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World Series Game Summaries – Day 3

Renegades break ten game losing streak and hold off the comets 12-11

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Christian Thaxton paced the offense with 4 runs (and 2 defensive stops), Rob Dias scored three times and made three stops while Thanh Huynh made a huge defensive stop that lit a fire under the team during this game

On a cool morning that left a few Renegades shivering, the Renegades took field ten to play the Chicago Comets.  The Comets were instrumental in helping the Renegades grow in the early days.  Their team was a model for the Renegades and these two programs have been two of the biggest programs in the world.  Two top teams made of 100% home grown players.  This game would be played along the road and often times would face delays due to trucks hauling through.  In fact, in the very first inning there was an ambulance delay for a Colorado player who was having a seizure on the next field (he would be ok).  Jamie Dickerson lost the coin toss and Boston would bat first (he was on a 3 game winning streak).  The Renegades were focused, rested and ready to go winning all 4 games they had played. The Comets entered with a 3-1 record with easy wins over Rochester, Athens and Tyler and a huge loss to the Indy Thunder. In the first, Boston had a mix of results with Thaxton leading off on a grounder down the third baseline and a score. But Joe McCormick would swing and miss on 4 straight pitches, which led to some concern. Rob Dias blasted a shot into left for a score but then Larry Haile would go down on 4 swings as well. Shawn Devenish then blasted a shot into center field and the Renegades led 3-0. In this inning, Bernardo Barrera would have to come of the field with a finger injury. This meant Wally Modzierz would come off the bench for the Comets. Chicago would lead off with two powerful lefty hitters in Richie Schultz and Bill Landrum. Boston went into a shift for them but Schultz found a hole as it fell in front of Thaxton for a run. Landrum then scored on a pop fly up the middle of the field that Zuccarello could not pick up in time. After a strike out and a weakly hit ball to Proctor, Juan Gonzalez lifted the tying shot into left field and the game was tied. In the second, the Renegades could only push one run across as Thaxton plated a run on another grounder to the left side and beat it out with his speed. Joe McCormick struck out again without making contact. Thoughts of his 6 strike out performance in Philly crept into the mind of Weissman. This was not the time for this to happen again. Schultz would tie the game in the bottom of the inning on a blast that flew through an over shifted defense. Bill Landrum would then step to the plate and hit a ball down the first baseline. As Thaxton scrambled to find the ball, Landrum took a terrible line and was heading into the Renegade bench area along the first base line. The umpire verbalized the word “stop” and as that happened, Landrum corrected himself and hit the base. A huddle then took place on the first baseline as Herzog, Perry, Cochran and Weissman talked it over with Umpire, Kevin Miller. After a long discussion, it was determined that since stop was called and Landrum corrected his base running on that word, the runner would be called out. This would prove to be a huge out for the Renegades. Thaxton then made a nice play to stop Big Giovanni Francese. But before the inning was over, Mike Mcglashon would plate a run on a grounder through the left side and the Comets led 5-4. The third inning was pivotal. Devenish and Zuccarello plated runs and then Thaxton lifted a bomb into left for three straight runs. Up came Joe McCormick. Before this at-bat, he had a talk with hitting coach, Mike Marciello and Weissman. He was told to stop being blissful and calm and go up there and hit the crap out of the ball. While the rest of the team was playing well and staying calm, we wondered if Mac would benefit from just playing as amped up as he normally does. We told him we were going to give him another chance. This time, he put the ball into play and his confidence was back but he was stopped for an out. Rob Dias scored after this and the Renegades moved ahead 8-5. In the bottom of the frame, Proctor would make a stop on Wally. Then lead off hitter, Schultz came to the dish. He hit a laser down the first baseline into the diving body of Thanh Hunyh who fired up the Renegades with this big stop. With one out in the 4th, Thaxton, McCormick and Dias would score big runs. McCormick was loving his new amped up attitude and he was contributing again on offense. Only Juan Gonzalez would score for Chicago and Boston led 11-6 after four. The fifth inning did not go well for Boston. Zuccarello grounded out to the left side and then Thaxton struck out. Joe McCormick with his newfound confidence then hit a laser into left to give Boston 12 runs. In the bottom of the frame, only Richie Schultz could plate a run as he blasted it by Thanh Huynh. And Chicago piled up two more strikeouts in this inning. Going to the 6th inning Boston led 12-7. Boston had the 4-5-6 hitters up. They were 3-12 on the day. Haile went down on 4 swings. Devenish was put out on a weak grounder to the left side and then Zuccarello struck out. Boston took the field with a five run lead and a lot of excitement and confidence.   Juan Gonzalez led off with his 3rd run of the game on a pop fly to third. Then Bernardo Barrera came in to pinch hit for Wally. Barrera has historically killed the Renegades but this time he would go down on strikes. Schultz would then score on another blast through the shift down the first base line. Landrum would score on a pop fly to the third baseline and Big Giovanni would score on a hit to the right side. The score was now 12-11. The Renegades had to get McGlashon out and he hit a pop fly to the third baseline. Proctor picked it up for a huge stop. Down by a run and with two outs, Juan Gonzalez stepped to the plate looking to tie the game. He was 3-4 on the day. He hit a weak grounder to the right side that Rob Dias gobbled up and the Renegades held on to a tight game to win 12-11. The Renegades exploded in excitement and surrounded Dias on the field. The comets scored four times in the last frame but fell just short. As the team stretched, Weissman thanked his angels for the stop call and poor base running of Bill Landrum in the 2nd inning. Boston would advance and still be alive without a loss. This was the first time ever Boston had made it 5 games deep in the World Series without a loss and they strutted an 11 game win streak into that game.

