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2018 World Series Day #2 Recap

Boston holds on to beat BCS 4-2

Day two of the World Series would have the number 4 seed, Renegades play the 13 seed BCS (Bryant College Station, Texas) Outlaws.  BCS came i to this match with a 1-2 record with their win coming about 30 minutes prior to this game over the Seattle South King Sluggers by the score if 8-1.

This game would take place across the street from the main complex in the outfield if a baseball field with our home plate being placed in dead center field.  The grass on this field was much thicker and would make this a defensive game for sure.  The Renegades would be heavy favorites here over a young Outlaw team.  Christian Thaxton would make his World Series debut after getting medical clearance to play and he would try to get the rust off after not swinging off live BP for almost two weeks.

BCS would strike first as their first 4 hitters put the ball into play.  Justen Proctor gobbled the first two up but then Hillary House hit a fly ball which Joe McCormick could not find in the tall grass.  Jason Walters then hit a ball that Joe Quintanilla could not grab.  A confident Outlaw team drew first blood and led 2-0.  The Renegades started slow as Thaxton went down on 4 pitches and Joe McCormick whiffed in 4 pitches as well.  Rob Dias scored on a line shot to left and then Shawn Devenish  went down swinging on 6 pitches.

Justen Proctor asserted himself in the 2nd making all three stops on defense.  Joe Quintanilla hit a line drive to the right side on the first pitch of the bottom of the second, but he lacked enough speed and was put out.  Proctor started this game in the line up and hit the first pitch he saw but came up empty.  Thaxton managed to get this ball into play but the tall grass and good BCS defense ate it up and the GADES went down 1-2-3 and were behind after 2 innings 2-1.

BCS was making more consistent contact but the shorty combination of Justen Proctor and Rob Dias would send them down 1-2-3 in the third.  Joe McCormick would tie the game in a deep ball into left to lead of the bottom of the third.  Weissman knew this game was going to be close and pulled Quintanilla in favor of Joe Yee.  Yee was having a monster year with his cousin, Peter Connolly pitching.  The result of this at bat ended in a strike out.

In the 4th, the trend was Proctor and Yee as they tallied all the outs.  Till this point in the game, Proctor had 9 stops.  Dias had made a pair and BCS only struck out once.  This young team was holding their own.  Justen Proctor would then get his biggest hit of the year scoring on a line drive to start the 4th inning off Peter Connolly, for Connolly’s only run in this contest.  Thaxton then scored his first run if the series on a deep fly to right center.  Boston led 4-2.

Both teams would continue to put the ball in play, but neither would score for the remainder of the game.  Boston would hold on to a tight 4-2 victory.  Justen Proctor would tally a total of 12 stops and would end the game making a crazy stop on a line drive off his leg off the bat of Drew Bernet.  Those 12 stops tied a Renegade record that stood since 2004 from Darren Black.  In those days Black would play in a different defense which allowed him more chances.  So in reality, this effort was more impressive.  In addition to this, the Gades set a team record making 16 defensive stops in a 6 inning game with Dias picking up a hat trick and Zuccarello adding one of his own.

After the game, Peter Connolly would see the end of his World Series.  Many of the Renegades took bp off Ron to work on their timing.  Thaxton took a lot of BP to help him get his groove back after a 1-4 performance.  The team played well enough to win but really lacked energy.  This would be concerning heading up against the Indy Edge in its next match.  For now though, the win sent the Renegades to the next round of double elimination and allowed them to take the afternoon off.  That proved very big as huge thunder storms would postpone all games to start at 7:00am the next day.  Boston was able to rest and reload.

 

2018 World Series Day #1 game recaps

WS Game #1 Boston beats philly in world series for the first time ever 10-1

East Coast beep baseball is growing and for the first time ever, 5 teams from the northeast made the trip to the World Series. The Philly Fire had never been to a World Series under this brand. They last went under a different name, the PA Wolfpack in 2008.  The Fire’s lineup had three starters who were not available when these two teams faced off in Rochester.  Also notably missing from the Renegade lineup was 2018 MVP, Christian Thaxton.  He was out of the match recovering from a concussion he received in practice 2 weeks earlier.

Boston would come out with a new defensive alignment for the first two hitters in the Philly line up.  Justen Proctor would make a stop in this shift to get the defense going.  In the bottom of the first, Boston would start slowly as Rob Dias scored the lone run on a shot into left for the Gades.  Mike Coughlin would make two stops in the frame to keep Boston at bay.

Boston would flash some defense in the 2nd when Guy Zuccarello made a nice stop off the bat of Dan Kelly.  Larry Haile also made a fine stop in deep left off the bat of Jeremy Capoti.

In the second, Rookie, David Sanchez got things started.  Facing Cochran, he hit a high pop up down the third base line on the first pitch.  Peter Connolly came to the mound making his World Series debut in just his 2nd year pitching.  With three strikes, Guy Zuccarello, laced a line drive up the middle.  Back to Cochran, Joe McCormick struck out on 4 swings and misses.  Rob Dias hit the first pitch he saw into deep left and then Larry Haile laced a liner to left as well for a run.  This brought Sanchez up for the 2nd time in the inning.  After hitting Cochran with a bouncer for a no pitch,  he laced a line drive up the gut on a 3 strike count.  Boston sent 8 hitters to the dish in the 2nd and the score was 6-0.

John Margist got Philly got on the board in the 3rd when Shawn Devenish over ran a ball at third base.  That would be all for Philly as Larry Haile made his second stop of the game and the season to end the inning on a play in left field.  A break through game for Haile, who had lengthy discussions about his need to relax on defense with his team on the ride to Wisconsin.

From here, Boston was in control.  the good news was Joe McCormick would find his groove and get his swing into place.  Rob Dias would also play some spectacular defense in this game making stops on all 4 balls Philly put in play in the 5th and 6th.  David Sanchez would also have his first career three run game.  Boston would stop 89% of the balls hit into play in this match, the 5th time in team history it had happened against the Philly team.  It was only the 21st time in team history, the Renegades would hold an opponent to one run or less (6th time vs Philly)

The bad news was that both teams suffered injuries.  For Philly, they lost rookie speedster, Justin Rhines to a hamstring pull in the 5th inning.  For Boston, Sanchez also got hurt on his final run when he banged his knee into the ground hitting the base.  This win for Boston would mark its 9th win in a row.

WS Game# 2 Boston blinded by the Toronto Blind Jays but still win 4-1

In the first ever match up against Toronto, Weissman decided to rest most of the starters to start this game.  The Renegade coaches did not expect to see such a great Toronto defense. The constant on this day would be the strong defense of Boston, regardless of who was on the field.  Justen Proctor stopped two Blind Jays in the first inning.

Larry Haile led off this game with a hard grounder to the right side that looked like a sure run.  Sun Gun Bae looked like he was going to let this ball get by him.  However, he hit the ground at the last second making a spectacular play to take it away from the Train.  That would not be the case later in the inning.  He would not stop Joey Buizon who laced the first pitch he saw from Cochran into right, for his first World Series run since 2009.

The top of the second was time for Buizon to shine on defense. He made two stops of his own while playing the right shorty position for the Gades.  Justen Proctor hoped to have a big day at the plate after his 5 run performance against the Lightning in Haddonfield, two weeks earlier.  He got off to a good start when he hit a hard grounder to the right side but was stopped.  When asked later, he admitted, he had not run 100% because it was the first time he had run all day.  That was not a good omen.

