2022 Game recaps – Day 4 of the World Series

Friday of the World Series, and the Renegades were still alive with a chance to win the title.  Only 6 teams could say that. To make things worse the league decided to postpone all games on Thursday due to rain.  It’s unclear why the league made this decision, it really seemed odd as it did rain very hard, but the sun came out very strong for hours after this.  It just felt like the league made a bad decision or their hands were tied by the city (which in our opinion should never had been awarded a bid based on the tree lines on these fields and the fact the city did not meet the spec to run the World series by having fields that were 200×200).  The Renegades would have an 11:00 start as they awaited the result of the San Antonio Jets and the Bayou City Heat.

The San Antonio Jets prevailed.  They entered the week as the two seed.  They got beat by the Austin Blackhawks 14-11 in the 2nd round of double elimination.  They had to beat Atlanta (25-11)  and Bayou City (22-11) to get to this game.  The last time these two teams faced off was in the semi finals of the 2019 World Series.

Jets take off against Renegades 15-5

WS Coaching staff for 2022 from Left to right – Gina Devenish, Bryan Grillo, Peter Connolly, Ace Lenicheck, Ron Cochran and Rob Weissman

The Renegades were excited for this game.  For Boston, Bryan Grillo and Jason Lenicheck would call the game for the team on defense.  Ron Cochran would face all the hitters in the starting lineup other than Shayne Cantan and David Sanchez, who would face Peter Connolly.  Chris Kimball was out of this game with a shoulder injury and Rob Dias was limited to defense with a hamstring injury.  Boston was not at full strength, but then again, few teams are on Friday of the World Series.

For the Jets, Jeremy Lopez would be pitching, taking over for the legendary Kevin Sibson who retired after the 2021 season as one of the best pitchers in league history.  David Smith led this game off with a fly ball to left field, Shayne Cantan was waiting for it but tried to play it on a bounce and did not line it up perfectly, as the Jets got on the board.  Zach Arambula would give Boston a gift with a rare strike out.  Axel Cox then hit a shot into left field that actually hit a standing Shayne Cantan in the feet as the call likely took him in the wrong direction off the bat.  Lopez and Castenada would strike out to end the inning.  The Jets led 2-0.

Boston would get one run back real quick as Joe McCormick stayed hot with a line drive score.  Devenish would not have the same luck as he hit a grounder to the left side and was stopped by Zach Arambula up front in the Jets defense.  Sanchez was put out on a bang-bang play by Will Lopez that was due to poor base running. Cantan would go down on swings as Boston cut the lead in half 2-1.

Rene Almanza would lead off for the Jets in the top of the second inning.  He would hit a short grounder just past the 40 foot arc as Zuccarello raced in and dove by it.  By the time he recovered, Almanza was at the base. Smith would beat the Renegade defense with a ball hit into right field that McCormick chased but turned the wrong way on when he came out of his route and Smith had two runs for the game.  Arambula then hit a dribbler to the left side that Guy dove for and missed as it went past his feet.  Dias crept in a little too far and it got by him as well for a run.  Cox then hit a dribbler up the middle where McCormick, Zuccarello and Devenish converged on the ball but as Guy picked up the ball, Cox beat it out in less than 5 seconds.  Lopez lifted a high fly to third base.  Dias had it lined up, but the ball took a sec to roll to him and Lopez scored.  This was four in a row for the Jets, where three of them did not get beyond 100 feet.  Ricky Castaneda actually had the 2nd best hit of the inning with a line drive up the middle, Devenish dove to his right to make a nice play. Almanza hit a fly ball up the middle, which Devenish ran by and by the time he could correct himself, Rene had scored  the 8th run for the  Jets.  Smith then hit a slicing fly ball to the right side which hit the ground and spun toward the line.  Zuccarello who switched to the right side fell short of it where it originally landed and Smith scored his third run of the contest.  Arambula then lofted a short fly ball to the left side.  McCormick caught it on one bounce on a very nice play.  Axel Cox then hit a grounder through the first two layers of defense as Shayne Cantan dove and stopped it with his feet for the final out of the inning.  The Jets put up 7 runs and led 9-1 after one and a half.  The 7 runs scored in this inning matched the 36th time Boston had let up 7 or more runs in an inning in its history.  It was the second time in the past two games.

