The 2017 NBBA World Series game summaries Day 3 in Wellington, Florida for the Boston Renegades are below. The Renegades advanced to the round of the top 8 teams who had zero losses. This round would brin gthe first 8:30 start to the team. This mean getting up super early and having to deal with a wet dew on the grass which the team had not seen all week. The team knew that if it could win the 1st game, it would only have to play two games on the day. The first game would be a must win game
Game 4: Boston takes down Blackhawks again 18-7
Eight teams remained without a loss. The winner of this match would only have to play two games on the day. These two teams faced off in chicago in June. Boston won that game in a close contest. Neither team was at full strength at that time. Austin was missing their lead off hitter, Mike Finn and a new addition to their team in Greg Roberts as well as some much needed depth to their bench. Boston was missing three starters (McCormick, Dias and Zuccarello) as well as their number one pitcher, Ron Cochran. The day would start off with umpire trouble. Before the first pitch of the game was even thrown, Christian Thaxton was warned for touching his blindfold. An honest mistake, but Weissman looked up from his stool and asked the umpire what the penalty would be. The answer was automatic ejection if he touched it again. Message received in deep fear from Weissman and Thaxton. There was no intent behind that other than it being super hot out and sweat building up. On the 5th pitch, Thaxton lofted a fly ball up the middle for a run. Joe McCormick then would strike out on the 6th pitch he swung at. This bought Larry Haile to the plate. He dribbled a ball down the third base line which brought Darious Sterling racing to the line. A scary moment occurred when Sterling raced in front of Haile into foul ground to track the ball. Haile was out but more importantly, no-one was injured. Sterling would then make a great play on a fly ball to nail Dias on a bang-bang play to end the inning. Mike finn started the game off for Austin and lace a hard grounder to the right side to Rob Dias. Everyone could hear the crack of the ball slamming into his chest. Dias made the stop and was not hurt saying his chest hair cushioned the blow. Brandon Chesser would score on a bomb into left which brought the not so fleet of foot, Mariano Reynoso to the plate. Reynoso hit a dribbler and raced to the base as Justen Proctor raced in. 99 out of 100 times, Proctor wins this race…but on this day, Reynoso had the speed and got the run to give Austin a 2-1 lead. Hibner was trying to pick on the right side and Greg Roberts made the last out on a ball that McCormick stopped (his second stop of the inning). All three put outs came on the right side of the defense. In the second after a Zuccarello whiff on 4 pitches, Joe Yee hit his first pitch on the ground right at Sterling but it got a lucky bounce and went over him and Yee scored. The last time Yee scored against Austin, he broke his hand, this time he ended healthy! Thaxton scored on another pop fly to give Boston a 3-2 lead. McCormick scored on the 6th pitch he saw on a grounder to the right side to make it 4-2. After a Larry Haile strikeout where he fouled off 4 pitches, Rob Dias came to the plate. He hit a hard grounder up the middle that got away from Finn. As Finn scrambled, Dias hit the base and the bang-bang went to Austin. In the bottom of the second, Proctor nabbed Sterling to start the inning and then Finn hit a fly ball to the right side that Dias tried to stop on his knees. The ball rolled under him and Finn was safe. The number two hitter, Puryear struggled and struck out. This brought the big bat of Brnadon Chesser to the plate. He hit a weak grounder that Justen ate up like a pizza on Friday night. It was quick and easy. Sadly, for Boston, first base flickered and Chesser was awarded a new chance. This is the rule, as bad as it is. Even though the late base had no impact on this play, Chesser got another chance. This time, he hit a grounder up the middle and Guy Zuccarello laid out for the stop. He jumped