Boston Comes from behind and Beats Colorado in 7 innings 14-13

Joe McCormick scores one of his 4 runs on the day to help lead the Renegades back from the dead (Photo by John Lykowski)

Joe McCormick scores one of his 4 runs on the day to help lead the Renegades back from the dead (Photo by John Lykowski)

As the Renegades waited for their next opponent,  We were surprised when the Colorado Storm were walking to our field as they had just defeated the Bayou City Heat by the score of 20-12. Colorado had been scoring a lot of runs this week and had just one loss in the round robin brackets to the Indy Edge.  Boston and Colorado always play tight games and this one would be no exception.  The last time these two teams met, Colorado started off hot scoring 8 runs in the first inning and then walking off on Boston in the 6th by the score of 17-16.  This time, the Renegades would win the coin toss.  It would be a slow start for the Renegades as the Storm scored three times in the first inning with some shaky defense.  Boston got off to a bad start on offense as well.  Thaxton struck out.  Rob Dias would come to the plate at this point and before his at-bat began.  A huge crowd noise would interrupt the game.  The PA system from Jack Trice stadium was booming crowd noise.  The noise could be heard all over the complex as every game had to come to a halt.  The Renegades were on field 10, which was closest to the action and on top of the PA system and the road noise, it would be unfair to play in these conditions.  Weissman joked with Denver that The Broncos used similar fake crowd noise to get their noise levels higher at home games as the NFL banter obviously led to deflated footballs.  The games were being played on the Iowa State campus and after about 15 minutes, the stadium was contacted and complied to turn off the noise. Dias would eventually ground out to Morrow and then McCormick struck out as well.  The Renegades were better in the 2nd on defense as Proctor and Dias made stops to start off the inning but Richie Krussell would score on a pop fly and Colorado pulled ahead 4-0.  Larry Haile got the bats going with a pop fly down the first base line to start off the scoring in the second, But Devenish and Zuccarello would each go down on 4 pitches.  Thaxton would plate a run on a pop fly down the third baseline before Dias would strike out on another 4 pitches.  Boston had started the day  with 5 of their 6 outs by the way of a strike out.  A tough start for sure.  The Boston defense settled in during the 3rd inning when they got a break as Mike Jackson missed a base as Christian Thaxton had extra time and made the stop.  Larry Haile would then put out Rocky Zamora and then on fly ball up the middle, Joe McCormick made a nice grab to stop Ethan Johnston.  McCormick would lead off the inning and in a battle would hit the 7th pitch of the at-bat and would leg out a run to make it 6-3.  Haile and Devenish would be stopped and with two outs Guy Zuccarello would hit a grounder to the left side and beat Ethan Johnston to keep the inning alive and turn over the lineup.  Thaxton would launch a bomb into left field to and the Renegades would now lead the game 5-4.   Leading off the 4th inning, Chad Sumner laced a line drive into left field, But McCormick made another tremendous stop to prevent a sure run.  Krussel would score again in the 4th inning on another ball that would travel less than 80 feet to get the Storm on the board.  Morrow then scored on a grounder up the middle.  The storm had pulled ahead  6-5.  In the bottom of the 4th inning, McCormick would leg out another ground ball to tie the score at 6 a piece.  With one out, Shawn Devenish hit a hard grounder up the middle and it looked like the go-ahead run but he would run by third base as Rocky Zamora would make the stop.  Devenish was clearly upset at himself as this rookie was being put into some very meaningful situations.  The 5th inning opened with Orlando Dominguez coming off the bench.  He hit a pop fly that fell in front of Justen Proctor and he took off on a fast limp down the 3rd baseline.  Proctor had him nailed but when he went to pick the ball up with one hand, he dropped it and Dominguez scored.  Johnston would score on a 70-foot fly ball up the middle and then Proctor would stop Sumner for the 1st out.  Krussell would then score on a fly ball to third base, which Larry Haile could not pick up in time and Morrow would score on a grounder up the middle.  While all of this was going on,  Weissman and Cochran were chatting on the bench.  Cochran was saying that maybe the Renegades were just not mentally ready to play at this level quite yet.  This fired Weissman up.  Weissman went to Devenish to pick him up and talk him off the bad base.  They discussed the importance of not hand tagging bases in bad hearing conditions.  They discussed how much Devenish has done for this team.  Devenish began to calm down.  Colorado would plate 5 runs in the 5th and pull ahead 11-6.  Boston would show no quit.  Thaxton would lace a shot up the middle to lead off the inning.  McCormick and Haile would also plate runs and pull the game to an 11-9 deficit heading into the 6th inning.  The Storm would keep the pressure on.  Morrow would score on a pop fly to the right side.  Jackson would plate a run on  90-foot grounder up the middle and it was 13-9.  The bats would fall silent as Dominguez and Johnston struck out to end the 6th inning.  Boston was down 4 runs and had not scored more than three in an inning thought this game.  They believed in themselves and knew they could score at least four to keep this dream alive.  Christian Thaxton was leading off.  Thaxton was over swinging a bit and grounded to third to start the inning.  Rob Dias laced a line drive into center field for the first run on the 1st pitch he saw.  Joe McCormick lofted a high fly ball into left field for the 2nd run and the Renegades were fired up with two bombs in a row.  Larry Haile would lace the 1st pitch into right field for a line drive that went by everyone and with one out the score was 13-12 with rookie Shawn Devenish coming to the plate.  He and Weissman had talked about the importance of keeping his head in the game.  With three strikes he laced a line drive up the middle of the field and took off for the base.  This time he nailed it with his whole body and the ball game was tied.  The rookie had come through and the Renegades had two chances to walk off on the Storm.  The Storm had not seen this firepower from the Renegades all day.  Guy Zuccarello had the first chance and with three strikes, grounded out to Richie Krussel.  Christian Thaxton came up next and he was hitting .704 to this point of the tournament.  The bench was ready to erupt.  Thaxton over swung on his first swing.  He made an adjustment on the next pitch but Ethan Johnston stopped him on an amazing play and the ball game would head into extra innings.  The momentum had shifted and Boston had some extra hop in their step.  Sumner and Krussell  would start off the inning with strikeouts as the Storm had now struck out 4 times in a row.  This brought Demetrius Morrow to the plate.  He put the ball in play and Guy Zuccarello would make a diving stop to put the Storm down 1-2-3 for just the 2nd time all game.  On the first pitch of the bottom of the 7th inning, Rob Dias played the hero as he scored on a grounder to the left side.  The Renegades had done it, they had come from behind to beat the storm.  They celebrated on the field and piled on Rob Dias.  Boston had just won two one run games in a row.  They held off a Comet come back and then they came from behind to beat the Storm.  They had clinched a top 3 seed in the World Series and if they could win one more game would be in the championship game on Saturday.  This comeback showed Cochran this team had what it took to play at this level.  Guy Zuccarello was even heard saying that Weissman did an amazing job keeping the team calm.  The two wins meant that Boston could sleep in again the next day as it looked to face off against the only other undefeated team, the Indy Thunder.

