2015 World Series Highlights – Day #3

Storm halt Renegades 13 game winning streak in walk off fashion 17-16

Christian Thaxton poses  after scoring his first 4 run game with the Renegade medical team of Yuki Ara and Mike Marciello who helped him get back on the field

Christian Thaxton poses after scoring his first 4 run game with the Renegade medical team of Yuki Ara and Mike Marciello who helped him get back on the field

The game the Renegades would be looking forward to.  They had beaten their first four opponents by the combined score of  56-18 including two 12-run rule wins.  The day would start with some question marks that started at the hotel.  Coach Weissman was running late for batting practice and in his haste of getting out of the parking garage would slam the front end of his rental van into the wall of the garage.  Thankfully, nobody was hurt and the Cochran family was in town to watch the games…so he hitched a ride and showed up late for batting practice.  Rob Dias was a question mark with his health and injury.  Dias was limping through warm-ups but it would take more than this to keep him out of this game.  Colorado was the three seed in this tourney and were also 4-0 on the week with wins over the Taiwan Lightning (17-5), Columbus Midnight stars (14-7), Indy Thunder (9-8) and the Southwest Slammer (14-5).  Boston would lose the coin toss and Joe McCormick, Larry Haile and Christian Thaxton would go down 1-2-3 to start the game.   All hell would soon break out as the bats from Colorado would do some serious damage.  Ethan Johnston would start the game blasting a line drive up the middle past the hands of Rob Dias.  Doug Biggins would hit a line drive into left field for the 2nd run.  Guy Zuccarello would make a stop on a weak hit ball down the 3rd base line for the first out and then Joe Yee would settle into make a nice play on a hit to 3rd base by Rich Krussell and things were looking up for the Renegades.  Steve Lyles would then step up and hit a lazy fly ball up the middle of the field that Rob Dias could not coral and then things just got bad as Rookie Mike Malloy would then score on a pop-up near Guy Zuccarello to turn over the order.  Johnston stepped to the plate and blasted a bomb by everyone into deep left field.  Biggins scored his 2nd run on a ball hit past Rob Dias on the right side of the field and then the back breaker of them all was Demetrius Morrow hitting a bomb into left field.  The kicker here was Larry Haile was in a shift and was playing right on the ball.  Both he and Joe Yee missed it for the 7th run of the inning.  Russell would score another run before Dias stopped the bleeding.  After one inning Colorado had put up 8 runs on the Boston defense.  Shayne Cantan got the Renegades on the board in the top of the second with a fly ball up the middle of the field.  Zuccarello also plated a run with a line drive to the right side to turn the order over as Joe McCormick and Christian Thaxton settled in and each scored. Guy Zuccarello looked good in the 2nd inning on defense as he made two stops against just one run from the bat of Ethan Johnston.  When the inning was over it was 9-4 and the Renegades had started to get back into the game.  The mojo stopped as Dias and Zuccarello would hit weak shots to Ethan Johnston and Joe McCormick struck out. Colorado’s bats would score three times in the 3rd but two of them were on junk that Guy and Rob Dias could not get in time.   The score was 12-4 after three frames.  The Renegades were waking up and Larry Haile would get on the board to lead off the 4th with a line shot into left field.  Thaxton followed this with a more impressive blast into left field, Shayne Cantan hit a towering pop fly into left and Rob Dias followed suit with a hard hit fly ball into left field.  