for joy and Boston laughed as their all-time leader on defense made his first stop of the year for the Renegades in their 13th game of the season. Heading into the third inning, Guy Zuccarello would lead off the inning for the 2nd time of the game and be stopped by Finn up the middle. Yee stepped to the dish and in the first pitch smoked a grounder to the left side for his second run of the game. Thaxton followed his lead and also hit the first pitch on the ground down the third base line, for his third run if the game. Haile would get on the board for the first time this game to push the score to 7-3. Rob Dias was making an ugly trend as he lofted a fly to the right center of the field which Finn picked up on a bang-bang play to end the inning, the third straight inning, Dias made the last out. In the bottom of the third, Thaxton made a nice play in the third layer of the defense to stop Reynoso. Proctor then stopped Roberts. Hoping for a 1-2-3, boston needed to get the number 6 hitter, the speedy, Sterling. This time, the ball went off Proctor and he could not get to it in time as Sterling scored. Finn tacked on a run and after three Boston clung to a 7-5 lead. Zuccarello would lead off again in the 4th (his third straight inning) and started making comments that he felt like Thaxton leading off so many innings. This time, he would hit a fly ball up the middle with some spin. That spin was enough to elude Finn and Guy was on the board. Thaxton would hit a fly ball to the right side and score with ease for his 4th of the game and with two out, Haile would score on a grounder up the middle to make the game 10-5 as Boston was keeping a constant pressure on Austin and getting contributions on offense from everyone, but Rob Dias ended the 4th inning in a row with a strike out. The Austin 4th is where the wheels started to fall off. Brandon Chesser scored on another bomb into left but Hibner struck out Reynoso, Roberts hit a dribbler to Proctor and Sterling also whiffed. Two of Hibner’s three whiffs on the game came in this inning at a point where Austin needed something from the bottom half of the order. In the 5th, our new lead-off hitter, Guy Zucarello scored his second run of the game on a grounder up the middle, Thaxton plated his 5th run of the contest on a fly ball up the gut to make it 12-6 Boston. McCormick who had been quiet most of the game then hit a quality fly ball to the right side but Reynoso would make a great and lucky play as he dropped and landed on the ball to nab Joe. L-train Haile would then loft a deep fly into left to give Boston it’s 4th consecutive inning of three runs. In form, Dias would end the inning as his frustration grew. Hibner got a lead off run from Finn to start the 5th, but that would be all as Boston flashed leather with Proctor, McCormick and Dias making plays to end the inning. After five, Boston led 13-7 but never felt comfortable because Tim Hibner can lead any attack back and had his team as the home team. Boston came to the bench and put a huddle together with a “we are farmers” chant in a cry for insurance runs. Their cry was answered with the biggest inning of the game. Zuccarello led off for the 5th time and scored for the third time. Thaxton plated his 6th run of the game on a bomb to center over everyone. McCormick plated his second run on a fly to center. Haile scored on a grounder up the middle and Rob Dias came to the plate for the first time all game with less than two outs. Without the pressure, he scored his only run of the game and when he hit the bag, he actually smiled and laughed as he cried “finally” to his bench. Boston had a 5 run inning. The nail was in the coffin. Austin would go down 1-2-3 in the 6th with Proctor and Zuccarello making stops to seal the victory. Boston would stay on the field and take on their rival, the Colorado Storm in a battle of two teams which were among the final four without a loss. Austin would head to the losers bracket for a tough match up against the Chicago Comets. The 6 run attack from Thaxton would tie a team record that he set in 2016 against the Pennsylvania Wolfpack.