Crook would enter the game to hit for Luis Rodriguez, but would ground out to Zach Arambula who made a nice play near the base.  Zuccarello hit a line drive up the middle, but struggled to find third base as he ran past it and tagged it a little late as he was stopped on a bang-bang play by Castaneda.  McCormick stayed hot with another line drive base hit.  Devenish then hit three bombs foul before getting one fair but will Lopez made a very nice play to stop Devenish, who missed the base.  Boston.  After two full frames, it was Jets 9 and McCormick 2.  Boston had lost three runs to bad base running.

Will Lopez would lead off after making a great stop in deep left field.  His first hit was to the left side but the ball was called dead.  He would then hit a ball that just cleared the 40 foot arc.  McCormick crashed in on it, hit the ground a few feet too early and awkwardly crawled to the ball flipping on his back and picking up the ball behind his head.  The umpire thought the ball was pinned against his body, but in reality it was pinned against his hat which was off his head.  The challenge by Weissman went unchanged (further showing that the “away from the body” part of the possession rule is very hard for an umpire to call because they do not have all the angles). Castaneda struck out on 4 swings and missed.  Rene Almanza then hit a hard grounder right at Dias at third base.  Dias went to the ground at the same time the ball arrived and it bounced away from him toward the line and he could not recover.  Smith hit a bomb into the third layer of the Renegades defense as Shayne Cantan came up short and the ball rolled well by him.  Arambula blasted a shot into left that Cantan had one shot on and took two steps in the wrong direction for the 12th Jets run as their bats were heating up.  Cox lofted another fly ball into left field.  Cantan hit the ground too early and another run scored.  The Jets who started the game hitting a bunch of crap inside 100 feet but using their speed to score were now showing their skills as they had hit three bombs in a row.  Devenish made another nice diving play going to his right to stop Will Lopez.  Castaneda when right back at Devenish, Shawn slid to his right and did not use proper fundamentals as the ball kicked off his hands and over him for the 15th Jets run of the game.  Almanza went to Devenish again and he made a nice play moving to his left for the final out of the inning.

Down 15-2, The Renegades were staring at the 12 run rule for the second time in a row.  It was imperative to have a good inning.  Sanchez hit a weak grounder to the left side that Arambula gobbled up.  Cantan hit a harder ball to the left side with the same result as Arambula made a clean play for the out.  Luis Soto entered the game to hit for Elana Regan who played the previous inning at first base,  He would strike out.  This was the end of the third inning and Boston would be 12-runned.  It was the 25th time in team history the Renegades had been 12-runned and 7th time since 2015.

Boston would go to the bench at this point with the goal of saving legs for the last game of the season as this would eliminate the Renegades.  The low lights continued.  Ivan Rodriguez hit a ball to the right side and the base never went off, but he did not call for it and was called out.  In the 5th inning, Boston got back to back scores from Shayne Cantan and Luis Soto.  Shayne also scored in the 6th.  The final score was 15-6.  It was not the best Renegade performance.  This eliminated the Renegades from the title.  Boston would then wait for more than an hour for the loser of the Philly Fire and Indy Thunder game.

 

Renegades finish in 5th place with a 16-13 victory over Indy

The last game of the 2022 season was a placement game for 5th place.  The game would be against the 5-time World Champion, Indy Thunder.  Sadly, the Thunder were ripped apart over the off season as 4 of their starters left for other teams.  They also had two major injuries to other key players.  They really did an amazing job at rebuilding their team and they had some big wins during the week including a victory over the Bayou City Heat.

Boston had a long wait for this game as the Philly Fire played a tight game with the Indy Thunder that eliminated the Thunder 15-13. Boston would avoid a 4th match against Philly for the 2022 season as hilly would lose their next game to the Jets and finish in 4th.

Boston would have Bryan Grillo and Jason Lenicheck call this game.  Peter would be facing David Sanchez and Shayne Cantan in this game, while Ron Cochran would have the rest of the starting lineup.  Rob Dias would play in this game, though injured.  Chris Kimball was unavailable.  Boston would win the coin toss and unknown to the coach, the players chose the away team because of the two back-to back losses incurred as the home team and all three losses on the season as the home team.

