LOWELL, MA- Lowell scored single runs in the seventh and eighth innings to overcome a one-run deficit and defeat the Hudson Valley Renegades 3-2 Tuesday night at LeLacheur Park to salvage one game of their three-game series. Despite the loss, Hudson Valley secured themselves at least the wild card in the New York-Penn League playoffs after the Aberdeen Ironbirds had their game rained out against the Staten Island Yankees Tuesday evening. The Renegades still have an outside shot at the McNamara Division title, but must win their final two games against the Ironbirds and have the Yankees lose their final two contests versus the Brooklyn Cyclones.
The Renegades got the scoring started in the third. Third baseman Bill Pujols led off the inning with a groundball single to center. Second baseman Vidal Brujan followed by grounding a single to left to put runners at first and second with nobody out. After Spinners starting pitcher Angel Padron struck out centerfielder Carl Chester swinging, the left-hander uncorked back-to-back wild pitches to score Pujols and give Hudson Valley a 1-0 lead.
Lowell came back to tie the game in the third with an unearned run off Renegades starter Resly Linares. Rightfielder Alexander Martinez started the inning by reaching on a throwing error from Brujan. Centerfielder Cole Brannen came up next and laced a triple to center to bring in Martinez and tie the game. Linares however got the next hitter, third baseman Everlouis Lozada, to ground into a 5-2 fielder's choice to third. Brannen was gunned down at the plate by Pujols and the game remained tied at one.
The Spinners had a prime opportunity to take the lead against Linares in the fourth. Designated hitter Marino Campana led off the inning with a walk then raced to third on a groundball single to left from shortstop Michael Osinski. Linares though settled down and struck out second baseman Kervin Suarez swinging and got a shallow fly out to right from leftfielder Nicholos Hamilton for the first two out. He then hit catcher Charlie Madden with a pitch to load the bases, but got Martinez to strike out swinging to end the inning.
It then took an incredibly bizarre play for the Renegades to take the lead in the fifth. Pujols started the inning with a lined triple to center; yet he was not the one to score the go-ahead run. Brujan stood in next and, with the infield drawn in, grounded out to short as Pujols remained at third. Chester came to the plate next and hit a groundball to third. With Pujols breaking for the plate, Lozada fired home and Madden chased Pujols back toward third before putting the tag on near the bag for the second out. On the play, Chester rounded first and dug for second. After tagging out Pujols, Madden threw to second to try and retire Chester, however the ball went into centerfield and Chester came around to score as Brannen ran a long way in center to chase the ball down. Chester circled the bases on a fielder's choice groundball to third to give Hudson Valley a 2-1 lead while Madden was hit with a throwing error.
Again, Lowell had a chance to score in the bottom of the fifth, but came up empty. With one out, Lozada grounded a single to center, then went to second on an infield single to second by first baseman Zach Sterry. Linares then got Campana to fly out to center for the second out before he was lifted for reliever Alex Valverde. With runners at first and second and two away, Valverde caught Osinski looking at strike three to get out of the jam.
Lowell finally tied the game in the seventh. Martinez was hit with a pitch to begin the inning, then went to second as Valverde committed a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. After Brannen struck out swinging, Lozada grounded a single into right to score Martinez and tie the game at two apiece.
Things stayed that way until the eighth when the Spinners pushed a run across to take the lead. With one out, Suarez drew a walk. He went to second as Hamilton grounded an infield single to short. Lowell would load the bases as Madden drew another walk off Valverde with one out. Martinez then grounded into a 4-6 fielder's choice and beat the wrap at first to allow Suarez to score and give Lowell a 3-2 lead.
Hudson Valley went 1-2-3 in the ninth as Lowell reliever Durin O'Linger (4-1) went the final four innings to get the win. The right-hander allowed two hits, walked none and struck out five to end the game. Taking the loss for Hudson Valley was Valverde (2-1) after he allowed two runs, one earned, on two hits over 3.1 innings. He also walked four and struck out four others.
Each team had seven hits in the game. Pujols led the way for Hudson Valley by going 2-4 with a triple and run scored, while Brujan chipped in with two singles. Lowell got three singles from Lozada who also drove in a run. Though he finished 0-3, Martinez scored twice and drove in a run to pace 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. The Renegades will start right-hander Tobias Myers (4-2, 3.54 ERA) on Wednesday against lefty Cameron Bishop (1-1, 0.85 ERA) of the Ironbirds. 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.