Game 5: Boston loses a heart breaker in world war 4 to storm 8-6
Three of the last four contests between these teams had been decided by a run. Two of them in walk off fashion. Why should this game be different with a top 3 seed on the line? Both teams entered the game as part of the final four teams left undefeated in the week. This time, the colorado bench was very deep as they recruited four familiar faces from Philly. Two of them, John Margist and Mike Coughlin would draw the start. The coin toss would go for Colorado and both teams knew the game could very well come down to whom hit last. Thaxton would lead off the game with a towering fly ball to center field. The ball would come down straight on top of Demetrius Morrow’s head. He was shocked, but it did not stop him from trying to find the ball. Thaxton would score wth ease. Morrow would be fine, in fact, he would be more than fine. More to come on that soon. In the bottom of the inning, John Margist would tag a shot to third and it would hit Joe Yee in the chest. Yee scrambled to make the play and in the process tweaked a muscle in his back. The out was recorded, but Yee was forced to leave the game with tightness in his back. Both teams had defensive players hurt in the first inning. Ethan johnston then lofted a fly ball to the right side which was short. As Dias approached it, he kicked a goal by booting the ball about 50 feet. After one, colorado led 2-1. Thaxton got it back for Boston in the 2nd but that would be it for the Gades. In the bottom of the frame, Margist scored a run on a shot down the line. Joe McCormick made a great play to stop Ethan Johnston on a high fly ball to right center. Mike Malloy would then score on a shallow pop fly to the right side that Dias could not grab in time. Weissman called time out to remind his team how to play these types of fly balls. Chad Sumner would then hit a ball to Thaxton but the base flickered and even though it had zero impact on the play, it was a do over. He then hit a ball down the third base line again, but Justen Proctor would range back to the base to pick the ball and stop the bleeding. After two it was 4-2, Colorado. The Third inning was awful. Boston would throw up a goose egg for just the 2nd time all week. To this point, Morrow was eating up everything hit his way up the middle of the field. He had 3 stops and his teammate Johnston had 4. Colorado would extend the lead in the third when Mike Coughlin would connect in a ball to center field, which bounced off Guy Zuccarello and Shayne Cantan picked up but lost the bang bang call and a run was score. Johnston would also get the best of Zuccarello as a ball glanced off him as he was diving to his right. Colorado led 6-2. Thaxton would plate his third run of the game and to this point accounted for all the Renegade offense. Joe McCormick was at the plate and had 3 strikes on him when controversy started. For the third year in a row, a major issue occurred with the umps. McCormick lofted a bomb into right field for what looked to be a run but in a split second, head umpire, Mike Woodard called him out for being out of the batters box. A very long discussion incurred. It was wrong of him to call the play dead before it was finished. It was wrong of him to call the player out without warning. Woodard would not budge in this and told Weissman he tried to warn him before the pitch was thrown. No protest was filed and a sure run was taken off the board. Weissman was fuming. He urged his team to overcome the adveristy. Larry Haile answered the call and on the first pitch he saw, he drilled it down the third base line for a run. The team was fired up. Dias then hit the first pitch on a fly up the middle but this time Morrow was there and the rally would end. Colorado led 6-4 but both teams knew Woodard stole at least one run from the Renegades. For the 3rd straight year, Colorado would have the umps in their back pocket. Maybe it has to do with the umps love for the Storm? Colorado would go down 1-2-3 in the 4th as Zucarello stopped Coughlin this time and Proctor stopped Biggins. Just as we thought momentum had swung the Renegades way, we ran into a case of the “Ethan Johnston’s”. Devenish would ground out to him. Zuccarello would then hit a hard fly ball that Johnston would grab but the back breaker was when Christian Thaxton rocked a hard grounder to him, which bounced away from him, Johnston scrambled for it and picked it up in time to nab Thaxton. It was the first time all week a team put Thaxton out on a ball he hit and it came at a rough time For the Renegades. In the Bottom of the 5th, John Margist would lift a fly ball up the right middle. Dias would drift backwards to the middle but was looking for Guy to make the play when he suddenly heard the ball beeping near his own feet. At that time he went from a standing position right to the ground and picked it clean without searching for it like someone with sight right before Margist hit the bag. Johnston would then step to the plate and hit a grounder to the left side. Proctor ranged to his right, dove and took the ball off his forehead. He would be ok with a small scratch. Mike Malloy would make a statement with a bomb into left field. Colorado led 8-4 and Boston had to dig deep. McCormick led off the inning with a grounder to the right side, away from Johnston and Morrow, but to no avail as Margist stopped him. Larry Haile laced a shot down the third base line for his second run of the game. Rob Dias hit a squirter to the right side that eluded Mike Coughlin and it was 8-6. Looking for some magic, Weissman re -entered Joe Yee who had been getting treatment from Mike Marciello all game. If he or Guy Zuccarello could score a run, it would get Thaxton back to the plate. Yee found Morrow for an out. Zuccarello hit a ball that looked like it could slide by Coughlin…but not this time. Ball game. Colorado would advance to play Taiwan as the only two undefeated teams. Boston took a hard loss made worse by a crazy umpire call. It would not be the end of the Renegades chances to get back to the finals, but the road would be much harder and longer.
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