 

To read about our exciting 2016 World Series…You can read about Day 1 here:

You can also read about day 2 here:

World Series Game Summaries – Day 2

Renegades win 11th straight over Southwest 12-4

Rob Dias picks up the ball and Justen's leg at the same time to make an out against Southwest - Photo by John Lykowski

Rob Dias picks up the ball and Justen’s leg at the same time to make an out against Southwest – Photo by John Lykowski

Earning a morning of rest after winning the previous three pool games pitted the Renegades up against the Southwest Slammers who had to be tired coming out of a tough bracket and then having to get up to play a tight game against the Iowa Reapers in the morning.  Boston was very familiar with this squad as 50% of the line up was from the Philly Fire. Originally the game was scheduled for field 7 but the night before, Bryan Grillo alerted coach Weissman that the field might not be safe. In fact, a Colorado player was hurt on that field the previous day. After much discussion in the morning, the league agreed to move the game to field five. The game would start off with John Margist hitting a routine grounder up the middle, but the ball spun from one zone to the next and the players did not react. John scored on a ball that would not travel more than 90 feet.  Later in that inning, Rob Dias and Justen Proctor would collide on a bang bang play on the left side with Rob Dias picking up the ball and Justen’s leg at the same time for the stop.  The Boston defense looked slightly sluggish to start for sure but escaped with just one run because the Southwest did not have blazing speed.  Boston would jump out quickly as Thaxton, McCormick and Dias would lead off the game with run scoring hits as Thaxton scored on a ball that got by Mike Coughlin on the third base line, McCormick hit a line drive down the first base line and Dias lifted a bomb into deep left field.  Larry Haile would come to the plate and with 2 strikes on him an argument ensued. Catcher, Weissman took a peak at Larry’s footwear and noticed they were different.  Weissman insisted Larry was not in cleats but Haile said he was.  When the at bat was over, Weissman asked Haile to see the soles of his feet and he was in sneakers.  Haile had left his cleats in the hotel. This put Haile on the bench till his cleats could be picked up by Sarah Cochran at the hotel.  Shawn Devenish then lifted a high pop fly up the middle of the field but took one step to third and was put out by Andrew Greene on a bang-bang play…Earning Devenish the pink blindfold.  Zuccarello would then hit a line drive up the middle to give Boston a 4 -1 lead.  To lead off the second Dan Kelley hit a laser down the first base line that caught Boston off guard as it was shifted to protect the middle.  Rob Dias almost ran it down, but the Slammers scored and it was 4-2.  Margist would come up again and this time would hit a hard grounder down the third base line.  As third base buzzed loudly, Justen Proctor called the ball dead and everyone froze in their tracks on the defense.  After the play was over, the ball was faintly beeping and Margist had his 2nd run and the Boston lead was cut to 4-3. This was a pivotal moment for Boston because they would agree for the rest of the week to pursue dead balls (and they would make two plays later in the week on balls that were dead because of this decision) in the bottom of the frame, the Boston bats kept booming as McCormick hit a line drive up the middle of the field, Rob Dias scored on a grounder he beat out, Shawn Devenish blasted a shot to left center and Zuccarello beat out a 40 foot dribbler and Boston led 8-3.  Southwest struck put three in a row in the third and Boston was super confident but began to lose focus.  The highlight of the 3rd inning was Joe Yee who came into play for cleat less Larry Haile.  He hit a 41-foot dribbler and blazed down the first baseline for a run.  This was exciting because Yee had been bothered by shin splints for two seasons and to see him run like the wind was amazing. In the 4th Margist would plate his 3rd run on a weak hit to lead off the inning.  Than Huynh would need a blindfold time out.  Coming out of the time out, he was upset by the fact the umpires needed to check his blindfold since he has two prosthetic eyes.  This fired him up.  On the next hit, Scott Hog wood hit a grounder through the defense that Huynh made a great diving stop between Taxon and McCormick for the out.  This highlight fired up the team has Huynh had worked so hard on defense this season that it was finally clicking for him.  But this would be the last true highlight of the game.  Southwest switched pitchers at the top of the 4th and entered Travis Means.  Means would strike out 7 of the 10 batters he faced.  The Renegades appeared to lose energy and focus for the rest of the way.  Zuccarello and Dias would end the game with three runs each.  Proctor and Dias also had three stops. Combined with Thane’s stop…that was all Boston made.  Offensively, Ron Cochran struggled a bit with his location and players swings and finished with 9 strikeouts in 5 innings.  After the game, Cochran and Weissman addressed the team and encouraged more focus, energy, better food decisions and rest for the team. Chicago would be waiting in the morning.  A performance like this may not be good enough to win that game.  We needed to do better to keep the dream alive.