Guy Zucarello changed the theme and then scored on a hard grounder to the right side for 5 consecutive runs and nobody out.  What became worrisome was that Joe McCormick started to see some changes to his swing and he struck out for a second time.  In frustration, McCormick threw his bat to the ground which was to close to the head umpire, John Lykowski and McCormick was warned for his conduct (he later apologized).   a Scarier moment would come next as Christian Thaxton came to the plate and hit a hard line drive to the left side and took off down third base.  The ball ricochet off Ethan Jonshton who chased after it into foul territory and these two speedsters collided in an ugly collision.  Since Thaxton was starting his first game of the World Series, there was concern about his hip.  He was fine.  Johnston, whom had scored three times took the worst of it as he was hit in the head and shoulder.  After a few minutes he rose to his feet and went back to the field.  Colorado would tack 2 more runs on in the 4th, but the Renegade defense was settling in as Rob Dias and Joe Yee made nice stops.   Boston had pulled the game within 4 runs and trailed 14-10.  In the top of the 5th Rob Dias scored on a grounder to left field.  Zuccarello plated a run on a line drive to 2nd base but then Joe McCormick came up and continued to struggle  as he had swung and missed on 10 straight pitches after tearing the cover off the ball in the previous 4 games.  Larry Haile and Christian Thaxton would then plate runs and tie the game at 14-14 as Boston had fought back from an 8 run deficit.   In the 5th, Colorado would score on two more chump runs as Rich Krussel and Stevie Lyles beat Joe McCormick and Larry Haile and pushed the score to 16-14.  During this time, Coach Weissman was looking hard at McCormicks swing on video and he found something that would help.  This was discussed with hitting coach, Mike Marciello.  Heading into the 6th inning, Guy Zuccarello hit a nice line drive into left field but Doug Biggins slid to make the stop.  As the play unfolded, Weissman looked to the bench and asked when Demtrious Morrow was put back into the game.  Play was stopped and the Renegades found out that Morrow was entered illegally by not notifying the score keeper.  Weissman urged the umpires to make that run count since Morrow was in the game illegally.  After a long delay it was decided that since Morrow was not involved in the play, the out would stand because the rule was not stated in the NBBA rule book.  After a long delay, up stepped Joe McCormick who had been taking pointers from Marciello.  On the first pitch, he blasted it into left field and the Renegades went crazy as Weissman was fired up and screaming “UBERSENSE!”  Larry Haile then drove a line drive up the middle to make it 16-16.  Christian Thaxton who had scored 4 straight runs in this game strode to the plate and on the 1st pitch hit a ball off the bottom of the bat which Ethan Johnston stopped and then Shayne Cantan struck out on 4 pitches…but the Renegades had come back 16-16.  Doug Biggins came to the plate and was 3-5 on the day and hit a grounder to the 1st base side.  Larry Haile moved to and it kicked off him as Biggins scored in walk off-fashion.  Boston had their first loss of the World Series and had a 13 game win streak stopped.  Boston had not let up this many runs in a game since 2012 when Colorado scored 22 and Chicago scored 31 times.  BUT this was the 2nd time they had scored 16 runs this week which was one of their biggest out-puts in team history (most was 21 against Chicago in 2012).  Since this game took a long time, the Indy Knights were awaiting the Renegades on a field far across the park. As the Storm would next face the RHI Extreme.

