drove in a run, Rojas scored one and drove in two, Lorenzo scored a run and drove in two others, while Bridgman went 2-3 with a run scored.
The Spinners had eight hits. Martinez finished 2-3 with a double and run scored, while Valentin had two singles.
Hudson Valley will wrap-up its three-game series with Lowell tomorrow with first-pitch slated for 6:35. A Renegades win or Aberdeen loss to Staten Island would give Hudson Valley the wild card. The Renegades will send out southpaw Resly Linares (3-3, 2.54 ERA) against fellow lefty Angel Padron (0-2, 7.00 ERA) of the Spinners. The Renegades return home on Wednesday to take on the Aberdeen Ironbirds in a two-game series, which will be the final homestand of the regular season. First-pitch for both of those games is set for 6:35. 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.