FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Josh Caray
August 10, 2017 Media Relations Director
Oscar the Clutch Part Two
Rojas' Sac Fly in Ninth Gives Renegades Series Win
STATE COLLEGE, PA-For the second night in a row, the Renegades got the game-winning RBI from centerfielder Oscar Rojas in the ninth inning. His sacrifice fly gave Hudson Valley a 4-3 win over the State College Spikes Thursday evening at Medlar Field and Lubrano Park. It also gave the Renegades the series victory over the Spikes.
The Renegades squandered two great opportunities to score early. In the first, consecutive singles by first baseman Brendan McKay and catcher Zac Law put runners at first and second with two away. Rightfielder Angel Perez came to the plate next and laced a single to center, however Spikes centerfielder Brandon Benson came up throwing to the plate and McKay was thrown out at home to end the inning. It would be one of two assists in the game for Benson.
In the third, second baseman Vidal Brujan started the inning by smoking a triple to left. After a groundout to short by shortstop Taylor Walls for out number one, McKay struck out swinging on a ball in the dirt. Instead of throwing to first to complete the putout on McKay, Spikes catcher Joshua Lopez fired to third where Yariel Gonzalez tagged out Brujan. McKay reached first on the play, however there were now two outs. After another wild pitch moved McKay to second, Law lined to left to end the threat.
State College broke the scoreless deadlock by scoring two runs in the bottom of the third. With two out and nobody on, shortstop Ediwn Figuera was hit with a pitch by Renegades starting pitcher Resly Linares. Second baseman Caleb Lopes then drew a walk to put runners at first and second with two away. That's when catcher Joshua Lopez stepped to the plate and roped a double to right to score both runners and give the Spikes a 2-0 lead.
Hudson Valley again blew an opportunity to score in the fourth. With one out, centerfielder Oscar Rojas lined a single to center and leftfielder Isaac Benard lined a single to left to put runners at first and second. After a fly out moved both runners up a base, second baseman Deion Tansel flied out to center to end the threat. Through four innings, the Renegades had seven hits but no runs, while the Spikes had two runs on one hit.
The Renegades finally broke through and took the lead in the fifth. Brujan reached second on a throwing error by Figuera to lead off the inning. After a ground out moved Brujan to third, McKay was hit with a pitch to put runners at first and third with one out. Law followed with a lined double down the leftfield line to score Brujan and send McKay to third. Perez came up next and grounded another ball to Figuera who threw to third. Coming from second, Law was caught in a rundown and tagged out while McKay scored to tie the game at two. With a runner at first and two away, Rojas grounded a single to right sending Perez to third. Oviedo then fired a wild pitch to Benard, which scored Perez and moved Rojas to second as the Renegades took a 3-2 lead.
State College tried to tie the game in the seventh. With one out, back-to-back fielding errors by Walls and McKay put runners at first and second. However, reliever Hector Lopez got back-to-back strikeouts of Figuera and Lopez to get out of the jam.
But the Spikes would finally knot things up in the eighth thanks to some small ball. Gonzalez started the inning with a double to right before going to third on a sacrifice bunt from Bryce Denton. Benson came up next and lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Gonzalez and tie the game at three apiece.
The Renegades though would storm back in the ninth to retake the lead. McKay started the inning by reaching on a throwing error from Figuera, his second of the game. Law then slashed a lined single to right to move McKay to third, then steal second to put runners at second and third with no one out. After Perez popped to third, Rojas lofted a sac fly to center to score McKay and give the Renegades a 4-3 lead.
From there, Sam Long relieved Lopez in the ninth and proceeded to retire the side in order, striking out two of the three men he faced to pick up his first save of the season.
Lopez (2-4) got the win for Hudson Valley after giving up the tying run on a hit in 2.1 innings of work. He also struck out two. The loss went to Jason Zgardowski (0-1) for State College after he allowed the winning unearned run on a hit over one inning pitched. Linares was strong again for Hudson Valley after he gave up only two runs on three hits in 5.2 innings. He also walked one and struck out two.
For the game, the Renegades finished with 14 hits including three apiece from Law and Rojas. Law went 3-5 with a double and RBI while Rojas finished 3-4 with the game-winning RBI. Benard and third baseman Bill Pujols chipped in with two hits apiece. All of their hits were singles.
State College, for the second consecutive night, was held to only four hits. Gonzalez led the way by going 2-4 with a double and run. Lopez finished 1-4 with a double and two RBI.
The Renegades return home tomorrow when they open a three-game series against the Brooklyn Cyclones. First-pitch is at 7:05 and there will be fireworks following the game. The Renegades will send right-hander Austin Franklin (2-2, 3.07 ERA) to the mound, while Brooklyn will counter with the Mets' 2017 first-round draft pick, southpaw David Peterson (0-0, 9.00 ERA). 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.