 

To read about day 1 of the series...click here

World Series Game Summaries – Day 1

Renegades set the tone for the week beating the Jets 20-9

Thaxton scored 5 times, Haile 4 times while Rob Dias had 3 runs and 3 stops and Justen Proctor made three stops to lead the Renegades over the Jets

Thaxton scored 5 times, Haile 4 times while Rob Dias had 3 runs and 3 stops and Justen Proctor made three stops to lead the Renegades over the Jets

The NBBA has a process where new teams are just automatically seeded at the bottom of the bracket regardless of who is on that team.  This year, The Renegades were not going to have a true 18 seed.  Instead, they would face off against the former defending world champion pitcher and a few of his players, Kevin Sibson.  Weissman knew this Jets team would be a top 5 team in the World Series before it happened.  The thought process was simple.  Beat the Jets and the team will have beaten a top team and get confidence for the week.  Lose and there is no harm because double elimination had not started…and it would keep the Renegades away from a potential clash with a new rival who owned us the past few years, the Bayou City Heat.  The coaching staff discussed the importance of getting a feel for the field.  We wanted to make sure we gave the defense the best chance to get off to a strong start and these fields would play slower than we had played on all year.  The team was on the fields the night before and again on them early on Tuesday morning.  Weissman would lose the coin toss and Boston would start off the game with the very first pitch to Christian Thaxton being a late base.  After that it took 8 pitches and Boston had two strikeouts.  Rob Dias and Larry Haile would put Boston on the board 2-0.  In the bottom of the frame, Boston learned about the field and found at times it was playing too deep for the speed of Austin.  Axel Cox would lead off for the Jets and hit a ground ball right to Christian Thaxton, but Thaxton was too deep.  By the time the ball got to him, Cox was at the base. Rookie, Ricky Ruzicka would then score on a fly ball that Justen Proctor could not pick up in time and that was a run.  Rene Almanza then hit a hard ball up the left center of the field that ricocheted of Guy Zuccarello, but deep man, Joe McCormick was there to make the stop and the Gades were fired up!  Thaxton would then make a nice play on a ball off the bat of Jason Ackiss and the game was knotted at two a piece.  Leading off the 2nd, Guy Zuccarello scored on a line drive up the middle.  Thaxton scored on a grounder down the third base line and Dias and Haile also plated their second runs of the game on bombs. Guy Zuccarello would then score to make it 7-2 but the centerfield umpire who had no view of the ball, overturned the home plate umpire on a call where Richie Flores made a play facing the home plate umpire.  Despite the fact the home plate ump had a better view, she refused to stick with her original call and the score was 6-2.  Austin would plate two more as Cox and Arumbula would plate runs into right center.  In the third inning, The Boston line up would score three straight as Thaxton, McCormick and Dias went 1-2-3 for one of the few times all week to really fire the Renegades up.  Shawn Devenish also shocked San Antonio with a blast to left center to keep the pressure on.  During the same inning, The bats kept rocking and Thaxton and McCormick plated their 2nd runs of the inning when Rob Dias came to the plate giving them a chance to go 1-2-3 for the second time in the inning. Dias hit a line drive to right center but missed third base.  This was his first missed base of his career and it ended a big 6 run rally.  Boston was pushing toward a 12 run rule and hoping to make it stick.  Cox was the only runner to score for the Jets in the 3rd and after three Boston was up 12-5.  Instead of going for the kill, Boston put up a goose egg in the 4th.  However, the Renegade defense held the Jets to nothing as well as Larry Haile made one stop and Rob Dias made a pair to get the game to the 5th. The missed base seemed to take some steam out of the Renegades, as they would go down 1-2-3 for the second inning in a row.  The Renegades would have confidence.  During this time they were beating themselves with a missed base, 2 strikeouts and two weak grounders to Cox who plays up front.  Richie Flores would score in the bottom of the 5th and the Jets felt some life to start the inning when confusion would start.  Ron Cochran and Rob Weissman were confused at who was up as the Jets had been inserting the Aaron Almanza in and out of the game.  After Aaron Almanza scored to pull the game to 12-7, Cochran approached the umps and Jets coach, Kevin Sibson.  Sibson made a mistake and was caught batting out of order.  This was the 2nd time this season the Renegades had caught a team making this mistake.  Sibson was accountable.  He called time out, huddled his team and told them he had screwed up.  It did not effect him, after the huddle, they plated two more runs for their biggest inning of the game and the score was 12-9 heading into the 6th.  The Jets felt confident being the home team they could stay in this game.  That confidence ended fast.  The Renegades would have their biggest inning of the week and a hit parade would ensue.  Haile scored on a grounder to third.  Devenish scored on a blast into left center, Zuccarelo scored on a short pop up to the left side, Thaxton hit a line drive to left Center.  McCormick scored on a high fly down the first base line to give the Renegades 5 straight runs.  Rob Dias would make the first out of the inning but Haile, Zuccarello and Thaxton would score their second runs of the inning and that would be enough as Boston started to sub in players to rest starters for the long day.  In the end Boston would win 20-9. Christian Thaxton would score 5 times, (just the third time had had plated 5+ runs in a game).  Haile would plate 4 runs in this game (the 10th time he had plated 4+ in a game).  Defensively, Rob Dias and Justen Proctor would each have a hat trick but every starter had at least one. The league was mostly predicting the Jets to win but when this score went up, a shudder went through the ranks that maybe Boston would be for real. As the Jets went through the line shaking hands, a few of them were heard saying how surprised they were that the Boston team was this good.  That would become a theme.  San Antonio and Boston were clearly two of the top 6 teams at this World Series.