 Renegades 12-run third team of the World Series rolling over Knights 19-10

Christian Thaxton paced the offense with another 4 run performance and Ron Cochran pitched one of his best games of the week scoring 19 runs against just 3 strike outs

Christian Thaxton paced the offense with another 4 run performance and Ron Cochran pitched one of his best games of the week scoring 19 runs against just 3 strike outs

Following the loss to Colorado, the Renegades huddled and were reminded they were still alive for the championship as they only had one loss.  They were told to keep their heads up and forge forward.   As they packed up their equipment, they were forced to head to the other side of the complex where  the Renegades would face off against the Indy Knights for a 2nd time.  The Knights had played well since they played the Renegades as they had beaten NJ (4-3), Arizona (11-5), Columbus (15-14) and Atlanta (10-2).  They seemed cocky as we arrived at the field when Pitcher, Ron Cochran asked Lindsay Woodard, how they had done and she replied, “you will soon see what we can do”.  Ron chuckled and brought this banter to the bench as bulletin board material.   Joe McCormick would lead off this game and his struggles would continue as he would foul off just one pitch and go down swinging.  More work was to be done to his swing and he would soon become a project for Coach Rob and Mike to help him set up his arms consistently.  Christian Thaxton moved up to 2nd in the order and scored followed by run scoring hits by Larry Haile and Guy Zuccarello in the first  to give Boston a 3-0 cushion to start.  This line-up had some changes to it as Joe Quintanilla was making a start and batting 5th, Shayne Cantan was starting at 3rd base and batting 6th while Rob Dias was moved to a Designated fielder.  Dias was still limping and the overall feeling was we would need him to stay loose.  We feared if he tightened up he would be lost for the day.  The Renegade defense looked more relaxed to start this game as Rob Dias and Joe Quintanilla made stops to start off the game before John Lombardo put the Knights on the board.  After one inning Boston was up 3-1.  It would be over from here.  In the 2nd inning Boston would go off in record setting fashion.  Joe McCormick would lead off  and score on a line drive into left field (2 pitches), Christian Thaxton would score on a hard ground ball (1 pitch), Larry Haile would hit the 1st pitch in the air to 3rd base before Guy Zuccarello would battle (hitting the pitcher on one pitch) and strike out.  Joe Quintanilla would score on a grounder up the middle (1 pitch), Shayne Cantan would score on a high fly ball to the left side (1 pitch).  Joe McCormick then came to the plate and on the 3rd pitch hit a grounder to the left side for his 2nd run of the inning.  Thaxton would score on 1 pitch to the right side and Guy Zuccarello would hit a hard grounder to the right side.  When the inning was over Boston would send 11 batters to the plate and score 8 times.  Ron Cochran threw just 20 pitches which the Renegades offered swings at (there were 2 takes) and only 3 of them were swings and misses (all by Zuccarello).  One of the top run scoring innings in Renegade history (though they had scored 16 the prior day against Tyler and 9 against Arizona on day one of the World Series).  In the Bottom of the 2nd, the Knights would impress by putting the ball into play.  The Renegades defense struggled mightily as Joe Mccormick and Guy Zuccarello failed on 4 different hits and the Knights plated 5 runs to make the score 11-6.  The Boston bats did it again in the 3rd inning sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring another 8 runs.  For the 2nd consecutive inning every batter would score at least one run with Shayne Cantan plating a pair in this frame.  Another highlight of the inning was Tim Syphers coming off the bench and scoring a run.  When the dust settled, Christian Thaxton had his 2nd career 4-run game, Joe McCormick battled his swing and finished 3-5 with 2 strike outs.  Larry Haile, Guy Zuccarello and Shayne Cantan all plated 3 runs with Joe Quintanilla plating a pair of his own.  The 12-run rule was in effect with the Renegades leading 19-6.  Guy Zuccarello was taken out of the game at this point because he was having a hard time with his ears on this field as he had missed 5 chances in this game.  It’s funny to hear this as the former defensive MVP was more valuable with  his bat (hitting .619 at this point in the World Series) John Lombardo would score a run in the 3rd inning and then something happened unprecedented in Renegade history.  The official scorekeeper claimed it was the 5th inning.  Ron Cochran called time and tried to explain to the umpire that it was actually only the 4th inning and the Knights should not be penalized.  The Renegade coach was actually fighting for the Knights but to no avail.  The umpire and scorekeeper called it the 5th inning as the scorekeeper refused to count her outs on the score sheet.  Boston would get a lot of players into this game and the final out of the game was made by JJ ward as the Renegades rolled 19-10 and eliminated the Knights from double elimination.  After the game, the scorekeeper was baffled as to why the Knights only had 15 outs.

