the first leg of the Beast of the East was held on Long Island where the Renegades would play the Philly Fire, Long Island Bombers and New Jersey Titans.
Game #1 Philly scores 5 runs in the 1st and 6th to beat Boston 15-10
Game one of the 2022 season. The Philly Fire were playing in their third tournament of the season while the Renegades were playing for the first time. Boston entered this game with some question marks to be figured out. Most importantly, this may have been the very first game the Renegades played in team history without a person named Joe on the roster. Joe McCormick and Joe Yee were both left home due to a wedding and COVID. Ron Cochran was also very sparse through the spring with other commitments taking priority. Boston had a lot of talent and it was time to see what work was needed and what work was paying off. It was time to put people into new roles and see how they would perform on both the player and coaching staff.
For the Renegades, Boston would have Jason Lenicheck calling the left side and Peter Connolly calling the right side, Just Peter’s 3rd game calling in his career. Offensively, Cochran and Connolly would split the starting lineup. Cochran would have the 1-2-3 hitters in Devenish, Dias and Zuccarello. Connolly would face the 4-5-6 hitters in Cantan, Crook and Soto. Defensively, Chris Kimball would get the call for his first start as the defensive fielder as the team had confidence in his defense progression.
The Fire had “won” the beast of the East in 2021. The Rules of the Beast of the East state the teams should be comprised of players from the East coast. In 2021, because the tournament was held in the fall and the Titans decided they could not make it with just a few week’s notice, the Fire won the games with half their roster coming from the Titans as they got help from Hogwood, Zach Turner and Marvin Morgan. They also flew in a player from Arizona. This was agreed upon before it happened because of the timing and Titans decision. This game today- was all FIRE!
Could Boston shake off the rust and compete out of the gate against a team that was much improved? We knew Pat Krause was a solid pitcher. Casey Krause was a stud on defense and killed us on offense in 2021. Scott Hogwood, a huge bat returned to the team. They also got Tyler Rodriguez who moved to the area from Indy. They were a deeper and more experienced team than in the past. A lot would be told about this Renegade team by the way they played this game.
Justin Rhines led off the game in this sunny day in East Meadow. With three strikes, he hit a grounder up the middle. Devenish charged it but came up empty as it rolled by him and Rhines scored. John Margist then hit a short high fly ball to the left side on three strikes, Zuccarello had to wait for it to land to charge it. He could not get the ball in time as Margist scored running to first base. Tyler Rodriguez then made his Philly Debut after playing for years for the Indy Thunder and Chicago Comets. Again, with three strikes, The Fire made contact. This time Tyler blasted a shot into left field which Drew Crook came nowhere near close to fielding. Scott Hogwood was batting fourth in this game and on a full count lofted a short fly ball to the left side. Zuccarello was a split second slow to the ball and Philly had 4 straight runs. Scott’s daughter, Dakota then took the count to a full count herself and hit a line drive up the middle of the field. Devenish charged this ball and that effort cost him as it rolled by him and the Fire had five runs in a row as the Hogwood father/Daughter combo went back-to-back for possible one of the first times ever. Casey Krause was next, and he scorched Boston in 2021. Hitting off his dad, Pat Krause – one of the most exciting new pitchers in the sport, he struck out on 4 pitches. Rhines came up for a second time and hit the first pitch of his second at bat to the right side on a line drive. Shayne Cantan was there to make a nice stop for the second out of the inning and the first defensive stop of the 2022 season. John Margist next lofted a fly ball up the middle of the field on a full count. This time Devenish did not charge, he slid to his left and made a stop as Boston’s second line of defense was starting to figure out the grass, They dug a hole and were down 5-0 after the Philly start.
Shawn Devenish, would get the nod to bat lead-off for the first time in his career. He earned that after his great 2019 World Series in which he hit over .700 and was named to a league all-star team. Devenish would follow the pattern of the fire get to a 3 strike count. He then hit a grounder to the left side where Casey Krause stopped him with ease. Rob Dias was next and on the 5th pitch of the at-bat, hit a grounder up the right side. That ball squirted past Dakota Hogwood in the second layer and Dias had the first Renegade run of 2022. Guy then broke the streak and actually hit the first pitch of the at bat up the right side. Tyler Rodriguez was there to make the stop for Philly. Connolly came to the mound as Cantan came to the plate and back to the trend of this game, took the count to three strikes. He then laced a line drive into center field for Boston’s second run of the game. This brought Drew Crook to the plate. Drew lofted the 3rd pitch he saw on a short pop fly to the middle of the field. Krause made the play with plenty of time. After one full inning, Boston was down 5-2.