 

Boston Stops the Outlaws in first ever game against them 8-1

Joe Yee scored three runs while Justen Proctor scored a run and made 4 stops and Rob Thayer also plated a loud run for the Gades as they beat the Outlaws

Joe Yee scored three runs while Justen Proctor scored a run and made 4 stops and Rob Thayer also plated a loud run for the Gades as they beat the Outlaws

Right from the start, the Outlaws were at a disadvantage.  Very early in their first game there was a collision and one of their top players, Craig Cotton was injured and would be out for this game and would not play for the next day either.  Boston had preached rest for the players and wanted to get all of their players a minimum amount of rest. Only two players from the previous game were in the batting order to start the game.  BCS started the game with two strikeouts and a ground out to Justen Proctor.  But the offense got off to a slow start as only Christian Thaxton scored in the first inning. Both Rob Dias and Tim Syphers struggled to put the ball into play.  Joe Quintanilla was put out on a grounder down the first base line and was put out as Crystal Stark ranged way to her left and on a dead run picked up a ball that was not rolling.  In the second inning, Luis Castillo hit a grounder to the right side where Thanh Hunyh was.  Than charged the ball and then found he did not listen to the call and the ball rolled by him as Castillo scored.  This lesson would be one of the last times all week he would not listen to a call.  Joe Yee led off the third inning for Boston and hit a fly ball into left field for his first run of the season.  Justen Proctor then scored on a grounder to the left side for his only run of the World Series which led to Christian Thaxton plating a run as well and Boston was up 4-1 which would be all they would need.  In the third inning The Renegades removed their DH and put Thanh Hunyh into the line up as well as having Rob Hot Tub Thayer in the game.  This cushion would allow the Renegades to get their game one starters the rest they needed.  Joe Yee would score three runs in this game for a hat trick and gain the confidence of the coaching staff to get more at-bats later in the week.  Tim Syphers and Rob Thayer also scored in this match as the Renegades won easily 8-1.  The BCS offense could not get a hit by the Boston Shorties of Than, Justen Proctor and Joe McCormick who accounted for all 7 defensive stops.  Melissa Hoyt was also in this game as her only World Series appearance.  Hoyt had hurt her knee before the series but still made the trek.  She was taped up and out at first base for a few innings to help the starters rest, playing her role well.  The highlight of this game beyond Yee’s three runs was a shot to right field off the bat of Thayer.  The defense must have lost the ball with the ball laying near a loud first base. No Outlaw ever moved to the ball.  Thayer even missed the base and had time to score since BCS could not hear it near the base.  It would be Rob’s only run of the week because he would pull his hamstring warming up after this game.  The Boston defense only allowed one run in this match. This was just the 17th time in team history the Renegades had allowed as few as one or less runs.  Boston would then be ready to take on the last opponent for the day, the Minnesota Millers.

It’s Miller time as Boston 12 runs Minnesota in 3 innings 14-3

Joe McCormick plated 4 runs while Thaxton plated three runs . They each made 4 stops on defense to lead Boston over Minnesota

Joe McCormick plated 4 runs while Thaxton plated three runs . They each made 4 stops on defense to lead Boston over Minnesota