In the bottom of the third, Buizon would plate his second run with three strikes on him to give Boston a slim 2-0 lead.  Proctor had another chance at offensive glory, but after hitting a nice hit into right, he missed what was possibly, his first missed base since 2011.  In the top of the 4th, the Blind Jays got the bats going,  but Boston flashed the leather.. Aqil Sajjad got into the action with a nice stop in the middle of the field.  Next, Buzion made his third stop of the game.  Then Aaron Prevost hit a grounder thru the left side that had eyes.  On that bang-bang play. Prevost scored as Luis Soto lifted the ball.  Toronto had cut the Renegade lead to 2-1 and they erupted as their 6-hole hitter had scored.

Toronto was showing they could hang with the Boston bench.  In the 4th, Weissman brough Rob Dias into hit for Haile and Dias lofted a high fly to center.  Three steps before he reached the bag, Cassie Orgeles picked the ball clean off the ground while standing up.  Cochran and Weissman were wowed.  It would get better. Quintanilla hit a 65 foot dribbler where only a lace was in fair territory on the first base line.  Aaron Prevost would range to his left and nail Q before Joe was near the base.

In the top of the 5th, bad news would hit Boston.  Joey Buizon hit a shot into right and took off toward third.  In Buizon fashion, he talked to the ball as it left his bat saying “thats gone” and before he could finish his sentence, he was clutching his hamstring.  He limped toward third for a run, but his day was over.  Buizon represented more runs than all other 11 players in the lineup for both teams combined.  Weissman was nervous.  Toronto was hanging around and they were the home team.  Joe McCormick entered the game, hitting for a struggling, Aqil Sajjad.  He hit the 2nd pitch he saw on a line drive up the middle that looked like a sure run. Orgeles made one of the best defensive plays ever in beepball.  She fielded the ball off a line drive on one hop and caught it in her hands chest high without bringing the ball to her body.  It was if she could see it.

Larry Haile would reenter the game in the top of the 6th and get an insurance run for Boston.  The Renegades would hang on to win 4-1 in a game that was too close. Boston did pull of the victory while playing the second string team for most of the game, but the win was not easy and it cost the team the service of Joey Buizon.

WS Game #3, Long Island Limps in and Loses 14-3

As Boston was finishing  it’s game with Toronto, there as a lot of cheering coming from the adjacent field.  The Philly Fire were locked in a battle with the Long Island Bombers.  They would mount a come from behind victory to walk off on the Bombers by the score of 10-9.  Even though this Fire team was not the same as the team in Haddonfield, it still took a toll on the Bombers.  Combine that loss with the loss of one of their long Time volunteers and pitchers, James Sciortino who could not make the trip due to vertigo, the Bombers were dizzy.   Their next opponent owned a 14 game winning streak against them.

What once was a huge challenge for the Renegades, after losing 7 straight games to Long Island from 2002-2007 now looked impossible for Long Island.  Things got no easier in this match when the coin toss went to Boston. Long Island did manage to plate a run off the bat of Alex Barrera (who fares very well against Boston) but it was all Justen Proctor from there.  He made 3 stops in the first inning.  In the bottom of the 1st, Boston did something it had only done 5 times in 238 tries.  Boston opened the first inning plating eight runs to put the hammer on the Bombers.  Joe McCormick, Rob Dias and Shawn Devenish all plated a pair of runs to lead the squad as they also got contributions from Larry Haile and Joe Yee.  The hurt was on.

The pain got worse for Long Island when Edgar Erickson was stopped by Guy Zuccarello to start the 2nd. Meghan Fink was stopped by Proctor and then lead-off hitter, Joe DeJesus struck out.  McCormick, Haile, Devenish and Yee all scored again for Boston to push the lead to 12-1 after one and a half.  It looked like a 12 run game was in the works for Boston.  Again in the 3rd, Alex Barrera got a bite out of the Renegades with his 2nd run of the contest but that run was sandwiched by strike outs and another weak out to Justen Proctor on the left side.

The hope was gone from the Bomber bench.  Joe McCormick would plate his 4th run of the contest to lead off the bottom of the 3rd inning.  Larry Haile would plate his third run of the game in the same frame and the damage was done. It was 14-2 and the 12 run rule was invoked for the 4th straight time between these two teams.

For the rest of the game, Long Island stayed at the plate while the Boston defense made plays.  Boston needed to record 9 outs to end the game.  Boston’s defense made five stops led by Proctor who made 2 more to lead the team with 6 on the game.  Shawn Devenish would also make two nice stops as he continued to grow as a defender.  Aqil Sajjad came off the Boston bench to contribute with a stop of his own late in this match.

When the dust settled, this contest was all Boston.  Shawn Devenish proved to himself, his defensive work was paying off.  He made 2 stops in this game compared to the 3 stops he had in his career at this point.   Joe McCormick shook off a 1-7 start to the series by fixing his mechanics and getting on a roll.  All in all, Boston got their mojo back hitting .609 in the contest (8th best all-time).  They struck out just 3 times (13%) which was the best rate of the 2018 season to date.  Boston finished round robin 3-0.  It entered double elimination as the one seed for the 4th straight year and only the 5th time in history.

 

South Shore Health System does a feature which spread to the Herald and more!

Coach Mike Marciello Recognized

Coach, Dr. Mike Marciello found the Renegades after reading an article in the Boston Globe in 2013.  Since reading that article both his life and the life of about 30 other people have changed.  Why?  That article motivated him to become a volunteer hitting coach and team doctor for the Boston Renegades.  His love of baseball combined with his personal struggles with vision loss make for an intriguing win-win story.  This July, his affiliated hospital, the South Shore Health system wanted to do a feature on him and his story.  When they came out to do the piece, they fell in love with the team, it’s players and the sport

South Shore Health System

Three members of South Shore Health Systems came out with the intent of doing a small piece on Dr. Marciello.  The original intent was to write an article, do a video and take some photos.  They got so much information and had such a good time, that they decided to come back to a second practice to get more video coverage for this piece.  Below is a copy of the video with many thanks to Kristen Perfetuo, News and Information officer with the South Shore Health systems.  She was key in making all this possible!

Along with this video was an article written in the South Shore Health Systems newsletter.  To read a copy of it in PDF format, click here

The press release around this story got a lot of attention.  To read the amazing press release that got all of this going.  A copy of the release in pdf format is here

The Phyllis Show

Kristen loved this story and her team started to pitch Marciello’s story to local media.  The Phyllis Show is a local show on the south shore and they gave Mike an opportunity to get some TV time.  They made the show available to us and we have it here:

The Boston Herald

Kristen and her team did not stop there.  They did an amazing job and even got the Boston Herald interested in a piece about the team.  The Herald came out to two practices in bad weather to write a story and capture videos.

We’d like to recognize and thank the three Herald reporters who were so willing to tell our story.  Stephen Hewitt was the author of the story.  He came alone in the rain and watched the team practice in a steady drizzle.  Stephen truly listened to us and made an effort to get key points across in the story.  That story ran in the paper the day we flew to the World Series.  Christopher Evans brought his photography skills to the job.  He got many amazing pictures and was even willing to share some of the shots that did not make the paper so the team could use them for grants and to promote the team.  Megan Ottolini worked hard to capture the team on video.  That video aired on the Herald’s web site. Follow this link to read the article, see the pictures and the video about the team

 

Support David Sanchez

Support David Sanchez

David Sanchez is one of three rookie players for the 2018 Boston Renegades.  He is a 40 year old rookie and has fallen in love with the game of beep baseball.  This former Sargent in the 82nd Airborne division lost his sight to RP (Retinitis Pigmentosa).  Baseball is in his blood.  He grew up playing ball in Puerto Rico.  While there, he was even a bat boy for the National Puerto Rican team.  One of his cousins was drafted to play for the Angels.  He also is friends with a coach in the Major Leagues for the Astros.  Yup, it’s in his veins!

If you would like to support David in his first ever World Series, Please follow the green arrow and push the donate now button from the left nav bar!  When filling out the form, there is a button to make the donation in honor of someone.  Here you can choose to make it in David’s honor.