Renegades set team record for most runs scored in a game and defeat Indy Thunder 22-12

Thaxton scored 5 runs in this contest as McCormick and Dias each plated 4 runs to pace the offense

Thaxton scored 5 runs in this contest as McCormick and Dias each plated 4 runs to pace the offense

In NBBA form, the Renegades were forced to change fields for the third time that day while the lower ranked Indy Thunder camped on one field all day long.  The Indy Thunder were having an amazing season but they had a brutal schedule and this would be their 9th game in 3 days.  They had played 3 games on each of the first three days of the Series (compared to just the 7th for the Renegades).  They had gone 2-1 in pool play beating Columbus 9-0, the Taiwan Lightning 13-7 before losing in heart-break fashion to the Colorado Storm 9-8.    On day 2, Indy beat the BCS Outlaws 18-5 before losing to the Taiwan Home Run 18-15 and then defeated Long Island 10-4.  On this day they had won both their matches beating the NJ Titans 15-4 and the Minnesota Millers 11-10.  The winner of this game would advance and secure a top 6 seed.  The loser would play in the 7/8 game on Friday.  A lot would be on the line and both teams were tired.  The Boston injury front looked better than Indy as just Rob Dias had suffered a new injury this week.    The Renegades would have the most respect for the Indy Thunder as some of their scores were very close against top teams.    The line-up would go through another tweak and Christian Thaxton would be moved to the lead-off spot.  Boston would lose another coin toss and start off as the visiting team.  The bombs would start right out of the gate as the Renegades bats stayed on fire as Thaxton lined a shot up the middle, Larry Haile hit a fly ball up the middle and Joe McCormick hit a line drive up the middle on the 1st three pitches of the game where every ball rolled near or well past the 170 feet mark.  In fact, all 6 batters would put the ball in play for the Renegades on just 9 pitches for the inning.   To start off the game for the Thunder, Corey White would lead off for Indy and controversy would start on the very first at-bat as the umpire called a ball foul that had cleared the 40 foot line which Joe McCormick had picked up.  After the umpire refused to change her call, Darnell Booker, the Thunder pitcher, in a moment of great sportsmanship convinced the umpire the wrong call had been made and the out was awarded to the Renegades defense.  This would be a common theme for much of the early parts of the game where calls seemed to baffle the renegades.  In the bottom of the first,  the Thunder would score a pair of runs as the Rodriguez brothers (both teenagers) continued to haunt the Gades, each scoring in the first frame.    In the 2nd, Haile and McCormick hit more bombs and Rob Dias scored on a grounder to push the score to 6 runs.  In the bottom of the frame, Guy Zucarello and Joe Yee each made stops on defense and just Corey White scored as Boston led 6-3.  A comical moment happened in the 3rd inning as Joe McCormick popped up a ball to the right side and ran toward first base yelling “No base” as the base had gone out during his run to the base.  He was able to find the base without it beeping but had been put out as he struggled to locate the base.  He did receive a new count and scored on a bomb up the center of the field.  The Boston bats would remain hot with 5 of the 6 starters scoring runs in this game.  As the Boston bats banged hard, many of the Indy players were coming up limping as Tyler Rodriguez, Corey White, Jordy Stringer and Miguel Tello all needed time for injuries during the game.  The worst looking injury occurred to Miguel Tello who was playing third base in the 5th inning when Joe McCormick hit a smash to left field but the ball had stopped beeping.  On the very next pitch, he hammered a shot right at Tello and Tello put him out but in the process the ball hit him square in the nuts.  Tello could barely stand after this play as he was clearly not wearing a cup..but he did hold on for the out.  Coach Marciello joked that it was the first time he had seen three balls broken in an at-bat.  The inning would proceed with Rob Dias and Shayne Cantan striking out back-to-back and the Renegades put up a donut in the 5th inning.  For the first time since the 1st inning against Colorado they had not scored in an inning.  Indy would plate a pair in the 5th and pull within 5 runs at 14-9.  Boston was well aware of Booker’s capability to bring a team back.  The 6th inning would  put the nail in the coffin as the Renegades looked for insurance.  They got it in the form of 8 runs as Thaxton, Tim Syphers and Guy Zuccarello all plated a pair of runs with Rob Dias and Joe Quintanilla pitching in one run each.  Boston would have enough cushion 22-9 that they could afford to let up a few runs in the bottom of the 6th.  When this game ended both teams were exhausted and it was close to 8:00 at night.  Combine the high scoring affair with the fast fields and the fact Boston hit bombs all over the field that rolled over 170 feet caused major delays to the pace of this game.   These bombs were coming from everyone in the line-up including players like JJ Ward, Joe Quintanilla and Tim Syphers whom had come of the bench to contribute at the plate.   One highlight that many of the Renegades will recall was in the middle of the game, Christian Thaxton hit a laser over everyones heads and laughed as he ran down the third base line by his bench.  The laugh was not in any meant to be disrespectful to the Thunder..it was merely Thaxton having fun with his new sport that he had just started playing in June.  He had known that he had laid into the ball as well as he could.  Thaxton would become just the 5th Renegade to score 5 runs in a game as it was just the 6th time in history a Renegade had scored this many runs and the first time since Joe McCormick and Larry Haile did it against the Cleveland Scrappers in 2012.  Joe McCormick would work hard with his coaching staff to be consistent in his stance and would plate 4 runs while Rob Dias battled through injuries all day also plated 4 runs to pace the Renegade offense.  Defensively, the team continued to struggle but 5 different Renegades made stops led by Guy Zuccarello making three stops on the left side.  For the 2nd year in a row, the Renegades would still be alive on Friday of the World Series!