Boston was feeling good after beating the Jets and then using the BCS game to get many of the players rest to help them stay fresh for the long week.  The Millers were looking to move up the standings and had hopes of showing the league they could do so with a win over the Renegades. Before the game began, Steve Guerra was on the Boston bench talking some smack and having fun.  The only smack down that would happen would be at the fate of the Millers.  The Millers came out hot but the Boston defense would be on for this game. Rob Dias would put out Evan Van Duyne on a bang-bang play to start the game.  Joe McCormick would stop Matt McCoy on a shot into left field and then Guy Zuccarello would stop the speedster, Josh Xiong on a bang-bang play to end the inning.  Thaxton would start the game with a whiff for Boston. Next, Joe McCormick would score on a fly ball off the top of his bat down the third base line for the first Renegade run.  Rob Dias and Shawn Devenish would also score to give Boston a 3 run lead after one. The Millers would throw up a goose egg in the 2nd and Boston would get hot scoring 6 times in the frame highlighted by both Christian Thaxton and Joe McCormick scoring a pair in the inning.  Evan Van Duyne got the Millers on the board in the 3rd inning.  With one out, Josh Xiong lifted a fly ball down the third baseline and raced to the base.  Christian Thaxton made the stop of the game here when he back peddled and lined up the ball and picked it up before the Speedy Xiong hit the base.  The Renegades went crazy and were yelling that Thaxton was no longer a designated hitter.  He then put Riley Schmitz out on a hard grounder down the line to end the inning.  In the third inning, Boston would pour it on again and score five times from five different spots in the line up.  A scary moment happened when Tim Syphers stepped to the plate.  He lifted a fly ball to centerfield but struggled with his line to third base and we had to stop the play in fear of him getting hurt as he ran into the Miller bench.  That would be all for the Millers as Boston would apply the 12 run rule after three innings.  A nice moment happened in the 6th inning when Todd Paulson hit a grounder up the middle that nobody could pick up.  He had to pause after he hit first base because it was the first run of his career.  It was a nice moment when coach Weissman congratulated him and saw the smile on his face.  Some great news in this game was Joe McCormick finding his swing and scoring four times in the game after working hard to understand why his swing was going up the ladder.  After the game was over in the huddle, Guy Zuccarello thanked Tim Syphers for being at the Series.  As on this day his Great Grandfather was being put to rest.  It was a touching moment.  When the stats were tallied Boston hit .609 for this game.  It was just the 6th time in Renegade history the team had hit over .600 and it was the 6th best average in any game in team history.  Boston had clinched the one seed and was most excited it would be allowed to sleep in and have an 11:30 start the next day.

The Renegades take the 1st leg of the Beast of the East

The following are short game recaps of the first tournament of the 2016 season for the Boston Renegades.  For more information including box scores click here and follow the hyperlinks

Thanh Huynh made the defensive stop of the Game while Rookie Shawn Devenish scored his first run in this contest

Thanh Huynh made the defensive stop of the Game while Rookie Shawn Devenish scored his first run in this contest

Game 1: Renegades Roll Over Lightning

To start the season, the first game was delayed due to poor field conditions.   The first base line was put in a place deemed dangerous for the runners so we had to reline the fields and faced a 45-minute delay.  Game one of the 2016 season pitted two teams going in opposite directions.  The Renegades are working to be a championship contender while the Lightning are barely holding a team together as it would soon be learned their team would not go to the world series.  As the game was preparing to start, the Lightning were teaching their new people what to do.  Boston would get on the board early with 2 weak hits by Christian Thaxton and Guy Zuccarello and a bomb by Rob Dias.  The inning would end with Jamie Dickerson screaming to Rob Thayer to stop for safety reasons as he was making a b-line to our bench.  Sherlock Washington would score in the bottom of the first on a grounder down the first base line that eluded Rob Thayer.  From there the strikeouts would pile up for New Jersey.  The highlight of the second inning was a grounder down the third base line for rookie Shawn Devenish for his first career run.  In the third inning, Justen Proctor came off the bench and scored a run for the first time in a game since 2011.   What made this moment special was he was working on a new running technique that was helping him to be lighter and faster on his feet.  Christian Thaxton scored a pair and finally found his groove with Ron as the bombs started to fly.  Despite him not hitting well, he would plate four runs in this game and Boston scored 5 runs in the frame to push the score to 11-1.  In the top of the fourth inning, the Lighting brought a new player, Laura Etari on to the field at the right short position.  Tim Syphers would come to the plate and hit a weak shot down the third baseline and take off for first base.  Laura was confused and went to the first base line where she collided with Tim in foul territory in a big crash.  In a collision that looked like an Atari video game, both parties were surprised but ok.  After 4 innings, the Gades were up 14-2 and the 12 run rule was evoked.  In the 6th inning, the Lightning had scored two runs (both by Washington) and struck out 15 times.  In the 6th, the Boston defense finally got some work as Washington hit a hard grounder near Thanh Huynh who made a spectacular play using the new jabba defense technique the team had worked on all spring, which got Coach Weissman fired up.  Rob Dias would then make a play on Doug Winthrop’s ball up the middle to close out the Lightning.  It was the third time the Lightning had been 12 runned in history by Boston (2010, 2015) and the first time Boston had ever 12-runned an opponent in New York.  This would soon become a trend.

 

Game #2 Renegades drop a bomb on the Bombers 13-3

Justen Proctor led the team with 3 stops on defense while Christian Thaxton and Joe McCormick paced the offense with 4 runs a piece

Justen Proctor led the team with 3 stops on defense while Christian Thaxton and Joe McCormick paced the offense with 4 runs a piece

The Renegades bats began to heat up as Christian Thaxton and Joe McCormick plated runs to start off the game whole Larry Haile contributed to give Boston a 3-0 cushion to start the game.  In the bottom of the first, Justen Proctor strutted his stuff by stopping a hard hit ball to the left side that left Long Island pitcher shaking his head.  But everyone was shaking their head when the Boston defense shifted for Joe Dejesus and we saw Chris Dejesus in the batters box.  After he swung at one pitch, Coach Weissman and Dickerson screamed foul and called out Long Island for batting out of order.  The first time this has happened in team history.  Things would go straight down hill for Long Island, as Christian Thaxton and Joe McCormick would each score 4 times in their first four trips to the plate.  A 5 run 4th inning put the game into the 12 run rule and Boston led 13-1 but in this inning, Shawn Devenish went over a base wrong and sprained his wrist to knock him out for the day.  In the Bottom of the fourth, Long Island changed pitchers and in strode Dave Mazza.  The importance to this moment is Mazza and his family help the Renegades with batting cage space.  Dave has become a friend of the Renegades and wanted to get involved in the sport and joined the Bombers.  Long Island would score twice against him but that would be it.  Boston would 12 run the Bombers for the first time in team history winning 13-3.