The second inning would start better for Boston. Tyler started things off with a strike out. That brought Scott Hogwood to the plate and he hit a grounder down the third baseline. Crook tracked the ball, over ran it and then located it as he made the very first defensive stop of his career. Dakota struck out to book end the inning in K’s as the Renegades were able to escape 1-2-3.
Luis Soto earned the start and would lead off the second inning for Boston. He had a strong 2021 season and was having some of the best batting practice sessions in Renegade practice. Sadly, he struck out on 4 pitches and just one foul ball. Cochran came to the mound to face Devenish, Shawn hit a fly ball up the middle of the field by a diving Margist for the third run of the game for Boston. Rob Dias then got the Renegades 2nd one pitch at bat , hitting a flare to the right side for his second run of the game and 4th run for the Renegades. Zuccarello next hit a hard grounder past Krause and John Margist made a very nice diving play to his right for the out. This brought Shayne Cantan to the plate and he hit a grounder up the middle and was called safe. However, Shayne ran inside the first base bag and missed it. After talking the play over, Cantan was ruled out and the tying run was taken off the board. After two innings, Philly led 5-4.
Casey Krause, who had 2 stop on defense could not get things going as he struck out for the second time to start off the third inning. Justin Rhines delivered a room service dribbler right at Guy Zuccarello on the left side for the second out of the inning. Margist then made contact early in the count and hit a line shot into right field and beat Chris Kimball to the base breaking a streak of 8 Philly outs in a row. On yet another full count, Tyler Rodriguez then hit a high fly to the 40 foot arc. By the time the ball landed, Tyler was more than half way to the base and Zuccarello was not quick enough to get the ball up. Scott Hogwood then hit a hard grounder to the left side. Crook over ran the ball running to his right and then came back to make the play for his second stop on Hogwood and his second career defensive stop. Philly led 7-4.
Strange how often it happens, but after making a nice play in the field, Crook would lead off. Crook would hit the second pitch he saw up the middle by everyone and would score easily, even after missing first base. However, the umpire felt the ball nicked Connolly’s glove on its way past him and the run was taken off the board. Crook took the count to the 7th pitch of the at bat before hitting a dribbler off the bottom of his bat for room service to Krause. Luis Soto then hit a grounder up the left side into the thick of the Fire defense and ran to first, he was called safe, much to the dismay of the Fire defense who contested the call from the field to no avail. After a Devenish whiff, Dias stayed hot. For the 2nd straight time, he hit the first pitch of the at bat past everyone on the right side and had his third run of the game. Zuccarello would make contact again, this time, hitting the ball to Krause and for the third time would be out, making three different defensive players stop him. Philly led 7-6 after three full innings, but the momentum was pointing to Boston, especially after that horrific start to the game.
The 4th started badly for Philly as the strike outs were starting to mount. Dakota Hogwood and Krause struck out, giving the fire 6 strike outs in the game. Rhines would end that pattern on a weak grounder up the middle. Zuccarello picked the ball up and lost a bang-bang play to Rhines as he flew to first base for his second run of the game. Margist hit another shot into the third layer of the defense, Kimball came up empty and Margist had his third run of the game. Tyler Rodriguez whiffed to end the frame. Philly led 9-6 heading to the bottom of the fourth.