 

2015 World Series Highlights – Day #2

Renegades Trounce the Tigers and set team record winning 16-6

The night before this game, Coach Rob sat with the defensive team and asked why they were struggling so much.  We knew the harder competition was coming and we truly needed to sure the defense up.  The fields were hard, fast and often times not even.  The result of the meeting was if we beat Tyler, we would stay on the field afterwards to take defense practice to prepare for the next day.  Since Boston was the one seed, it got a bye while Tyler had to play Columbus in the morning game which they won by a low score of 6-1.

All of the players who plated a run in the record breaking 1st inning for the Renegades

All of the players who plated a run in the record breaking 1st inning for the Renegades and their pitcher and catc

In a rare moment, the Renegades actually won the coin toss and took the home field.  This would be the game that Chrsitain Thaxton would have the training wheels take off as we needed him to get some at bats before the tough opponents showed up on the schedule.  No knock on Tyler, as they have been an up and coming team and had won 3 of 4 games to this point with wins over the NJ Titans, Canada and Columbus.  Their lead off hitter, Derrick Floyd amazed the Renegades as he stood at 6 feet 8 inches tall and dwarfed every player on our roster.  He also scored on the first at bat of the game and Ron Jordan plated a run to go back-to-back for Tyler.  This was not the way, the Renegades needed to sure up their defense.  As the game was being played a tractor was cutting and bailing hay in a neighboring field which slowed the game down…though later in the match, the Renegades defense would choose to play through the noise.  The story of this game was the bottom of the first inning, which set many Renegade records.  Joe McCormick led off the match and hit the second pitch for a weak pop fly down the third base side that landed at about 70 feet for a score.  Larry Haile on a full count hit a weak grounder to the 3rd base line that barely rolled out past the 40 foot arc for a score.  Rob Dias then hit the best ball of the inning that may have traveled near 100 feet to the left side and scored.  If this weak start was not enough, Shayne Cantan then hit a ball off the end of his bat that spun like it was hit with side spin from a pool table.  Since the field was fast, the ball landed at about 40.1 feet for the 4th run of the inning.  Guy Zucarello strode to the plate and on the second pitch hit a weak grounder up the middle that looked like an out…but Jason Gainey overplayed his position and just as Larry Reed was going to make the play, Gainey crashed into him and Guy scored the 5th run of the inning.  Then Tim Syphers came up and hit a ball to the right side which the defense stood around looking for because Tim hit it hard enough that he hit most of the beep out of the ball…and the ball went speaker down into the grass..and nobody could hear it.  The first six batters scored on all junk.  So we turned the order over and McCormick scored on a pop up to the left side…this one struck better than the first.  Larry also scored on a nice drive to left to make the score 8-2.  Rob Dias strode to the plate and on a foul ball he came back limping to home plate with what looked to be the first serious injury of the week.  Rob is one tough character but with an 8-2 lead and no outs, there was no reason to force him to play.  Off the bench came rookie, Christian Thaxton with a 1 strike count.  He calmly worked it to a three strike count and then laced a shot to deep left field where he was instructed to not run 100% due to his hip flexor.  The team erupted and the score was 9-0. Shayne Cantan then hit a bomb down the third base line to make it 10-0.  Guy Zucarello plated a run on a grounder up the middle and Tim Syphers scored his second run of the game…his first ever multi run game and the score was 12-0 and nobody was out.  Mccormick and Haile would both plate their third runs of the inning.  Thaxton would hit a ball harder and longer than the first one he hit and we had scored 15 consecutive runs.  Joe Mccormick had a chance to score 4 runs in an inning but he struck out.  