 

David needs your help to get to the World Series.  All funds raised will help cover his airfare, hotels, team registration fee and his share of the team van and gas.  Here is a short video shot by Hunter Weissman we hope you enjoy

 

How Is David doing for the team?

He became the first ever Renegade to score on the first pitch thrown to him against the Rochester Pioneers in Rochester.  On the season, Sanchez has played in 6 games and is hitting .364.  He is on pace to have the 7th best batting average in team history as a rookie.  Please consider helping him get to the Series!

David on Fox 25

You may have seen David on Fox25 this weekend.  If you are out of town or missed it, check him and his teammates out at this link.  David is wearing #48!

https://www.boston25news.com/sports/baseball-for-the-blind-beep-baseball/796279288

 

Renegades on Fox25

Last season, Fox 25’s Jeff Robinson came down to see the tournament in Woburn.  Shortly after his arrival, the skies turned purple and it poured.  He was able to put a small piece together for the news but felt there was a bigger story to tell.  For the past year, he had stayed in touch with the Renegades.  In July, he made it to a practice as the team was prepping to defend the title in Haddonfield.

Here is a link to the final version that aired on Sunday night on Fox25 Sportswrap

https://www.boston25news.com/sports/baseball-for-the-blind-beep-baseball/796279288

 

 

They aired a teaser video on Fox 25, On Friday, July 20th that we captured in a crude manner here:

 

And to see the Piece he did last year, we have that on our youtube channel:

Boston Renegades will partner with the National Baseball Hall of Fame in August

Renegades heading to Cooperstown

On Saturday, August 18th, the Boston Renegades will partner with the National Baseball Hall of Fame to help people learn about the sport of Beep baseball.  We are very excited to work with the Hall to show off the sport of beep baseball.  All of this has been in the making for years.

After years of establishing a relationship with the hall and talking about ideas, Things came together when a book was published.  The first ever book about beep Baseball called Beep, Inside the Unseen World of Baseball for the Blind helped make this day possible.

How?  In the fall of 2017, Rob Weissman was at a film festival in Cooperstown.  While there, he learned about a series of events designed for baseball books. Always passionate about the sport, he jumped on the phone to call David Wanczyk.  Wanczyk had to wipe the drool off his chin when he heard about this opportunity.  At these events, baseball authors come read from their book. Wanczyk struck at this like a cobra at a mouse. Fast and furious.  In the spring of 2018, this book became part of the 2018 Author series.

Next it was Weissman’s turn to spring into action.  Just as he does with a foul tip, this catcher quickly was on the horn with Shirley Tyler.  The two of them designed a program about the sport to delight all who attend the museum on that day.  Tyler and Weissman have come up with a program for the day of August 18th called the Beep Baseball Bash that includes the following agenda:

The Beep Baseball Bash Agenda

  • 10:00 am – Learn the rules and hear the stories – Come listen to members of the Boston Renegades talk about how the sport of Beep Baseball is played; listen to stories of how they lost their vision and what playing for the Renegades has meant to their lives both on and off the field.
  • 11:00 AM Learning Center Join us for an open hour in the Learning Center. Stop by to check out what a ball sounds like, feel a base used for the blind. Strap on a blindfold and imagine what it would be like playing the outfield with just your ears to guide you. See a bat used by The Renegades superstar, Christian Thaxton who set a league record batting .897 in the 2017 World Series. We will have other artifacts to help you experience the sport of Beep Baseball where the umps can see and the players can’t.
  • 1:00 PM Author Series -Author David Wanczyk will explore his new book called Beep: Inside the Unseen World of Baseball for the Blind. Wanczyk illuminates the sport of blind baseball to show us a remarkable version of America’s pastime. With specially made balls squealing three times per second and with bases that buzz, baseball for the blind is both innovative and intense. And when the best “beep” baseball team in America, the Austin Blackhawks, take on their international rival from Taiwan, no one is thinking about disability. Instead, the book reveals a story of athletes who are playing all out to win a championship. Following by a book signing in the Library Atrium. Presentation at 1 pm. Book signing at 1:30 pm.
  • 2:00 Beep Baseball Demonstration– The Renegades will be doing a live demo of the sport outside by the library, to allow the museum visitors to strap on a blindfold and try out their hearing skills to find out what a Seeing-Eye single sounds like on defense, or you can look for a base by using just your ears
  • 7:00 Movie Night – The Renegades: A Beep Baseball Story -At 7pm, wrap up a day of Beep Baseball back in the Bullpen Theater as we show an award-winning documentary filmed about the Boston Renegades. This 74-minute film is about the awe-inspiring sport of Beep Baseball that has blind athletes hitting baseballs and diving headlong into buzzing bases. Beyond the games it’s about the people and their stories. The film looks at hope, heartache and what it means to play as a team. Mix in a fierce New York/Boston rivalry, an international World Series and a coach whose style can be described as “tough-love” and you have great non fiction entertainment. Watch this film and you will feel the passion that is the Boston Renegades! The film will be followed with a question and answer period from players and coaches who were in the film.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame is promoting this day on their web site and that can be found here:

 

Good things come to those who wait

To get to where we are for August 18th, we need to look back at the relationship with the Hall.  We have had an amazing relationship with them over the years.  The Hall has helped us tell the story of beep baseball.  They have also helped many of us feel like special honored guests!  Nobody on this team would ever had thought they would have an opportunity to tell their story in Cooperstown.  We do hope that some day, the Hall will consider an exhibit about disability and baseball.  They could honor MLB greats who played with disabilities like Jim Abbott (pitched with one hand), Jim Eisenriech (Tourette syndrome) and Pete Gray (one arm) to name a few.  Maybe they could tell the story of Beep baseball, Disabled Vets playing Softball, Wheel chair baseball.  There are many stories about a sport that lives in America’s past time and our blood.  Maybe this is the beginning!

The Hall plays our Documentary in 2013

In the fall of 2013, a documentary about the Renegades was chosen to play at the Baseball Hall of Fame Film Festival.  Our documentary, Renegades, A Beep Baseball Story played to a crowd in the bullpen theater.  The Hall went all out and helped make sure the players had access to see and feel artifacts at the Baseball Hall of Fame.  We wrote a short piece about our experience from September, 2013 that can be read here.

While there for the weekend, We met Larry Moore of the Education department.  Larry, a Native of Western, Mass became a fan of the Renegades.  He had a connection with our team and has found multiple ways to help the team and the sport.

The Show hits the road and comes to Watertown in 2014

Larry Moore came to Watertown in the spring of 2014 to share some of the baseball artifacts with the Renegades.  In his traveling show case, he had bats, gloves, baseballs and uniforms from different eras. Through these artifacts, Moore brought baseball to life in it’s early years.  He shared stories of baseball past and even baseball present. Larry gave an opportunity for each and every Renegade to feel the artifacts and even try them on.  Many of the Renegades and their family attended.  It was a blast for all who came that night.  Larry Moore has become a Renegade fan!

Larry Moore Shows off a Replica Boston uniform from the Early 1900’s

Coaches Lisa Andrews and Brian Cutler check out some old style fingerless baseball gloves

Former players, Damon Graff and Inky get some laughs holding some old bats

Artifacts into the Hall of Fame for Austin in 2014

Brandon Chesser of the Austin Blackhawks stands with his son in front of his shirt and gloves and the ball he caught for the final out of the 2014 World Series

After our trip to the Hall in 2013, we learned how the Hall tells stories through it’s artifacts.  After watching our film, Museum Curator, Tom Shieber was generous with his time  and wanted to help us tell our story.  Tom and Rob Weissman brainstormed some ideas of stories to tell and how to tell them.