Shayne, Looking to atone for his bad base running earlier, hit a pop fly up the middle of the field. Margist could not get it up in time and Cantan had his second run of the game. Crook then hit a hard grounder by everyone into deep right field to pull the Renegades within one run. David Sanchez became the first Renegade off the bench, as he was called on to hit for Soto. Connolly stayed on to pitch to him. Sticking to the theme of this game, Sanchez would swing and miss three straight times before hitting a grounder down the third baseline. Krause flew over and angled backwards to make the play as Sanchez had a bad line to third base. Devenish then hit a weak ball that barely made contact with his bat. the ball died on the 40 foot arc and Devenish raced to first before Krause or Rodriguez could get near the ball. This tied the game up at nine. Red hot, Rob Dias found the first pitch for the third straight time and hit a weak flare to the right side which Tyler Rodriguez had no time to make a play on, Boston had its first lead of the 2022 season, 10-9. Zuccarello then hit a line drive that hit Casey Krause as he dove at it, the ball got by Casey and died between him and Margist. Guy was called safe but Philly contested the call, as things started to get heated. The call was overturned. Shayne was then stopped after hitting a hard grounder, which Krause made a nice stop on diving toward his left for his 7th stop of the game. Boston led 10-9 after four innings.
In the 5th. Scott Hogwood and Pat Krause changed the timing on Hogwood, he avoided Crook and hit a grounder up the middle, this time, Devenish held his ground and made the stop to start the inning. Dakota struck out for the third time in the game. This brought Casey Krause to the plate, who had struck out three straight times. He hit a weak grounder to the right side, Boston was testing a new defensive shift, and Krause found a hole in it. Dias was frozen, Zuccarello was frozen and Krause had too much speed and scored with ease to tie the game up. Rhines struck out to end the inning in a tie game.
Drew Crook came to the plate for the 4th time (giving him twice as many at bats than in the entire 2021 season) but he and Connolly struggled and Crook was down on strikes, for just the third Renegade whiff of the game. Sanchez was next off Connolly. He laced a shot to right field that sent Dakota running backwards, she never had a chance as the ball rolled well past 170 and gave Boston an 11-10 lead. Devenish would hit a weak grounder to Krause’s right and Krause had his 8th stop. For five consecutive pitches, Dias laced a line drive into left. Rhines would make a play on the ball and Dias would be called safe as he hit first base. Philly contested again and tempers soared. The call was reversed again. The Philly players were yelling at Cochran and things were getting a little out of hand. Sadly, the Long Island tournament had one umpire on the field, this 70+ year old volunteer had been working these games for years alone without a field spotter. He was put in a tough spot with two highly competitive teams without having anyone else to help him in the field. Boston led 11-10 heading into the 6th inning.
Cochran may have poked the bear during that argument, as Philly seemed to have some life back in them. Captain Margist hit a grounder to the left side. Crook over ran it again, but this time did not have time to make the play and Philly had tied the game. Tyler Rodriguez hit a fly ball up the middle of the field and staying on his knees trapped the ball in his gut on the 2nd bounce for the first out of the inning and his third of the game. Hogwood hit a slow fly ball to left. Crook hit the ground and bobbled it as Hogwood slid head first into third base. Philly was back in the lead 12-11. Dakota hit what may have been the back breaker. This time, she hit it into the Bermuda triangle, Zuccarello and Dias both dove and come up short and the ball died before getting to Devenish. Shawn was slow to come up and Dakota scored with ease with her second run of the game. Boston had a chance to be out of the inning, but the defense had a let-down moment. Krause struck out for the 4th time for the second out of the inning which could have been the end of the 6th. However, with the Dakota run, they turned over the order. Rhines made the Renegades pay, hitting a grounder that got past Zuccarello and Crook could not pick up in time. Margist stayed hot, with a grounder down the left side. Zuccarello angled back to the base to make the play, but he was a half second slower than Margist and John had a five run game and had given Philly a 15-11 lead. Tyler Rodriguez then lofted another high fly to Zuccarello. This time, Guy was super aggressive and slid into it to make the play and end the inning. Philly led 15-11. Ten of the fires 15 runs came in the first and 6th innings.