When the dust settled and after more than an hour…the Renegades invoked the 12 run rule and were up 16-2.  Coach Weissman decided this would be where the team got its defensive practice and left the starters on the field for the most part for the rest of the game.  The defense had some gems and some help.  Larry Haile made a nice play running toward the line and not giving up on a ball where a Tyler base runner missed the base.  The web gem of the game was in the 3rd inning when John Ingram lined a shot off Joe McCormick’s chest and Mac made every attempt to cradle and catch the ball…to no avail.  In the end, Boston won a big game which meant they were done for the day and could rest.  They set some team records in this game including, 16 runs in an inning (most ever in an inning), a team .842 batting average (surpassing .684 vs Stockton in 2007) and the fist time the Renegades had ever 12-runned a team three times in a season.  This win over Tyler was the 6th in a row in this rivalry.  Tyler was the first team the Renegades ever beat in 2002.  Boston would rest up as their morning opponent would be the Colorado Storm, a team that finished third in 2014 and a team whom the Renegades have not had a lot of success against.  The team would have to see how Rob Dias was feeling and if Christian’s hip would be good after playing today.

2015 World Series Highlights – Day #1

Boston tucks them in and says good knight beating the Indy Knights

Rob Dias, JJ Ward and Shayne Cantan pose after a victory against the Indy Knights,   For Dias, this would be his first career 4 run game.  For Shayne and JJ, this was their first runs of the season

Rob Dias, JJ Ward and Shayne Cantan pose after a victory against the Indy Knights, For Dias, this would be his first career 4 run game. For Shayne and JJ, this was their first runs of the season

The World Series started off for the Renegades against a new team that was a spin off from the Indy thunder.  This team was comprised of players from the Thunder and the Wichita Sonics, who were not at the series this year.  On the mound was first year pitcher, Lindsay Woodard.  Right from the start, things started well for the Renegades as Indy went down 1-2-3 with two weak grounders hit to Guy Zuccarello.  Boston batted around in the first highlighted by bombs off the bats of Rob Dias and Joe McCormick (in his 2nd at bat of the inning).  Boston had a milestone in this inning as Guy Zuccarello scored (after hitting Ron in the arm on the first pitch).  His grounder up the middle resulted in his 100th run of his career.  At this point in history he is one of just seven players with 100 Renegade runs.  Guy would not have much time to celebrate. In the second inning, Indy got on the board with runs by Eddie Brown and Cleo Stephens.  During this inning Guy made the final out on defense off the bat of Dan Lowery but he  took the ball off the face and came back to the bench bleeding from his nose and lip.  The bats of Boston would be too much as the Renegades batted around again in the 2nd inning with Dias, Zuccarello (with gauze shoved up his nose), McCormick and Larry Haile all plating runs on bombs hit into the outfield.  The booming bats for Boston gave trouble to Indy as both Eddie Brown and Cleo Stephens left the game with injuries in this inning.  Guy would exit the game as a precaution to get the bleeding to stop.  In the 4th inning, with a comfortable 12-4 lead, Joe Quintanilla and JJ ward would plate back to back runs.  Two veterans who have been with the team for years and had battled injuries all season (Quintanilla an elbow and Ward three broken toes) would score their first runs of the year.  Melissa Hoyt would also see action in this game as she got in for the 5th and 6th innings.  She became the first female player to play in a World Series game for the Renegades since Kae Rausch played in 2007.  Boston Would Roll as Rob Dias would score 4 runs in this match (his first career 4 run game).  This offensive game would rank 3rd in team history for runs score (19), batting average of .500 (ranking 13th) and the 10 run differential was the 5th biggest margin of victory in history.  Little did the league know…the Boston bats would be a force this week.