 

Game #3 Renegades Knock out Titans and Finish The Sweep 15-4

Luis Soto is congratulated by his teammates as he score his 2nd run of the game and the third of his career

Luis Soto is congratulated by his teammates as he score his 2nd run of the game and the third of his career

For the third game in a row, the Renegades would lose the coin toss, draw first blood and eventually 12 run the opponent.  In the inaugural game between these two teams, Boston would be familiar with most of the players who had played with the Lighting in the past.  The first inning started rough for Boston as Christian Thaxton struck out and Ron would help the Titans by striking out Larry Haile and Tim Syphers as Boston plated two runs (McCormick and Dias).  This would be the only time Thaxton would get put all day long on the way to an 11 for 12 performance at the plate for the day. Before the 2nd inning was over, Boston started to reach into the bench and would eventually plate 7 runs in this frame. In the third inning, Boston struggled as Luis Soto, Justen Proctor and Guy Zuccarello would go down 1-2-3 and for the only inning all day, Boston would have a goose egg.  Leading 9-1, the Titans moved to a new pitcher, Lyndsay Woodard who had just joined the team after leaving the Indy Edge.  Woodard would get the ball into play and after the Renegades shook off some rust.  Justen Proctor would rack up three stops in the third inning for the Boston D but the score was cut to 9-3. In the 4th, Christian Thaxton would start the inning launching a line drive into center field.  Joe Quintanilla would then hit a ball that danced on the first base line for over 100 feet for a run.  With one out, Luis Soto would finally put things together after Coach Weissman learned he was listening to the ball.  That correction put the ball into play and Soto had his first run of the season.  Up 13-3 Soto came to the plate again and with his new success launched a blast into right field for his second run and first multi run game of his career.  A touching moment ensued as his teammates mugged him in excitement for his progress as a player and the fact he was finally having fun after weeks of frustration in learning the game.  This new-found information was passed to Thanh Huynh who we found was also listening to the ball.  For the first time that day, he put a ball into play and came close to scoring.  Boston led 15-3 and Coach Weissman forgot to push the pedal to get the 12 run rule…and when the Titans scored in the bottom of the frame, both teams decided to just keep it in the 12-run rule.  The game would end with Rich Koppenjan hitting a hard grounder down the first base line as Joe Quintanilla raced to the line, dove and made the stop.  This was the best Defensive stop of the weekend for the Renegades.  Boston would be 3-0 to start off the Beast of the East.

2015 World Series Highlights Day #4

Bayou City Brings the heat and knocks out the Renegades…AGAIN 27-15

After a very long Thursday, The team got back to the hotel after 8:00 and we had Pizza delivered and sat on the floor of the hotel.  Not a luxurious way to do things..but we needed to get rest as the Bayou City Heat awaited us on Friday Morning.  The Renegades wanted a chance at redemption from what the Heat did to us on 2014.  To recap that, the Gades held an 8-2 lead and ended  up losing by a run to get knocked out of the World Series.  Bayou City also accused Guy Zucarello of cheating and patched him.  So there was some anxiety about this issue as well. Redemption, Revenge and the chance to show them we had made some adjustments since they saw us last.  Well when the line-ups were turned in, The Renegades had two guys in the line-up whom were not there in 2014 in Christian Thaxton and Shayne Cantan.  Bayou it had two as well in Greg Gontaryk and John Kebedeaux,.  But in this match they also made sure to have all their big bats in the line up as Boudreux (did not start in 2014 and was injured) and Clark both started out of the line-up.  This was going to be a tough match for sure.  Bayou City had only one loss on the week, losing to Austin (the eventual champs 21-13).  The team that could play better defense was sure to win this match, at least thats is what we thought.  the Bayou City pitcher, Fonzi Medrano had other plans.  Bayou City started off fast scoring 5 times in the top of the first inning with Tanner Gers scoring a pair.  Boston would fight back and score three runs in the bottom of the inning to keep it close.  Excitement was in the air.  In the second, Rob Dias and Joe Yee made some stops and Bayou City only scored a pair..as Boston won the inning by  having the same exact three players score again- Thaxton, McCormick and Dias Plus Zucarello got on the board for the first time and the score was Bayou City 7 and Boston 7.  The third inning was big for Rob Dias as he made two more stops on defense and with the help of Joe McCormick, the Renegade defense held the Heat to only 2 runs again.  Only Joe McCormick would score in the Renegade 3rd and the score stood at 9-7.  But during this time Ron got into trouble with head umpire, Kemp.  The Renegades were arguing that on multiple plays the Bayou City heat did not have possession of the ball and that the player had it pinned to their body before they got it “up”.  Kemp disagreed and Ron had some choice words as he walked back to the bench and was officially warned for his conduct.  The Bayou City bats caught fire in the 4th inning and they plated 6 runs as Tanner Gers and John Kebedeux each scored a pair in the inning.  In the bottom of the Fourth, Larry Haile finally got started as he scored the third run of the inning and as he scored he jumped up and down yelling “Im back…I’m back” as the team never showed quit.  At this point in the game, many of the other teams were starting to find their way to watch this game and a huge amount of league support was breaking out for the Renegades as teams filled up the space behind the Renegades bench cheering.   In the 5th inning with just one run in, McCormick stopped a ball of the bat of Bam Bam Clark and Joe Yee made a nice play on Jason Walters.  The NBBA looked on and though…Could this be the Renegades time?  But  Boston could not get off the field and Bayou City scored another 5 runs with two outs.  That was the dagger for the Renegades and heading into the bottom of the 5th it was Heat 21 and Boston 11.  Fauns continued the pain in the 6th putting up three consecutive innings where his team scored 6 runs and the Renegades would end up losing 27-15.  The 27 runs was the 2nd largest output ever allowed by the Renegades (Chicago plated 31 runs in 2013).    For Bayou City, anger Gers scored 7 times in 8 trips to the plate and three different players (Kebedeaux, Boudreaux and Clark each scored 5 runs).  For Boston, Christain Thaxton and Joe McCormick would each score 4 runs to pace the Renegade offense.  Boston would strike out 8 times in 33 trips, while Bayou City only struck out 4 times in 45 trips.  this was part of the problem as well as Larry Haile (3) and Joe McCormick (2) had issues in this game with strike outs.  Boston would be eliminated.  Bayou City would then go to place the Taiwan Home Run.  Their game against Taiwan would end up going till the evening as Fonzi continued to keep his bats mashing the ball.