Obtaining something from the final out of the title game was an idea.  We set a plan in play to have a league official get that ball.  That was not an easy sell at first. When Brandon Chesser was told Cooperstown was calling, it surely softened the blow.  We also found the Hall wanted more artifacts to effectively tell this story. Brandon Chesser’s shirt and glove and blindfold were procured because those items help tell his story and give life to the sport.  To finish off the story we worked with John Lykowski to get pictures of that final play.  These artifacts went into the hall that fall.  In fact, some of these artifacts were put on a  display for a traveling Hall of Fame showcase that stopped at many locations around the country.  

A Return Visit in 2015 to the Hall of Fame

A few of the Renegades pose with Brandon’s shirt at the Hall of fame

With the world Series in Rochester, NY in August of 2015. We made plans to put on a short program at the Baseball Hall of Fame on the way home.  After a grueling week of beepball, many Renegades made a detour to Cooperstown to share stories of the sport.  The Bullpen theater was ours for about an hour.  We shared some stories with members of the hall, explained the game.  Brandon Chesser from Austin joined us on stage to discuss the game.  While there, we saw the donation we helped make happen of Brandon’s uniform.  We wrote about that experience in two different blog posts.

Read about our experience on this trip and watch a video of Bryan Grillo and Guy addressing the crowd in the bullpen theater

Read an article written by the Hall of Fame about our team and the sport of beep baseball

Thaxton’s bat goes into the Hall of Fame in 2017

Rob donates a bat used by Christian Thaxton to Shirley Tyler of the National Baseball Hall of Fame to represent his record batting average at the World Series

Our very own christian Thaxton set a record in 2017.  He broke a record from 1996 for the highest batting average in a world series.  That record now stands at .897 (26-29) and is proudly owned by a Boston Renegade.  The Hall accepted his bat into the museum.  In fact, his bat was bent because it could not handle the power of his bat speed and the weight of the beep baseball.  We explored that honor in our blog post here with photos.  We were so thankful that Tom Shieber went to bat for us to get this accepted.  We also had a chance to meet Shirley Tyler in person.  This set off the idea of doing a program about beep baseball in the hall for a day….in 2018.  Which brings us back to the top of this page for the Beep Baseball Bash!

 

Many thanks to Tom Shieber, Shirley Tyler, Andrew Distler and Larry Moore for all of the help they have provided through the years to bring Beep Baseball to the Hall of Fame!

Renegades are Beasts of the East for the 8th time!

On the Weekend of July 13th, the Renegades traveled to Haddonfield, NJ to finish the Beast of the East competition.  The Renegades were tied for first place with the NJ Titans at 3 wins a piece.  The winners of these games would determine who the best team on the East coast would be.  Boston would make this trip without their starting pitcher, Ron Cochran.  The Titans would have a full roster and a collection of fans in the stands as the field is very close to their home turf.  Would this spell trouble for Boston?  Belwo are game write ups and links to the live feeds.

Renegades put quick hurt on titans 13-6 in just 3 innings!

Joe Yee, Christian Thaxton and Joey Buizon

Joe Yee, Christian Thaxton and Wrong Way were stars of this game as Yee scored all 3 times he came to the plate, Thaxton scored 3 times and led the team with 3 stops on defense and Wrong Way made his first stop on defense since 2013!

The New Jersey Titans were coming into this game with a lot of momentum and a lot of confidence with a big win in Chicago over the Chicago Comets.  Much of the league thought the Titans may be better than the Renegades.  Haddonfield, NJ would the the site of the second leg of the Beast of the East.  The field conditions would be much less than optimal with fast low cut grass, giant bald spots and a gulley in deep left field that led to a fence.

The Titans would win the coin toss and elect to be the home team.  Jamie Dickerson and Peter Connolly would split time with Dickerson taking the first 4 hitters in the line up and Connolly pitching to Yee and Zucarello.  Boston would strike fast and the Titans would struggle with the combination of the Boston speed and the field conditions.  Thaxton would score on a pop up off the top of his bat, McCormick would score on a grounder to third, Dias would blast a grounder to the left side on his 2nd pitch and Larry Haile would score on a fly ball up the middle.  Eight pitches by Dickerson produced 4 runs.  Connolly trotted out and kept the mojo alive as Zuccarello hit the first pitch up the middle for a run and then Joe Yee lined a shot down the ride side.  Six up, six in and the top of the order turned over.  Thaxton would ground a ball to the left side but he took 2 steps to first as he thought first base rang before he corrected and ran to third but Randy George made the stop with the extra time.  McCormick and Dias would end the inning with strike outs, Dias on 7 pitches.  Bad base running would be a trend in the first as Titan, Lamont Bordley would miss third to lead off the game and Rob Dias would stop him deep behind first base.  Boston would put its Hogwood shift into place and leave Thaxton on an island on the right side.  Hogwood would hit a shot down the right side and Thaxton would make an amazing diving stop angling back to the first baseline.  After one, Boston had the momentum on both sides of the ball.

In the 2nd, Larry Haile and Joe Yee would score on pop flies up the middle and Thaxton would go opposite field to push the score to 9-0.  The Titans bottom of the order struggled and struck out twice and the Renegades smelled blood.  Keeping the pressure on, Boston would send 7 batters to the plate in the third with Connolly getting a solid opposite field liner from Zuccarello and Joe Yee while Dickerson plated runs with Thaxton and a smash off the bat of Rob Dias.  If the Defense could hold, the 12 run rule would be in effect.  Lamont Bordley would strike out in the bottom of the third. Hogwood would get a ball through the shift and it was 13-1.  Christian Thaxton would stop Marvin Morgan and Boston would have the 12 run rule which meant the defense would have to hold the Titan defense for 9 outs without hitting.  The Titans would score one in the 4th.  In the 5th, they would plate two but Boston’s Joe Buizon who came in for defense would make his first defensive stop since 2013 off the bat of Scott Hogwood.  Thaxton and Justen Proctor would make stops in the 6th and Boston would win 13-6 on a 3 inning 12 run rule win.  It would mark just the 20th time in team history the Renegades would 12 run an opponent, but the 11th time since 2016.  With tie breakers in play, Boston would have a commanding lead as they let up 1 run per inning to the 4+ runs per inning the Titans allowed.

The Live stream was cut out and is in two parts:

 

Boston kicks dirt on the Lightning 15-6

Justen Proctor had a career game scoring 5 times in 5 trips to the plate and recording 6 of the Renegades defensive outs in the field. Wrong Way scored his first run since 2013

Dirt was a theme.  Players found dirt in odd places after this game because the field was 80% dirt with almost no grass.  Boston would trot out a lineup of 6 batters who did not start in the first game.  Peter Connolly would toe the rubber for all 6 hitters to start this game.  Rookie, David Sanchez got things started with a hard grounder on the first pitch of the game.  Lightning, Dan Johnson hit the dirt and made a brilliant stop.  Boston then would begin to struggle.  Quintanilla and Buizon would strike out on 8 pitches, 7 of them misses.  Justen Proctor would then get Boston on the board with a grounder up the middle in the second frame.  Boston continued to struggle at the plate as Connolly couldn’t find the bats of Luis Soto and Sanchez. They struck out on 9 pitches; 7 swings and misses.

At this point in the game, Boston had struck out 4 times and the Lightning 3.  A very slow start.  Andre Foster and rookie, Cody Kirchner hit weak grounders that Justen Proctor gobbled up in the bottom of the second..  Struggles continued for Boston as Connolly was lost with Quintanilla and Devenish as they each picked up their second whiff of the game in the third.  On a slightly positive note, Joe Buizon put his first ball into play since 2013 but Sherlock Washington stopped him in left center.  Weissman was looking for ways to kick start the offense and get Connolly his confidence back.  Before he could pull the trigger, Lightning lead off hitter, Casey Bahn led off the bottom of the third with a grounder to the right side that eluded Guy Zuccarello.  David Sanchez would hit the dirt in his first career defensive play but would come up empty as Casey Bahn scored raising his hands in victory.  Game tied at 1-1.