Arizona is pummeled by a phenomenal Renegade offense 15-5

Joe McCormick, Rob Dias, Shayne Cantan and Guy Zuccarello all scored three runs in this win over Arizona

Joe McCormick, Rob Dias, Shayne Cantan and Guy Zuccarello all scored three runs in this win over Arizona

Game 2 of the World Series pit the Renegades up against a second team that broke off from their parent organization.  This Arizona team had 6 of the 7 players who would play in this game appear against the Renegades with the Southwest Slammers in the 2014 season.  It was a new team, with familiar faces.  Boston would lose the coin toss and be the visiting team and this would start something big in Renegade history.  Joe McCormick would lead off the game with a blast Into left field.  Larry Haile would then be stopped on a grounder to  third.   Rob Dias would loft a weak fly ball up the middle and score.  Shayne Cantan would then lift a fly ball to the right side with spin to score the 3rd run.  Guy Zucarello would then score as would Joe Yee on a line drive up the middle. McCormick would plate his second run on a bomb up the middle.  Larry would strike out for his second out of the inning.  Dias and Cantan would plate runs on fly balls to the middle of the field and Guy Zuccarello would plate the final run of the inning on a laser up the middle.  When the dust settled, Boston had plated 9 runs.  An achievement they last did at home against New Jersey earlier in the year.  In the third inning, JJ Ward came off the bench to play and hit a hard shot to the left side.  Pete Trejo raced after the ball, dove and the ball landed square in his baseball glove as the Renegade coaches looked on with awe.  Not many players even play with a glove.  Without that glove, JJ likely would have scored…but this was one of two web gems of the day.  After three innings the Renegades invoked the 12 run rule with a commanding 15-2 lead.  This new team looked very bad on defense with huge holes left uncovered…but their swing were big and mighty.  In time, they could have a very good offensive team.  As we entered the 12 run rule part of the game, the Renegades would finish the game playing three straight innings of defense.  A few highlights happened here.  In the Zona 5th inning, Jen Boylan stepped to the plate 0 for 2 with 2 strike outs and she hit a ball weakly down the right side of the field and took off for first base.  At about 40 feet into her sprint she plowed into and over the umpire knocking the umpire on his ass.  That would not deter Jen as she may not have been officially ruled down by football standards and kept chugging.  Sadly she was stopped.  Since the umpire is part of the field of play, she was allowed a do over and she was stopped by JJ Ward.  To see her plow this umpire over and keep going showed grit, determination and power!  Later in this inning, Pete Trejo stepped to the plate 0-3 on the day and laced a low line drive to Guy Zuccarello.  As guy was shuffling to his left…the ball hit him on the fly and kicked to his right.  Joe Yee was playing third base and quickly stopped and pivoted to run in the opposite direction for an amazing web gem from the Renegades.  When this game was over, JJ Ward played a few solid innings for Boston at Right Shorty picking up 3 stops on defense, his first of the year and this would give him confidence to chip in for the rest of the series.