Joe McCormick would lead off this game and on the third pitch hit a grounder that he would beat out.  This would be Ron Cochran’s 2,000th run he had let up in his career!  Devenish would get 2,001 with another hard grounder.  David Sanchez then hit a line drive out to Dylan Berry in left field.  At first, there was a break for a dead ball.  The ball had noise in it, but then Indy challenged the call and the run was over turned as Dylan Berry made the first defensive stop of his career.  Cantan would whiff and this brought Drew Crook to the plate.  He would hit a shot into the deep outfield, but his leg gave out on him on the way to third base and he dropped in a heap in front of the Renegade bench.  He had been holding off a tweaked groin all week, but in this game, the luck had run out.  He re-injured a leg muscle and his Series was over.  This was a tough break for Drew as he had worked very hard to keep his legs healthy and he set a career high for at bats in a season with 28 (he had 19 in his first two seasons).  Boston held a 2-0 lead, but losing Drew was on the minds of many of the players.  Luis Rodriguez would enter the game to play defense for Crook.

The Thunder would have Jarred Woodard on the mound.  About a month earlier, Woodard suffered a cracked jaw when he was hit in the face with a line drive.  He recovered and came back for the series sporting a helmet and face mask to protect him.  He is a gamer and a warrior.  After a lead off strike out, Michael Lewis hit a dribbler to the 40 foot arc.  McCormick flew in on it and slid over the ball, when he went back to get it, he knocked it away from himself and Lewis put Indy on the board.  Kevin Smith then hit a ball into left field that Luis Rodriguez fielded just after he hit the base, but the ball was dead and the play would be replayed.  Smith would then hit another dead ball slow roller to McCormick, who made the play as the ball started to beep again.  Gregory would then hit a grounder to McCormick and the ball would hop over his legs, McCormick would recover in time to make the out.  Boston led 2-1 after one inning.

Guy Zuccarello led off the 2nd inning with a run scoring shot off his bat into left field.   McCormick would score his second run of the game on a ball that cleared all three layers of the Thunder defense.  Devenish would make it three in a row with a blast off his bat as well.  Sanchez would score on a fly ball to center field to keep the streak alive.  Cantan would be stopped on a weak flare to Michael Lewis.  This brought Luis Soto into the game to hit for Luis Rodriguez. Ikram would stop him.  Zuccarello would score the 2nd run of the inning as Irkam misplayed the ball for the Thunder.  McCormick would score again on a ball that went past all three layers of the defense for his 2nd run of the inning.  That gave Boston a 6 run inning!  Devenish would be stopped in left field, by Rookie Dylan Berry.  Boston was feeling very comfortable, probably too comfortable.

The Thunder would start two rookies in this game for experience.  Chase Dickey would lead off and come up empty with a whiff.  Dylan Berry hit a weak bouncer up the right side.  Zuccarello misplayed it and Berry missed the base as Shayne Cantan made the stop for the 2nd out of the inning.  Ikram then hit a grounder that got past McCormick and Dias at third to give Indy their second run of the match.  Michael Lewis then hit a slow roller to McCormick who made the play as the ball went between his knees and he was able to get it off the ground in time.  Boston led 8-2.

The third would be a bad inning for Boston.  Sanchez started it off with a high fly to the right side with a lot of spin on it.  He had enough time to score as Michael Lewis struggled to find the spinning ball, but Sanchez ran wide of third base and could not recover in time.  Another missed base for Boston, in one of their worst base running years ever.  Cantan would hit a lazy fly ball to Ikram, and would be stopped.  This brought Luis Rodriguez to the plate to hit for Soto.  Lrod may have had his best hit of the season, but Dyllon Berry was there in the third layer to make the stop for a Thunder 1-2-3 inning.

The bottom of the third got worse for the Renegades.  Kevin Smith launched a ball into left field.  Luis Rodriguez pretty much tip toed to the ball, Smith missed the base and about 9 seconds later, Smith hit the base before Rodriguez went after the ball.  Woodard, like a shark smelled blood and on the next pitch found Rodriguez again and scored as Lrod struggled to find the ball and be aggressive.  Dickey whiffed for the 2nd time in the game.  Then his diminutive rookie teammate, Berry hit a weak grounder up the middle.  McCormick tried to make the play on his knees and misplayed it for the third run of the inning.  Ikram then hit a line drive up the middle.  Shawn over ran it, Lrod dove feet first at the ball and it hit him in the shins.  By the time he reached to get it- Ikram was safe.  Michael Lewis then went back to left center, Devenish missed it and Lrod was slow to the ball and picked it up right after Lewis made the base.  Shayne Cantan stopped the bleeding with Kevin Smith up as he was able to make a stop off a bouncer in right field. Gregory tied the game up with a hard line drive past a diving Dias and past Luis Rodriguez who never hit the ground on the ball.  Dickey would strikeout for the third time in the game..but the Renegades had fallen asleep at the wheel and let one of the best teams in the game back in the game.