Weissman had Joe McCormick ready to go into the game and removed Zuccarello in case his bat was needed to get Connolly going.  Zuccarello would need to wait for six outs before he could enter the lineup. With a tie score in the top of the 4th, Justen Proctor would lead off and score on a grounder to the right side making it 2-1.  Looking to get Connolly some mojo, Weissman took Joe Yee off the bench to hit for Luis Soto.  Yee scored on the 2nd pitch he saw.  Sanchez then scored and the Renegades swagger was back.  In between innings, adjustments were being made and Connolly suggested to Quintanilla to switch to hit off Dickerson as he was struggling to find Q’s bat.  Without any bp of Jamie, Q put it in play but was put out in center by Washington. Buizon scored on a dribbler for his first run of the season.  Proctor, Yee and Sanchez all scored for the 2nd time of the inning and Quintanilla scored off Dickerson. Boston now led 9-1 and the game looked like the tables had turned.  The Renegades would end up winning the game easily after a slow start 15-6.  Justen Proctor was the hero of the game scoring 5 times in 5 trips to the plate and making 6 of the 7 defensive stops for the Renegades.  It was Justen’s first 5 run game of his career.  Boston was now 5-0 and would play the 4-1 Titans for a game to determine 1st place.

Boston is the Beast of the East for the 8th time downing the Titans 21-13

A team effort in this win as Joe Buizon, Joe McCormick, Thaxton, Rob Dias and Justen Proctor all had big games to help win a huge game in team history

For the 3rd time during the weekend, Boston lost the coin toss would be the visiting team.  Weissman smirked and said to Titan Coach, Steve Rutch with a smile “how did that work out for you last game?”  Things started similarly as Boston plated 3 straight runs on 5 pitches thrown by Dickerson to Thaxton, McCormick and Dias.  Connolly would get a run from Yee and then Dickerson scored with Thaxton, McCormick and Dias again.  Boston plated 7 runs in the fist inning, one of their best first innings in team history.  The Titans would get a run from Scott Hogwood and some good defense by Christian Thaxton and Justen Proctor would shut down the threat.  In the 2nd, Thaxton and McCormick would loft deep shots into left to pull the Gades ahead 9-1.  The Titans had no answer as Alfonso Harrell and Zach Turner each whiffed.

The Boston third was a turning point. Haile, Sanchez (in for Joe Yee who needed to get his aching shins a rest) and Zuccarello all struck out.  Like a vulture that could taste blood, the Titans caught fire.  A combination of a hot pitcher, speed, bad defensive calls, poor mechanics, fast fields and a lapse in concentration resulted in one of the Renegades worst innings in years as the Titans put 10 runs on the board to go ahead 11-1 after three.  Through all these plays, the Titans 20+ fans were making things a loud and emotional environment. This was just the 6th time in team history an opponent had scored 10 or more runs in an inning.  The Renegades had never won in this situation.  Weissman never wavered and even told his team how important this moment was.  The key was to see how the team would respond.

Respond they did.  In the 4th, Thaxton and McCormick hit shots into left.  Dias hit a ball that Zach Turner could not pick up and Larry Haile scored on a grounder up the middle. Thaxton  scored his 5th run of the game in the same inning and Boston now lead 14-11 after three and a half.  The Titans had no response as they went down 1-2-3 with two strikeouts and a weak hit grounder to Rob Dias to close out the fourth inning.  Peddle to the medal in the 5th. Larry Haile got things started with a run when Peter Connolly came to the mound to face Buizon in an important at bat.  With a full count, Buizon responded with a fly ball and a run as the Renegades erupted.  Zuccarello connected with Connolly for his only run of the game. At the end of the 5th inning Boston had reached 19 offensive runs.  The Titans put up back to back scores from Turner and Bordley before Justen Proctor made two nice defensive stops to end the threat in the 5th.  Buizon plated his second run of the game on a grounder that hugged the third base line all the way into the gulley in deep left.  Thaxton then scored a Renegade record 7th run of the game.  Boston had scored 21 runs, its largest output of the year and only the 3rd time it had plated 20 runs in a game in team history.  The Renegades would win 21-13.

The Titans would score 10 of their 13 runs in one inning of play. Thaxton paced the offense with 7 runs.  McCormick and Dias each plated 4 runs.  Proctor led the defense with 5 stops.  Boston won its 8th game straight and 8th Beast of the East title and started 2018 with a 7-0 record.  A total team effort from the Renegades, its coaches, pitchers and callers (Bryan Grillo and Aaron Proctor).  For the first time in team history, Boston weathered a 10 run inning on defense and came back to win.  In fact, Boston lost 15 straight games prior to this when letting up 8 or more runs in an inning.  That resolve will be something to build on for the upcoming World Series

The Champs and the Standings

Team photo of the beast of East champs

Font row on ground: Justen Proctor 2nd row Left to Right: Hunter Weissman, Daisy Russell, Joe Quintanilla, Melissa Hoyt, Rob Dias, Guy Zuccarello, Luis Soto, Rob Weissman Standing: Jamie Dickerson, Bryan Grillo, Peg Bailey, Peter Connolly, Joe Bourque, David Sanchez, Joe Buizon, Joe McCormick, Joe Yee, Larry Haile, Rob Thayer, Shawn Devenish, Aaron Proctor, Christian Thaxton

Rank Team Wins Losses
1 Boston Renegades 6 0
2 NJ Titans 4 2 (1 win by forfeit) (1 win by forfeit)
3 Long Island Bombers 4 2
4 Philly Fire 2 4 (1 win by forfeit)
5 Rochester Pioneers 1 5 (1 win by forfeit)
6 New Jersey Lightning 1 5 (3 forfeits)

Renegades traveled to Tewksbury to play in a charitable game

Support from Tewksbury for the Renegades

On July 3, 2018 the Renegades traveled to Tewksbury to play in a charitable game hosted by the Tewksbury Lions club for the first time ever. The opponent for the Gades was the Tewksbury Fire Department. The Lions club donated $500 to the Renegades to help further their funds to get to the World Series. 

It was a well played game between the two teams with the Renegades beating the Fire Department 5-2. The Players for the Fire Department were scared at first when they stepped into the box but once they saw their teammates make contact, they were excited to step in. Coaches Ron Cochran and Hunter Weissman were the pitcher and catcher for both teams. There was a large crowd of over 50 people looking on in excitement and were very intrigued. After the game there were festivities including fireworks for the 4th of July. The Renegades thank both the Lions club for the huge donation and the Fire department for taking the time to host them. It was a lot of fun and hopefully more charity events will happen just like this once in the future.

The Tewksbury Lions donate a check of $500 to the Renegades as member os the Lions, Tewksbury Fire department and Renegades participate in the check ceremony

 

Our Goal In the Event

The Renegades wanted to spread awareness of the sport to others in the area. Not only spreading awareness but also showing people that not just sighted people can play baseball. We want to put the word ability within the word disability. The crowd was very fascinated by what the Renegades do and how they play. Whenever a great play was made the crowd couldn’t help but cheer even when they weren’t supposed to during the play. Even the Volunteer umpires were having a good time in learning the rules and officiating the game. All of these things give these people an experience they won’t forget.

Media from the event

The story got picked up in a few papers.  Below are links to the stories

Though we are unable to find the article on the web, we did get a copy of it in writing

MIDDLESEX – Though finally earning redemption in a rematch years later, Boston Renegades veteran Joseph Quintanilla beat himself up for close to seven years over a booted ground ball during tournament play versus a rival Colorado squad back in 2009.