Gut check time for the Renegades. Zuccarello was leading off the inning. On the first pitch, he went to the right side but Rodriguez made the play with plenty of time for his second stop of the game. Cantan hit a dribbler to the coffin corner and Krause stopped him with two steps before he hit the bag for his 9th run of the game. Crook then hit a grounder down the left side, Krause ran after it and never slid, running into foul territory and “stop” was called as the slim, speedy and wiry Krause was about to collide with the biggest player in Renegade history. That would have been a bad collision and it was avoided as Crook was awarded the run. Sanchez hit a fly ball up the middle of the field and Scott Hogwood made a nice play to end the game. Philly won 15-12
It was not the start the Renegades were looking for. But the message was this team competed. The defense had a rough start spotting the Fire five runs. Some bad base running, some contested calls that could have gone either way, a run that was taken away because a ball was claimed to have nicked a pitchers glove. There was a lot to unpack in this game. Boston competed without Joe McCormick and Joe Yee. there was a lot to like as Boston only struck out three times (compared to 10 for Philly). Rob Dias was hitting the ball well. Shayne Cantan, David Sanchez, Drew Crook and Luis Soto all showed some promise and had a chance to play in a tight game. The message for Boston was keep pressing and working. These two teams looked like they had a chance to do damage at the World Series. This game could have gone either way and both teams knew it. It would surely set the stage for some other great games later in the year.
Game #2 Boston takes down the Bombers 17-6 in a 12 run game
After a tough loss in which the Renegades fought hard against a tough opponent, the Renegades packed up the gear and trekked across the field to take on the Long Island Bombers, a team which used to own the Renegades. Boston lost 7 straight games to Long Island between 2002-2007 before they turned things around. Since that streak, Boston has won 27 games and lost 4 contests, with the last loss coming in 2012, a 20 game win streak.
Defensively, Jason Lenicheck and Peter Connolly would call the defense. Ron Cochran would face the 1/2/5/6 hitters in Devenish, Dias, Zuccarello and Kimball. Peter Connolly would get the 3/4 hitters in Shayne Cantan and David Sanchez.
Boston would hit first and get things started right away on the first pitch of the game. Shawn Devenish hit a grounder to the right side, missed third base but had plenty of time to come back and score. Rob Dias then hit the 2nd pitch on a fly to the right side and just beat Matt Puvogel on a bang-bang play. Cantan, the three hitter, rocked the third pitch off Connolly up the middle by everyone for the third straight run for Boston. Sanchez made it four straight when he found contact on the first pitch, hitting a grounder up the middle. Zuccarello would not be as lucky as he hit a grounder to Puvogel who made a nice play for the first stop of the inning. Chris Kimball got his third offensive start of his career and on the 2nd pitch against Cochran, laced a line drive into left field for the 5th run of the inning. This turned the lineup back to Devenish. Shawn hit a hard shot up the middle of the field, where Meghan Fink was there to make the stop. Fink, a Renegade killer who often puts McCormick out turned her attention to Devenish. Dias would work the count to three strikes for the first time of the inning. He would hit another hard ball up the middle, Fink could not get this in time and Boston had six runs. At this point, Weissman went to the bench and off came Elana Regan to hit for Cantan against Ron Cochran. She hit a fly ball up the middle of the field, but Fink was able to make her second stop of the inning.
Long Island finally got to the plate, but faced a tough hill to climb, down 6-0. Joe DeJesus would start things off for Long Island off their long time pitcher, James Sciortino. With the Renegade defense in a fierce shift, DeJesus went down the third baseline trying to beat the shift. Luis Rodriguez was all alone on an island, he chased backwards after it, but DeJesus was a step quicker and scored to give Long Island their first run of the game. After an Alex Barrera strike out, Boston took a collective breathe. This brought newcomer, Alvin Suarez to the dish. Suarez joined the Bombers during the 2021 season and was splitting time playing for them and the Indy Edge. He hit a grounder up the middle and Shawn Devenish made a nice play for the 2nd out of the inning. Robert Weeks would end the inning with a grounder to the left side which Luis Rodriguez stopped. Boston led 6-1 after one inning.
David Sanchez led off the second with a fly ball up the middle and scored with ease at first base to start things off. Zuccarello could not get going as he swung and missed on 4 straight pitches. Chris Kimball’s confidence grew as he legged out a bang-bang play on a ground ball and raced to first base. Devenish plated his second run of the inning next on a weak grounder to the left side that froze Casey Bahn in the front of the Bomber defense. Dias hit a flare to the right side, Puvogel made the stop right before Dias tagged first base. Elana Regan came back to the plate and hit a lazy line drive right to Casey Bahn’s feet who made the play with ease. After one and a half innings, Boston led 9-1 and thoughts of a 12 run rule game were in the minds of the Renegades as the mind of coach Weissman started to whirl on how he could get his players into the game.
