STATE COLLEGE, PA-Several steady pitching performances and a big RBI, ninth-inning triple by leftfielder Oscar Rojas propelled the Hudson Valley Renegades to a 3-1 win over the State College Spikes Wednesday night at Lubrano Park and Medlar Field.
Hudson Valley drew first blood in the second. With one out, designated hitter Rafelin Lorenzo lined a double to left. After a groundout moved him to third with two away, first baseman Matt Eureste reached on a fielding error by Spikes starting pitcher Daniel Castano. Lorenzo scored on the play and the Renegades had a 1-0 lead.
Things stayed that way until the fourth when State College got the run back and tied the game. Centerfielder Scott Hurst and third baseman Evan Mendoza started the inning with groundball singles to right. The second one by Mendoza moved Hurst from first to third and the Spikes had runners at the corners with nobody out. Renegades starting pitcher Drew Strotman got a strikeout, but then allowed a lined single to center from first baseman Yariel Gonzalez to score Hurst and move Mendoza to second. After that, Strotman got out of the inning by getting a huge 6-4-3 double play ball by rightfielder Bryce Denton to keep the score tied at one.
The Renegades had a chance to take the lead in the eighth. After a walk and single put runners at first and second with one out, Castano was replaced by reliever Will Latcham for State College. After getting a strikeout, Latcham uncorked a wild pitch, sending the runners to second and third with two away. However, catcher Zac Law grounded out to third and the Spikes were out of the inning.
State College had an opportunity itself to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth as two walks and a single against Hudson Valley reliever Hunter Schryver loaded the bases with two out. Mendoza came to the plate and he an Schryver locked into a great duel, working the count to 3-2, but after 13 pitches in the at-bat Schryver got Mendoza to fly out to deep right to end the inning.
After getting out of the jam, the Renegades pounced on the Spikes in the ninth inning against Latcham. Rightfielder Angel Perez was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and lifted for pinch runner Isaac Benard. That's when Rojas drilled a triple to center to score Benard. On the play, Hurst made a poor throw to the infield, which was scored an error. The throw allowed Rojas to score and give Hudson Valley a 3-1 lead.
Renegades closer Matt Vogel made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth as he came on for Schryver. Vogel got two fly outs, but also hit two batters and walked another to load the bases with two away. Rightfielder Brandon Benson came to the plate with a chance to tie the game, however Vogel got him to ground out to short and give Hudson Valley the 3-1 win.
Getting the win for the Renegades was Schryver (1-0) who fired two innings of scoreless baseball, while walking two, striking out another, and giving up a hit. The loss went to Latcham (1-1) who allowed two runs, one earned, on a hit and struck out two in 1.2 innings. Vogel's save was his first of the season.
Lost in the win were great performances by each team's starters. Strotman allowed a run on three hits in six innings of work. The right-hander also walked two and struck out five. Castano, meanwhile, allowed an unearned run on four hits in 7.1 innings.
The Renegades had five hits in the game with nobody recording more than one. The Spikes, meanwhile, finished with four singles. Nobody for them had more than one hit as well.
The Renegades wrap-up their three-game series against the Spikes tomorrow. First-pitch is at 7:05. The Renegades will send right-hander Austin Franklin (2-2, 3.07 ERA) to the mound while State College will counter with righty Johan Oviedo (1-0, 7.84 ERA). The Renegades return home on Friday when they open a three-game series against the Brooklyn Cyclones. First-pitch is at 7:05. There will be fireworks following the game. 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.