Renegades light up the Lightning and clinch team’s second one seed in World Series history, winning 10-2

From Left to right these volunteers were with the team for the 2015 world series:  Yuki Ara, Mike Marciello, Ace Lenicheck, Jamie Dickerson, Bryan Grillo, Ron Cochran and Rob Weissman

From Left to right these volunteers were with the team for the 2015 world series: Yuki Ara, Mike Marciello, Ace Lenicheck, Jamie Dickerson, Bryan Grillo, Ron Cochran and Rob Weissman

Boston would close out day one of the World Series against a known foe, the New Jersey Lightning.  The third consecutive team impacted by a mutiny…but this time, many of the players left the Lightning to form the New Jersey Titans.  Since Boston finished off Arizona quickly, we were left waiting for the NJ/ Knights game to end as that game went extra innings and the Knights eked out a 4-3 win.  Due to the length of this game and the distance to the concessions stand, we had an excruciating wait before our game could start.  When the teams finally began to get ready, the key difference was the Lightning pitcher was Kevin Barrett of the Cleveland Scrappers.  This would likely mean more offense from New Jersey than in the past two meetings.  We had also learned their defensive whiz kid, Casey Bahn had spent the night in the hospital due to hydration issues.  With the familiarity of the Lightning, Weissman trotted out a new line up with the goal to rest some bodies.  Joe Quintanilla, JJ Ward and Tim Syphers would all get their first starts of the season in the lineup.  This game would not start like the previous ones as the Renegades needed to shake off the long break and the rust that went with it.  McCormick was able to score to lead off the game but then the Renegades would have not one but two huge base running blunders by Joe Quintanilla who ran to the wrong base before correcting himself and was put out by a step.  The big boner of the World Series occurred with Joe Yee at the plate.  With three strikes he hit a weak ball up the middle and took a step to the wrong base as well…but the difference is he never ran to the right base.  Instead he stood at home plate.  The sad thing was the defense stopped pursuing the ball..as both teams sat in silence and the coaches agonized because they could not say anything.  In the end, Casey Bahn picked up the ball and Yee was out.  Weissman was livid because players are taught to run everything out.  Apparently Yee thought he heard “foul” from the Renegade bench.  So as the Renegades took the field in the bottom of the first, they should have had at least three runs.  Then something happened that had not happened all year…New Jersey took the lead with run scoring hits by Sherlock Washington and Doug Winthrop.  The Boston bats would put it away in the next inning as they were able to stop the mental mistakes and built a 5-2 lead. With one out in the bottom of the second, Joe Yee was involved in another crazy play.  This time, Sherlock Washington hit a shot that ricocheted off Joe McCormick who was playing in the left shorty spot…but the ball changed direction toward the middle of the field.  Again, Yee stopped on a dime and reversed direction to make the stop…for the web gem of the game!  In the third inning, Tim Syphers delivered the first run of his 2015 campaign with a fly ball up the middle as the team erupted for him.  Lastly, a highlight for the Renegades here was Aqil Sajjad had been struggling with his swing and some hard work during the break paid off as he was able to put two balls in play and score a run in the 6th inning to give the Renegades their tenth run of the game.  For just the second time in history, Boston would end day one as the number one seed.  The only other time that had happened was in 2011.  The team was stoked, well rested and the injuries were healing well.  Christian Thaxton had spent the day as the on deck circle man.  He was itching to get in the games..but was held back due to a hip flexor strain he suffered at practice just a few days ago.  His training wheels would come off soon.  For the Renegades, they would say goodbye to coach, Jason Lenicheck after this game.  He bailed us out and provided a driver for the World Series.  He also gave Bryan Grillo and Jamie Dickerson a game off from calling in the field on the first day.  His contribution was immense and he was missed the rest of the week.  We are just fortunate to have amazing volunteers like Ace who has been with the team since 2004.