Long Island would lead off the second inning with their two front guys on defense hitting in the 5/6 slots. Casey Bahn started by hitting a grounder up the middle, Zuccarello dove to his left and came up empty, Devenish came a long way to his right and made a nice play for his second stop in the contest. Matt Puvogel grounded a ball to the left side, Zuccarello laid out and made the stop shuffling on the ground to his right. Joe DeJesus came back to the plate as Weissman challenged him to try to go against the shift again. This time, Joe hit a hard grounder up the middle past Devenish for the second run of the contest for Long Island. Barrera would strike out for the second time to end the inning. After two innings, Boston had a 7 run lead 9-2.
Weissman went to the bench and brought Rob Thayer into the game to hit for Sanchez in the third. Against Cochran, he hit a fly ball up the middle and Fink stopped him with ease, for her third stop of the game. Zuccarello, hungry for a run, hit one up the right middle of the field and Guy beat out a bang-bang play running to third. Kimball would strike out on 4 straight swing and misses. Luis Soto came off the bench to hit for Devenish against Peter Connolly. He hit a room service dribbler right to Casey Bahn. After two and a half, Boston had a commanding 10-2 lead.
The changes would cause the Renegades to move around on defense. Luis Soto went to play rover as Rob Dias moved to the mid field spot and Chris Kimball came into play the right front slot. Alvin Suarez laced a shot into left field that Luis Rodriguez chased back for and Luis Soto also could not find as the Bombers had their first non-DeJesus run of the game. Robert Weeks hit a grounder down the first base line, Kimball chased it and slid to the line and made a nice play for his first ever stop playing the shorty position. Casey Bahn hit a weak bouncer up the middle of the field, Zuccarello shuffled to his left and made the play with ease. Puvogel whiffed and after three full frames, Boston had a 10-3 lead and was working their subs into the game.
Rob Dias would start the 4th off with run scoring hard grounder to the left side for his third run of the game. Elana Regan then hit a fly ball down the third base line. Bahn dropped early as Regan raced down the third base line. Bahn crawled to the ball as it was in front of him and Regan beat him to the base for her first ever run for the Renegades. A huge celebratory moment occurred as Boston cheered her first ever run and Regan had a smile on her face from ear to ear. The Renegades did not have much time to catch their breath as Thayer hit the first pitch he saw to the right side by the defense and 8 seconds later, hit first base for his first run of the year and his first run since the 2018 season. Guy hit a ball into the third layer of the Bomber defense to plate the third straight run. Kimball hit a bouncer up the right side and scored with his speed for five straight runs. This made the score 15-3 as Boston was looking at the 12-run rule if they could hold Long Island down. Luis Soto came to the dish looking to join the hit parade. On the 7th pitch of the at bat off Connolly, he hit a bomb into right field, missed third base but had time to get back to the base for his first run of the game. Ivan Rodriguez would get off the bench and enter for Dias. Peter Connolly would stay in after the Soto run to face Ivan. Ivan hit hard ball to the left side and his line took him in fair territory up the right side but Alex Barrera would make his first defensive stop of the game. Regan would then hit a grounder to the left side, this time Bahn would make the play to stop her for the second out of the inning. Rob Thayer then hit another grounder up the middle. Running to first base, he scored again. This was just the second time in Thayer’s career he plated more than a run in the same game. The last time he achieved this feat was in just his third game of his career in 2011 when he scored 3 runs against Casey Bahn and the York Thundersticks in Haddonfield, NJ. Zuccarello would end the inning with a strike out. Boston had 7 runs in the frame and led 17-3. If they could get three outs before Long island scored 3 runs, the Renegades would stay on defense for the rest of the game.