So when the seasoned Beep Baseball leaguer shows up at Livingston Field on July 3 with the rest of his Boston Renegades teammates, Tewksbury’s firefighters might want to reconsider the contest’s billing as a festive exhibition match during the community’s Fourth of July celebrations.

“I think they’ll have a different appreciation for team work,” quipped Quintanilla jokingly, when asked what members of Tewksbury Firefighters’ Local 1647 should expect.  “If they have a chance, we have a lot of problems on our team to work on.”

“Baseball is a big part of our nation’s history and culture.  So I think it’s pretty neat that as part of the town’s Fourth of July celebration, we’re [taking part in our national pastime],” he later said.  “It’s a chance for us to showcase our talent.”

Being sponsored by the Tewksbury Lions Club, the free-of-charge event, to take place on July 3 at 6 p.m. on Tewksbury’s Obden Field at Livington Street, will feature some unique rule tweaks of America’s favorite pastime, as the Boston Renegades is New England’s only blind baseball team.

The National Beep Baseball Association was founded in 1976 as a way for visually-impaired adults to partake in a distinctly American rite-of-passage that had until that point been denied to many blind and visually-impaired participants as youths.

In an innovative accommodation, pitchers toss a beeping ball towards blindfolded batters, who hone into the sound to make contact.  Pitchers, before winding up and releasing the oversized softball, also yell out, “ready,” and “pitch,” which further allows batters to make adjustments.

“It’s all about timing.  I don’t know when the pitcher is actually releasing the ball, but after swinging and missing or swinging and fouling it off, I can adjust my timing based on that cadence,” explained Quintanilla.

“I don’t know if it helped my game, because it’s specifically developed for the blind.  But we’re used to relying on our other senses.  So we’re running and feeling how the grass feels under our feet, and we’re used to doing things based on sound,” he further elaborated.

Other significant changes from traditional baseball involves the size of the team – only six players are on the diamond –  as well as methods of fielding, base running, and scoring.

In Beep Baseball, only first and third bases are utilized.  Once a ball is put in play, the batter is instructed by random selection, again through a sound cue, to run to one of those blue markers (which stand five-feet tall).

If the batter can reach that base before the ball is fielded, the offense scores a run.  Should a fielder catch a fly ball, the entire side is retired.  Parts of the field are also broken down by numbers, and spotters yell out to fielders where a batted ball is heading.

With more than 30 active teams scattered across the United States, the National Beep Baseball Association regularly sponsors events across the country and hosts an annual World Series featuring a knock-out style tournament with as many as 24 squads playing head-to-head.

This year’s national championship will be held in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on July 29 through Aug. 5.

Some true dirt dogs

According to Lions Club Treasurer Jerry Selissen, he first watched a few clips of past Boston Renegades games and other Beep Baseball contests more than a year ago.

Watching batters launching balls into the field and fielders responding by recklessly sprawling out onto the dirt, Selissen has been trying ever since to convince the New England team to come to Tewksbury.

“I’ve been trying to set this up for over a year now, and I’m so excited to finally see it happen,” said the former Tewksbury selectman and town moderator.  “Go watch some of the clips on YouTube.  It’s intense.”

In a separate interview, Quintanilla, who heading into his 18th season is the most-seasoned player on the Renegades, promised spectators will be impressed by the competitive-spirit and athleticism displayed next week on the baseball diamond.

“They’ll enjoy watching it.  What we hear all the time from people is [they’re surprised by how] challenging and extremely athletic it is,” said the 42-year-old sport veteran.

Joining the Boston Renegades in 2001, not long after the team’s founding, Quintanilla is no stranger to athletics, as the Cambridge native is a former Boston Marathon runner who was part of Team USA in the 1996 Paralympics.

The Cambridge Ridnge & Latin School alumnus has also been inducted into the Cambridge Athletic Hall of Fame for his exploits as an 11-season participant in track and field and cross country.  He went on to Boston College, where he continued in the sport.

However, despite those athletic accomplishments, Quintanilla, who is legally blind but can see some shadows and outlines, always longed to play baseball.  But after trying his hand at the sport a few times as a child, he gave up.

“Because of my extremely limited eyesight, I could never play little league.  I did play wiffle ball in gym class or with friends, but I could never see well enough.  I would swing so late on it, it would either foul off or be a little dribbler,” he said.

Fast forward to his introduction to Beep Baseball, Quintanilla, known by his teammates as “Joe Q”, has finally been able to live out that childhood dream.  And as the all-time Boston Renegades leader in games played, at bats, and runs scored, the Medford resident takes his craft seriously.

“We’re fierce competitors. We’re not doing it for exercise or to meet people.  We all live baseball,” said the team veteran.  “And if there’s anybody out there who’s blind and interested in baseball, we’d like to let them know about our team.  As long as you come to practice and are willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter.”

Back to our mission

A former town selectman who focused his passion for community activism into the non-profit upon his retirement from political life, Selissen considers the July 3 exhibition match as a chance to highlight the Lions Club’s underlying humanitarian mission.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.  “From my perspective, it never ceases to amaze me to see how people can overcome their disabilities.  And it’s great for the Tewksbury Lions Club to be doing what we should be doing: Bringing attention and awareness to people with vision problems.”

With the Lions Club long-known for its efforts to eliminate blindness and improve vision health, Selissen sees the promotion of those causes as more appropriate given Tewksbury’s connections to Anne Sullivan, a one-time Tewksbury State Hospital patient who went on to become the world-famous tutor of Helen Keller, who had been blind and deaf since she was 19-months-old.

In 1985, Tewskbury town officials paid homage to Sullivan and Keller by dedicating a memorial to the teacher and her famous pupil on the Town Common.  The sculpture, dedicated during the 250th anniversary of the town’s 1764 founding, tries to capture the momentous breakthrough in 1887, when Sullivan communicated “water” to her student by running water over her hands while spelling out the word.

Decades later, Keller, a famous author and social activist for the disabled, would convince Lions Club members to take on her cause by becoming, ‘knights of the blind in [the] crusade against darkness”.

This year, the Tewksbury volunteer group raised $7,000 for the Massachusetts Lions’ Research Foundation for macular degeneration.  The local Lions also recently sent about 700 pairs of eyeglasses to Guatemala, while it hopes to begin a new campaign to help those with vision problems in Haiti.

According to Selissen, who will soon become the local Lions’ Club President, the service group is also raising money to purchase a Lens Meter, which will help in identifying the prescription types of donated prescription eyeglasses.

Boston starts the 2018 season 4-0 in Rochester

Boston starts the 2018 season 4-0 in Rochester with three wins in 2018 Beast of the East play and another win in a game vs the Rochester Pioneers.  On a weekend where the New Jersey Lightning pulled out of the tournament with less than a month’s notice it left a field of just five teams heading to Rochester.  Any team set to play the Lightning would now have a win by forfeit.   To help Philly and the Titans save money, they only played two games.  To help Rochester, the host, Boston played an additional game to give the hosts three games.