Boston wins Rematch against the Colorado Storm 17-5

In 2014, when the Heat defeated the Renegades, it was an emotionally draining game.  When this game ended in 2015, the Renegades huddled and were not going to let the same thing happen.  The Colorado Storm awaited them and Boston wanted a chance to get back at them for the 17-16 loss they had on Thursday.  As the game time neared, the Storm Pitcher was not on the field.  Johnny Walker was actually at the hospital as one of their players, Steve Lyles was hospitalized.  Colorado Storm star, Doug Biggins was also not able to play due to injury and during warm-ups, they had a new pitcher on the mound in Cory Buckingham.  Boston wanted this game.  The Renegades had a feeling that Walker would enter the game at some point (as he did against the Indy thunder leading them to a come from behind victory 9-8) in pool play.  Boston had a Huge start to this game as Christian Thaxton, Joe McCormick and Larry Haile each plated a pair of runs and Rob Dias pitched a run to give the Renegades 7 runs in an inning (their second biggest output for an inning during the week).  Colorado was able to score to start off the game as Ethan Johnston and Rich Krussel plated runs on plays the Renegade defense should have made.  The luck stopped there for Buckingham as he caught the bottom of John Parker’s bat for an out to Joe McCormick and then Mike Malloy and Frank Facio struck out.  This game would be all Boston and nothing said this more than at one point during the game Boston it a ball into left field which was dead when it went by all of the Denver players.  Just as the umpire approached the ball to see if it was dead..it started to beep loudly and a run was awarded.  During this game the skies would turn purple and there were threats of a real storm.  By the 4th inning, Boston was working all of its players into the game and had built up put up 12 runs through some intermittent down pours that had the teams under their tents for about 5 minutes.  the highlight of the top of the 5th inning and web gem of this game would come by Aqil Sajjad.  With 2 outs, Frank Facio, an intimidating big left handed pul hitter lofted a fly ball to the right side of the field where Aqil Sajjad stood.  Jamie Dickerson, the field spotter made a call and the ball hit Aqil on the foot, where he was able to pounce on the ball quickly.  As they trotted off the field, Aqil mentioned that the wrong call was made by Jamie.  The Irony was Aqil was in perfect position to make the play based on the call. Shayne Cantan would come off the bench in the 5th inning to get Rob Dias rest.  Shayne plated the 13th run and then the game would be stopped by the league due to threats of lightning.  the teams decided it was important to finish this game as both teams wanted to get their players playing time. As both teams retreated to baseball dug outs for cover..the game was halted (and there was no lightning at this time).  Eventually the league let the game resume and the Renegade defense would pitch a shut out in the 5th and 6th innings as Buckingham and the Storm struck out 3 times while Joe McCormick, Guy Zuccarello and JJ Ward would make stops.  Boston would get all 12 players into the game and proudly finished with its best seed ever as the #5 seed in the 2015 World Series.  As the Boston team smiled and took pride in the performance word spread that the Taiwan Home Run and Bayou City Heat were still playing.  That game would end when the Renegades were back at the hotel with a football score of 45-37.  The Bayou City Heat were a very impressive offensive force.  For the Renegades, they found a force in Christian Thaxton.  Thaxton (who missed the first three games because of a coaches decision to rest him and a hip injury) set a Renegade World Series record hitting .719 and would place 4th on the World Series All-Star team.  Joe McCormick would also break the Renegade World Series record hitting .628.  Boston would finish the series with the 4th best Batting average in the league at .535.  Defensively, the highlight was the play of Joe Yee at third base.  Yee entered this tournament with just 4 defensive stops to his credit in his career.  He would finish the series with 15 stops and a ton of confidence in his play on the field.

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.