Long island would have their 1-2-3 hitters up to try to get this game under the 12-run rule. Shayne Cantan re-entered the game to play defense for Ivan Rodriguez and went to play the midfield spot. DeJesus, representing two thirds of the Bombers offense led off with a strike out. Barrera followed suit with the silver Enchilada (3 strike outs). This brought lifelong Bomber, Braulio Thorne off the bench. Thorne, the only active Bomber who was part of the 7 game winning streak against the Renegades, stepped into the left handed batter’s box. He hit a line drive up the middle toward Cantan and 7 seconds later dove into third base for a Bomber run. This brought pinch hitter Joe Esposito to the plate. At this point, the Bombers asked the Renegades for a special rule not in the league rulebook. Esposito, unable to run was going to have a pinch runner. They planned to make this work having Alex Barrera stand off to the side with the plan to only run to first base. This is a really tough thing to monitor when the runner actually starts to run and only having to go to one base is a serious advantage (which is why there is no rule in the league for this). The left handed Esposito would face a new pitcher as high Schooler, Ethan Schulman toed the pitching rubber. Esposito came up empty. Boston led 17-4 as the game was officially put into the 12-run rule after 4 innings.
Schulman would stay in the game to face the rest of the lineup. Casey Bahn led off the fifth with a dribbler up the middle. Kimball and Zuccarello converged on the ball as it died between them, the veteran Zuccarello took charge for the stop. Edgar Erickson came off the bench for Long island, hitting from the left side. Edgar came up empty with a strike out. Long Island went to the bench again, Pasquale Agnone stepped into the plate with his big bat. He hit a bomb past Cantan and Soto rolling out near the 170 line, He struggled to find third base, missed it and had all day to come back and tag it. Barrera got the golden sombrero with his fourth whiff of the game to end the fifth as Boston Led 17-5.
Thorne would not have success in his second trip to the plate, as he struck out to start the sixth. This brought Joe Esposito and the pinch runner back to the plate. Esposito hit a fly ball to the right side, Barrera took off toward first base. Kimball was a bit frozen on the play as the ball sounded harder than it was. It landed in front of Kimball, but Barrera had an advantage because he knew which base he was running toward beat him out on a bang-bang play. This run was credited to Esposito for his first ever run as Long Island had something to celebrate in front of their home crowd. That would be all Long Island would get as Bahn would strike out and Erickson would hit a grounder to the left side that got by Zuccarello. Guy did not give up and went after it as it died before the second layer. Guy made the play to end the game for his 4th stop to lead the Renegade defense.
The story of this game for the Renegades was about Regan, Kimball and Thayer. Elana scored her first run of her career and was very proud of the work she did on her swing this season and was happy to see that work pay off. Kimball, was excited to see his work pay off in a game as well. Thayer may have been the story dropping 40 pounds at this point in the season and scoring a pair of runs for the first time since 2012. Boston was packing up and prepping to play the Titans extending the win streak over Long Island to 21 games.
Game #3 Boston takes down the NJ Titans 7-2
After losing a tough game to Philly and easily beating the Long Island Bombers, Boston traveled across the field for the third time on the day to take on a new look Titans team. The Titans had been ripped apart since their 2021 season. In 2019, Boston and New Jersey finished 3rd and 5th at the series. That was the first time in league history where two teams from the East coast had finished top five.
For the Titans, only two of the players in their starting lineup started for those power house teams (Zach Turner and Lamont Bordley and they had a new pitcher on the mound as well, in Turner’s father).
Boston’s strategy was to stay on its toes as they did not know how this pitcher would perform. The focus was also on making outs at the bottom half of the Titan order as the top three Titans hitters had some great speed. For the Renegades, Jason Lenicheck would call the left side with Peter Connolly calling the right side. Ron Cochran and Peter would split time on the mound. Ron would have the 1/2& 6 hitters (Devenish, Dias and Kimball) while Peter would face the 3/4/5 hitters in Cantan, Sanchez and Crook.
In the top of the first, Turner struck out to start off the game. Deshawn Widener (who had played on and off for the NJ teams over the years) hit a lazy grounder to the left side which Guy Zuccarello gobbled up with ease. Shawn Devenish then made a nice play sliding to his left in the middle of the field to stop a bouncing line drive off the bat of Lamont Bordley for a clean 1-2-3 inning.
Devenish led off after making his nice play. He hit a hard grounder to the right side. Damien Gonzalez would make a nice play up front to make the first out of the game for the Titans. Rob Dias then dribbled to the left side and Zach Tuner stopped him two steps before he hit first base. That brought Connolly to the mound to face Shayne Cantan. Our Hawaiian laced a fly ball into left field and scored running to third base for the first run of the game. Sanchez would go down on four straight swings and misses. Boston was off to a sluggish start offensively.