Beast of the East standings after 1 leg

After one leg of the Beast of the East the standings would look like this

Rank Team Record Runs allowed Defensive innings Runs/Inning
1 Boston 3-0 11 18 .61
2 NJ Titans 3-0 (1 forfeit win) 10 12 .83
3 Long Island 1-2 22 15 1.47
4 Philly 1-2 (1 forfeit win) 22 11 2.0
5 Rochester 1-2 (1 forfeit win) 23 10 2.3
6 NJ Lightning 0-3 (3 forfeits) n/a n/a n/a
  1. Boston 3-0
  2. NJ Titans 3-0
  3. Long Island 1-2
  4. Philly 1-2
  5. Rochester 1-2
  6. NJ Lightning 3 forfeits

 

The tie breakers we have in place for the tournament look at the following:

  1. Winner = best record of the 6 games
  2. Tie breaker #1 head to head
  3. Tie breaker #2 Lowest defensive runs allowed per inning in head to head
  4. Tie breaker #3 head to head in previous season including World Series (voided if players who play in this game are not on the Team’s home grown roster examples: Dan Kelly, Steve Guerra, Frank Fazio)
  5. Tie breaker #4 Lowest defensive runs allowed in per inning entire beast of east
  6. If three way tie….its the best record amongst games played in that three teams…then use the same tie breakers as above

 

Renegades open the season with a fresh lineup and beat Rochester 10-1

Peter Connolly, David Sanchez and Melissa Hoyt were the stars of this match

Peter Connolly picked up his first start and win. David Sanchez became the first Renegade to score on the first pitch he saw and Melissa Hoyt scored her first career run and 2nd career defensive stop

To open the 2018 season, the Renegades played its first ever evening game.  This contest was supposed to be an exhibition game but with rain in the forecast, we switched this to an official Beast of the East match.  Most of the team arrived about 2 hours before game time and it was a rushed pace to get ready for opening pitch.

Rochester’s, Leah Werner led off the season and hit a looper to the 40 foot arc.  Rob Dias struggled a bit to find the ball but retired her for the only action of the top half of the inning.  In the bottom of the first, Peter Connolly toed the rubber and his first two pitches were drilled.  Rob Dias slugged a shot into deep left for the first run.  Rookie David Sanchez then became the first player to score on the first pitch thrown to him and only the 2nd Renegade in team history to score in his first at bat.  After a Luis Soto strike out and a missed base by Aqil Sajjad, Hot Tub Thayer scored on a grounder to the right side to give Boston a 3-0 lead.  Moving to the second, Guy Zuccarello corralled a ball off the bat of O’Brien for the only defensive stop of the frame.  Rob Dias led off the 2nd with another hard hit ball that went by the defense as he ran by the base, fell on his rear and still recovered to score.  Aqil Sajjad would plate a run on a line drive up the middle of the field to make it 5-0, Boston.  With one down in the 3rd inning, Kyrstin Smith hit a hard grounder up the middle of the field that eluded Zuccarello and Dias.  Melissa Hoyt came up from her spot at midfield and made her 2nd defensive stop of her career to the cheers of her teammates.  In the bottom of the third, Joe Yee hit a laser that looked like it would hit Smith in the head at her spot at Right Shortie…but it thankfully did not brain her, but instead hit her in the arm.  She felt that stinger but did not give up on the ball, but Yee beat her on a bang-bang play to the base.  The next batter, Luis Soto then hit a dribbler to Smith on the right side, but Soto was too quick and Boston lead 7-0.  Some action in the top of the 4th almost lead to Rochester’s first run when Zach Kolbuc hit a hard grounder to the left side that got by Proctor and Thayer.  Kolbuc took a bad line out of the box and his bench stopped the play before injury.  by default, Rob Thayer earned his second career stop on defense. In the bottom of the 4th, Rochester made some noise when their DF, Nikita Bell  made her first career stop off the bat of Rob Thayer.  Fast forward to the bottom of the 5th Aqil Sajjad re-entered the game after leaving due to a blindfold problem and scored on a ball hit up the middle.  Luis Soto then hit a high fly up the middle for his 2nd run of the contest.  The real fun was to come.  Melissa Hoyt came to the plate and hit a grounder to the left side that got by Leah Werner.  Werner had no backside protection and as she crawled backwards looking for the ball, Hoyt raced to first and on a bang-bang play, she scored her first ever career run.  Melissa became the first female Renegade to score a run in a game since 200!  Rookie, Daisy Russell also hit a ball to the left side that Werner struggled to hear.  Knowing that Werner was struggling, Smith slid across the field and while Russell was giving it her all down the bases.  It was fun for all to see, but Rochester won that battle.

Boston would eventually win this game 10-1.  It was a fun contest to see so many player contribute to a victory and to see 2nd year pitcher, Peter Connolly perform so well as the team hit .400 against him.  This would mark the 19th time in Renegade history Boston would hold it’s opponents under one run.  It would also mark the first time Rochester had scored against the Renegades defense.

 

Boston puts out the fire 9-3

On a morning that rained during warm-ups, all the teams wondered if the games would be played to completion.  With rain in the forecast, coach Rob put on his bright yellow rain pants and the games would start on-time as the rain stopped about 15 minutes before first pitch.  Ron Cochran would make his season debut in this game toeing the mound.  Philly is looking to get to their first World Series since 2008 and had a revamped line up with three rookies in it.

John Margist and Mike Coughlin (who played on the Colorado team which beat Boston in the  2017 World Series) struck out to start the game.  Rookie Justin Rhines in his duct taped goggles, bright green cleats and shorts launched a fly ball up the middle of the field to test the Boston defense.   Joe McCormick was there to steal this rookie’s first hit of Beast of the East play.  The Boston bats would get hot out of the gate….but there was some rust to be found.  Christian Thaxton led off the game and on the 4th pitch he blasted it into left field.  Thaxton flew down the 3rd base line but missed the base.  By the time he could correct himself, Gina Natoli picked up the ball for the first out.  On the 6th pitch to  Joe McCormick, he lofted a fly into left for a run.  This run moved McCormick into 2nd place all time in Renegade history ahead of Joe Quintanilla. Rob Dias smacked his second pitch into left for the second run. Larry Haile hit a grounder that eluded the Fire’s defense and Guy Zuccarello also scored to give Boston a 4 run lead as Thaxton made two outs to end the inning.  Zucarello’s run was the 1,500th allowed by Ron Cochran in his career.  The strike out for Thaxton would mark Cochran’s 4,000th batter faced in his career. Fast forward to the third inning and lead off hitter, John Margist got on the board with a ball hit to the right side that Rob Dias could not pick up in time.  Boston answered with their lead off man, Thaxton scoring on a high fly ball up the middle to make the score 5-1.  Boston would keep a commanding lead in this game as only John Margist would score for Philly and his teammates would strike out 10 times in their 17 trips to the plate.  For Boston, Rob Dias would pace the offense with three runs and lead the defense with three stops.  Joe McCormick and Christian Thaxton would each have two runs and a stop on defense as well.  Thaxton’s second run of the game pushed him into 5th place all time in Gade history in runs scored with 124 as he passed Wrong Way Buizon.  Thaxton accomplished this in just about three seasons of play! With the rain pants on their coach, the Renegades would play a rain free game. Though Boston won, their bats were a bit rusty and the inconsistencies in the swings lead to 9 strikeouts.

 

Boston wins 15th straight vs Long Island

Justen Proctor, Shawn Devenish and Christian Thaxton

Justen Proctor paced the way with 5 stops on Defense, Shawn Devenish made 2 stops (his best defensive game ever) and Thaxton paced the offense with 4 runs

Since the inception of the Beast of the Eat, the top two teams have been Boston and Long Island.  These games are always some of the best games to test the Renegades defense.  After, the inconsistent swings in the philly game, it would be a test to see if the focus would improve for Boston.

