WAPPINGERS FALLS, NY- On a night where they could have pulled to within a game of the McNamara Division lead, Hudson Valley hitters stranded 12 baserunners and their relievers squandered a 2-0 lead as the Renegades dropped their second consecutive game to the Vermont Lake Monsters 6-3 Friday evening at Dutchess Stadium. Their loss, plus a win by the Aberdeen Ironbirds, and the Renegades wild card lead has dropped to a single game.
Hudson Valley started the scoring in the second inning as first baseman Brendan McKay reached on an infield single to short to lead things off. Catcher Zac Law was then hit with a pitch to put runners at first and second with nobody out. Designated hitter Rafelin Lorenzo followed with a lined single to left to load the bases before leftfielder Oscar Rojas grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to score McKay and give the Renegades a 1-0 lead.
The Renegades added to their lead in the third. With one out, second baseman Vidal Brujan grounded a triple down the rightfield line. The next hitter, shortstop Deion Tansel, followed with a line drive single to center to bring in Brujan.
Vermont would respond with a run in the fourth. With one away, second baseman Ryan Gridley lined a double to center. After a fly out to right by Aaron Arruda moved Gridley to third, leftfielder Payton Squier drove him in with a lined double to center to make the score 2-1.
The Lake Monsters would surge ahead by plating four more runs in the sixth off Renegades reliever Matt Vogel. Designated hitter Logan Farrar began with inning with a groundball single to left. Back-to-back walks by Vogel to rightfielder Anthony Churlin and Gridley loaded the bases with no outs before Arruda grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Farrar scored on the play and Churlin moved to third, however there were two out and it appeared Vogel would get out of the inning with limited damage. However, Squier reached on an infield single to shortstop which deflected off Vogel's glove. Churlin scored to give the Lake Monsters the lead and the floodgates started to open. Centerfielder Mickey McDonald followed with a lined single to left to move Squier to second, then catcher Iolana Ikau provided the big blow with a two-run double to left. Both Squier and McDonald scored on the play to give Vermont a 5-2 lead.
Things stayed that way until the seventh when the Renegades mounted a rally. With one out, McKay drew a walk. After Law struck out for out number two, Lorenzo hit a slow roller to short. Lake Monsters shortstop Jesus Lage came up with the throw and fired to first to try and get the out, however the ball was in the dirt and got away from Arruda. McKay came all the way around from first to bring Hudson Valley to within two as Lage was charged with an error.
The Lake Monsters, though, would get the run back in the eighth. With one out an no one on base, Renegades closer Zack Mozingo allowed back-to-back singles to Arruda and Squier to put runners at the corners. Mozingo then got McDonald to ground into a 4-6 fielder's choice. The relay to first was late for the double play, Arruda scored, and Vermont had a 6-3 lead.
That would finish the scoring as Vermont reliever Michael Danielak closed the game with 2.1 scoreless innings on two hits and a walk. It was his third save of the season. Getting the win for the Lake Monsters was starting pitcher Oscar Tovar (3-2) who allowed two earned runs on seven hits in five innings of work. He also walked one and struck out four. Vogel (1-5) suffered the loss for the Renegades as the right-hander allowed four earned runs on four hits in only two frames with two walks and two punch outs.
Hudson Valley actually outhit Vermont 11-10. McKay, Lorenzo, and rightfielder Angel Perez had two hits apiece for the Renegades, all of which were singles. McKay scored twice and drew two walks in addition to his singles. Squier led the way for Vermont as he went 3-4 with a double, run, and two RBI. Third baseman Will Toffey finished 2-3 with two singles. He was ejected in the bottom of the fifth for arguing balls and strikes.
Hudson Valley and Vermont will wrap-up their three-game series tomorrow at Dutchess Stadim. First-pitch is set for 7:05. On the hill for the Renegades will be right-hander Drew Strotman (2-3, 1.81 ERA). He will be opposed by fellow righty Jean Ruiz (1-0, 1.33 ERA) of the Lake Monsters. 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.