WAPPINGERS FALLS, NY- For the second time in the postseason, the Hudson Valley Renegades won a home game in the 13th inning as they defeated the Vermont Lake Monsters 3-2 Wednesday night at Dutchess Stadium. The win gives Hudson Valley a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three New York-Penn League Championship Series, which shifts to Burlington beginning tomorrow. It was the fifth extra-inning game between the two teams this season and the fourth at Dutchess Stadium; all won by the Renegades.
It took until the fourth inning for the first run to be scored. With one out, third baseman Deion Tansel roped a line drive double into left for the first extra base hit of the game. He moved to third on a groundout to second from designated hitter Brendan McKay, before catcher Zac Law lined a single between short and third into leftfield to score Tansel. It was Law's seventh RBI of the postseason and gave the Renegades a 1-0 lead.
But the Lake Monsters would come right back and tie the game in the top of the fifth. With two out and nobody on, catcher Lana Akau ripped a 3-1 pitch from Renegades starting pitcher Austin Franklin into the right-centerfield gap for a double to keep the inning alive. Franklin, again, fell behind 3-1 to the next hitter, third baseman Will Toffey, who drilled another 3-1 pitch into right-centerfield for and RBI double to tie the game at one.
Back came the Renegades in the bottom of the fifth. With one away, first baseman Justin Bridgman lined a single to right. After second baseman Vidal Brujan flew out to center for the out number two, Bridgman stole second then went to third on a wild pitch. Shortstop Taylor Walls then laced a double into the rightfield corner to score Bridgman and make the score 2-1 Hudson Valley.
Vermont, however, wouldn't quit. Centerfielder Logan Farrar smashed a ground rule double to right-centerfield to start the inning. He remained there with two out when first baseman Aaron Arruda blooped a ball into rightfield. Hudson Valley rightfielder Angel Perez, who was playing deep, did all he could to get to the ball, but it dropped in, skipped past him and went all the way to the wall for a triple that tied the game at two.
Things stayed that way until the 13th. Walls started the inning with a line drive single to left-centerfield. Centerfielder Carl Chester attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but was hit on the first pitch from Vermont reliever Oscar Tovar. With runners at first and second with nobody out, Tansel laid down a sacrifice bunt to Tovar, which moved Walls to third and Chester to second with one out. Lake Monsters manager Aaron Nieckula then lifted Tovar in favor of southpaw Logan Salow to face the left-handed hitting McKay. However, on the second pitch, McKay lifted a deep sacrifice fly to right to score Walls and give the Renegades a 3-2 win.
Getting the win for Hudson Valley was relief pitcher Ivan Pelaez (1-0) who tossed three scoreless innings on three hits. He walked none and struck out one as the Renegades struck out 12 Lake Monsters for the game. The loss went to Tovar (0-1) who allowed the game-winning run over 3.1 innings. The right-hander allowed a hit, walked two and struck out three.
The Renegades had nine hits, including a 2-6 night for Walls who doubled, scored a run and drove in another. Tansel chipped in by also going 2-5 with a double and run scored.
Vermont had a whopping 14 hits, including one apiece in innings 9-14. Farrar led the way by going 3-6 with a double and run. Arruda, pinch hitter Hunter Hargrove and infielder Ryan Gridley each had two hits. Arruda went 2-4 with a triple and run scored, while Hargrove and Gridley and Hargrove each had two singles.
The Renegades now head to Burlington, VT where they will take on the Lake Monsters in game two of the New York-Penn League Championship Series. First-pitch is set for 7:05. The Renegades will send righty Drew Strotman (0-0, 0.00 ERA) to the hill against right-hander Parker Dunshee (0-0, 9.00 ERA) of the Lake Monsters.
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.