Ron Cochran would throw a total of 7 pitches in the first inning to four batters. Christian Thaxton would score on a line shot directly over the head of Megan Fink.  McCormick, Dias and Haile would then be stopped by Alex Barrera on the right side, Chris Dejesus on the right side and Megan Fink on the left side.  Long Island would tie the game at one when Alex Barerea hit a lazy pop fly to the right side where Joe Yee and Justen Proctor would have a miscommunication allowing the run to score.  In the second, Peter Connolly would step in to face his cousin, Joe Yee and on a 45 foot dribbler to the left side, Yee would leg out a tough run. Guy Zuccarello then hit a line drive to the right side for a run.  Thaxton scored on a pop fly off the end of his bat and McCormick would also score on a high fly ball to put Boston ahead 5-1.Aas the bottom of the second started, Long Island’s pitcher, James Sciortino questioned the distance of the line for the pitchers mound.  He found out for the first inning, he was throwing from 30 feet and from the wrong line.  Moving up ten feet made an immediate impact as every hitter in the lineup in the second inning would put the ball into play.  Pasquale Agnone  lined a shot off his pitchers hip that sent him sprawling to the ground.  Sciortino dusted himslef off and Pasquale hit a ball down the 3rd baseline for a run.  Fink would score on a ball hit up the middle where the Boston defense struggled with communication.  Chris Dejesus would plate the 4th run of the game before Joe McCormick and Justen Proctor would make stops to end the inning.  Boston would lead 5-4 heading into the third.  Cochran would get on a good run in the 3rd as Zuccarello, Thaxton and Haile would score.  Joe Yee would also score on a ball hit into no mans land up the middle of the Long Island defense.  Boston lead 9-4.  The bottom of the third was a goose egg for the Bombers as it was all Justen Proctor making all the defensive stops of the inning.  Boston was alive now and the swings were looking more polished.  The Renegades sent 10 hitters to the plate and plated 7 runs in the frame.  McCormick and Dias plated a pair in the inning.  Thaxton scored on a high fly ball while David Sanchez and Joe Quintanilla came off the bench for base hits.  If Boston could hold Long Island, the 12 run rule would be invoked in just the 4th inning. Joe McCormick made a nice play deep in the middle of the defense off the bat of Chris Dejesus on a ball that went under Zucarrello for the first out.  After an Alex Barrera strikeout, John Gilroy laced a grounder down the first base line.  Newly inserted, Shawn Devenish ranged to his left and made the stop.  That put the game into the 12 run rule.  Long Island would scratch a few runs off the board once the mercy rule came into play but Boston was too much on this afternoon, winning 16-7 with Boston only hitting for 4 innings.  A highlite in the 12 run rule was the evolvement of Shawn Devenish who would make another stop, giving him 2 for the game and 3 for his career.

 

Boston Prevails in an Exhibition match vs Rochester 6-0

Luis Soto

Luis Soto was the player of the game leading all Renegades with two runs scored

The weather had held out and we had no rain, but the team was suffering looking at Coach Rob’s rain pants.  Those magical pants helped keep the fields dry for the day!  This game would not count against the Beast of the East standings as it was previously agreed to make the Friday night game the game of record as both teams thought this game was in jeopardy of not getting played.  The game would take after a short lunch break and Peter Connolly would get the call to start the game.  Rochester chose to be the visiting team with hopes of scoring first. In this game they would have their lead-off hitter, Brian Harrington in the line up.  Harrington would get things started with a grounder that Justen Proctor would eat up.  That would be the only ball out into play for the first 8 hitters of the game.  Rochester and Boston would strike out 7 straight times as both teams suffered the lunch break coma and struggled with the odd field that had home plate much lower than the pitcher’s mound.  As the media sat near the Renegades on-deck circle, Coach Weissman asked them to have patience and that it would get better.  That promise deleivered in the bottom of the second as Luis Soto would score on a fly ball to left center and Justen Proctor would hit a wrist rolling grounder to third base for a run.  The funny thing is both of those hits made the video from the news who was watching.  In the top of the 3rd inning, Christian Thaxton would record a defensive stop while playing right shorty, a Position he has been working on and learning.  In the bottom of the 3rd inning Aqil Sajjad, Luis Soto and Shawn Devenish plated runs which would give Boston a commanding 5-0 lead.  In the 4th we had a scare as Zach Kolbuc hit a high fly to the right side and raced off toward third base.  The Boston bench got nervous as his path was so far out of the base line and he was heading on to the pavement and toward the bathrooms.  A yell of stop killed the play.  After a talk about safety, the Rochester coaches agreed it was the best thing to have done and Aqil Sajjad was credited with a defensive stop.  Joe Quintanilla would score the only other run of this game as Boston would cruise to a 6-0 victory in a game that had 21 strike outs.  It would mark just the 7th time the Renegades would shut out an opponent in team history.

 

Scores of All games

Friday night
Rochester 1 at Boston 10

Saturday 9:00
Rochester 0 at long island 13
Philly 3 at boston 9

Saturday 11:30
Titans 13 at philly 4
Boston 16 at long island 7 ( 4 inning 12 run rule)

Saturday 2:00
Long island 6 at Titans 7

New jersey lightning have forfeited their games.

Leader Boards

Runs Scored

Rank Player Team Runs At Bats
1. Dias, Rob Boston 7 11
2. Thaxton, Christian Boston 6 9
3. Margist, John Philly 5 8
4. McCormick, Joe Boston 5 9
5. Dejesus, Chris Long Island 5 11
6. Barerra, Alex Long Island 4 7
7. George, Randy NJ Titans 4 8
7. Hogwood, Scott NJ Titans 4 8
8  Turner, Zak NJ Titans 4 9

Defensive Stops

Rank Player Team Stops Games
1. George, Randy NJ Titans 8 2
2. Proctor, Justen Boston 8 3
3. Smith, Kirstyn Rochester 7 2
4. Coughlin, Mike Philly 6 2
5. Dias, Rob Boston 6 3
5. Fink, Megan Long Island 6 3
7. Natoli, Gina Philly 5 2
8. Dejesus, Chris Long Island 5 3
8. Dejesus, Joe Long Island 5 3

Reactions to the Book Signing events

David Wanczyk brings BEEP to three Boston Book Signing events

David Wanczyk is the author of the incredible story “Beep Inside the Unseen World of Baseball for the Blind” and he was in town recently for three book signing events. A magazine article was his inspiration for the writing his book.  He wanted to learn more about the stories of the players and the game of Beep Baseball.  In 2012, David traveled to the Beep Baseball World Series and fell in love with it. In his book, Wanczyk  featured our favorite hometown team the Boston Renegades as one of four teams he follows over his journey.

Recently, Wanczyk traveled to the Boston area to give book readings to the community.  There were a total of three book signing events. The first event was in Cambridge at Porter Square Books where David read to almost fifty people. The crowd enjoyed every second of it. The second event was in Acton which hosted a slightly smaller but more generous crowd, who truly enjoyed the reading.  Dave’s biggest crowd was in Amherst where more than 60 people listened to his tales.  David is a true inspiration to the game. It is a huge step forward for the Beep Baseball community.  We would like to thank him.

We were able to live stream the event from The Silver Unicorn Book Store in Acton for those who were unable to attend.  You can watch that video here:

Here is David Wanczyk on BEEP:

Renegades in BEEP

The Renegades were one of many teams featured in this book. A few of its players, Joe McCormick, Guy Zuccarello, Larry Haile, and Coach Rob Weissman were main focus points for David Wanczyk. The Renegade’s story begins with a tale about Joe McCormick.  Wanczyk dives into Joe’s life and how he handled his vision loss during his Senior Year of High School.  He takes you to Georgia to meet the Renegades as they took on Taiwan and RHI Extreme.   Wanczyk comes back to the Renegades bench in 2014 in Rochester, Minnesota for games against Austin, Carolina and the Bayou City Heat. This book isn’t just about the game, but the ability in the word disability. The game of Beep Baseball is such an inspiration, and hopefully more and more people can join the community of Beep.

Coaches and Players Reactions About BEEP

At the book signing events, especially the first one, many coaches, players, and even former players were there. Former players included, Darren Black, Joey O’Neil, and JJ Ward. Below are some reactions of Peg Bailey, David Sanchez, and Joey O’Neil about the book and the experience of hearing the book readings.