The Renegades sure lacked energy.  One of the hardest players in team history to strike out was up next, Guy Zuccarello.  He went down on 4 pitches to lead off the 4th inning.  McCormick blasted a shot into left field to score his 4th run of the game. Devenish accomplished the same feat and scored his 3rd run of the game.  Sanchez then hit the 3rd consecutive pitch into center field and scored his 2nd run of the game as the 1-2-3 hitters all plated runs to breathe some life into the Renegades. Cantan would ground out to Chase Dickey and Luis Soto would hit a 40 foot arc dribbler to Michael Lewis.  Boston led 11-8 heading to the bottom of the 4th.  However, McCormick tweaked a hamstring and would come out of the game as Elana Regan entered to play defense at right shorty.

It was going to be a rookie battle.  Boston knew that Dyllon Berry was going to hit it to Regan.  Woodard knew it, Berry knew it, Weissman knew it and Regan knew it.  He hit it to her left and she angled back at it and dove too soon.  She did get a hand on it but knocked it away and then hesitated before going after it.  Berry was safe  with his 2nd run of the game.  Ikram then hit a grounder to the left side where Zuccarello was now playing.  He was a little late to the ground and the ball rolled over him and out to Dias who came in on it, dropped to his knees and booted it away with his hands.  Michael Lewis then hit a ball past a diving Zuccarello and Shawn Devenish made a nice stop for the first out of the inning.  Kevin Smith then launched a fly ball to the right side.  Cantan had it lined up when Devenish dove in front of him and booted it away to tie the game at 11.  Zuccarello would make a nice stop on Gregory on a slow roller for the 2nd out and Berry whiffed for the 4th time to end the inning.

In the 5th, Zuccarello would then hit a weak pop fly to the middle of the field.  He actually missed first base but was able to come back and touch it because Ikram and Lewis collided on the play.  They would both stay in the game.  Luis Rodriguez would reenter the game for the injured Joe McCormick.  Rodriguez took the count to three strikes and hit a line drive into center field for a big run in a big moment.  Devenish struck out.  Sanchez then blasted a bomb into center field but he stood in the box for a split second like he did in Philly 2 weeks earlier before jogging to third base and scoring.  Another gift for the Renegades.  Cantan and Soto would go down on strikes to end the inning.  Boston would take a 14-11 lead into the bottom of the 4th inning.

Boston would move its defense a bit in the bottom of the 5th.  Weissman moved the gimpy Dias to the right shorty position as Luis Rodriguez re-entered into the rover spot.  Cantan moved to play third base  Berry hit a ball right to Dias for the first out of the inning.  Ikram then hit a fly ball up the middle that bounced twice as Shawn tried to get it…with his number on his shirt turned to home plate, he was able to track the ball and pick it up in time.  Shayne made a nice play at third vs Michael Lewis as the defensive changes represented two of the outs in the inning.  Boston’s defense had their first 1-2-3 inning.

Would choosing the visiting team come back to haunt the Renegades with a three run lead going into the last inning?  Indy made a few defensive changes of their own as James Michaels entered to play the left short spot and Adam Rodenbeck came in for Lewis.  Michaels would stop Zuccarello for the first out.  Rodriguez would hit a smash by all three layers for his second run of the game, his 100th run of his career and a big insurance run on the first pitch he saw. Devenish would hit a dribbler that froze Michaels and scored another insurance run for Boston.  That would be all Boston would get as Sanchez went down swinging and Cantan grounded out to Michaels to complete his first 0-6 of the year at the plate.

Down by 5 runs, Indy was in reach of this game as they are never out of it with the league’s best pitcher on the mound.  Kevin smith (2-4 on the day) hit a fly ball up the middle and Shawn and Lrod struggled to make the play. Gregory (2-4) then hit a grounder to the left side.  Zuccarello missed it, Shawn ran a long distance to his right and missed it.  Rodriguez never hit the deck and Indy was now down 16-13.  Boston would get a break as Dickey whiffed for the 5th time in the game.  Dias would make his second stop of the game off the bat of Berry.  James Michaels would then hit a line drive up the middle.  Shawn Devenish made a great diving play and stopped the ball in his chest.  Boston won the game and finished the season in 5th place.  This was the sixth top 5 finish in a row for the Renegades. This was also the first time Boston had beaten Indy since 2015 to snap a 4 game losing streak.

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