In the top of the second, the Renegades were getting one of their first looks at youngster, Damien Gonzalez. This 14 year old player had grown since the Renegades last saw him in 2019. In this at bat, he would strike out. Sam Mischler would also go down on strikes. This brought rookie, John Cruz to the plate. Cruz, a former football player stepped into the right handed batters boxed and stroked the first pitch he saw deep and foul into left field and he broke the ball. With three strikes, he laced a line drive up the middle of the filed, Devenish slid one step to his right and laid out and made the play. This was the 2nd inning in a row Devenish ended the Titans threat.
Drew Crook would lead off the 2nd inning, well rested after sitting out the game vs the Bombers. After three swings and misses, Connolly would get Crook off the bottom of his bat and Drew would hit a ground ball to the left side to Zach Turner. Chris Kimball came to the plate, which brought Cochran back to the mound. After hitting a 35 footer that did not clear the 40 foot arc, Kimball had a second life. He made the best of it by hitting a hard grounder up the middle for the Renegades second run of the game. Devenish then hit a line drive on the second pitch he saw very well up the middle of the field. Rookie John Cruz was there and took a shot off his body while standing up. He knocked the ball down, and didn’t blink as he went after it and stopped Devenish with ease. A gutsy play by Cruz who was perfectly placed in the field to have the ball hit him very hard. Rob Dias then stayed hot on the day as he scored on a hard grounder down the third base line. Cantan would make it two straight with a first pitch grounder up the right side by everyone for his second run of the game. Sanchez kept the party going with a first pitch fly ball into left field. Crook would strike out to end the inning. However, the Renegades bats woke up and would lead this game 5-0 after two innings.
The Titans would bring their leadoff hitter and one of the better hitters in the league to the plate in the third. Turner, who struck out in the first inning would not be denied in this at bat. He hit the third pitch of the at bat on the fly to Drew Crook at third base. Crook lined the ball up well, but the fly ball gave Turner the burner time to score as Crook had one chance and bobbled it. The Titans were on the board. Widener and Bordley would go down on strikes for the first two outs of the inning. Gonzalez would end the inning with a dribbler up the middle of the field which Rob Dias raced inward on and stopped for his first stop of the entire tournament. Boston led 5-1 after two and a half.
The third inning would continue to be sluggish for Boston. Kimball and Devenish would start the inning with strike outs off the arm of Cochran. Rob Dias would score the only run for Boston in this inning with a pop fly to the right side as he raced to third base. Cantan would strike out against Connolly to end the inning. After three, Boston led 6-1.
The 4th inning would start with Sammy Mischler hitting a grounder down the third base line, which Guy Zuccarello stopped. Cruz and Turner would strike out to end the inning as Boston had another 1-2-3 inning. The Titans had 7 strike outs in 13 at bats.
David Sanchez led off the 4th inning for Boston with a memorable hit. Peter Connolly delivered a pitch which hit Sanchez on the handle and then rolled down his bat and he hit it a second time and laced a shot into deep right field that rolled nearly 170 feet. It was the furthest hit of the entire day for Boston. Weissman next went to the bench and brought Luis Rodriguez in to hit for Crook. With Cochran pitching, Rodriguez, who had just changed his swing two days prior to the tournament was not in synch and went down on four straight swings. Cochran and Kimball could not find the ball either as Chris stuck out for the second time in the game. Devenish followed suit and for the second inning in a row Boston struck out three times (and 8 times in the game).
The 5th inning was much like many of the other innings for the Titans. Deshawn Widener led off the inning with a grounder to the left side. Zuccarello laid out to his right for the stop, and the second time he stopped Widener. Bordley and Gonzalez would strike out to end the fifth.
In the bottom of the 5th inning, Rob Dias would get the final at bat of a great offensive tournament for him. This was exciting as he had been working on rebuilding his swing. Cochran would get the bottom of the bat and Dias hit a chopper to the left side. Turner made the play with ease. Luis Soto entered the game for Cantan and struck out for the second out. That brought Rob Thayer off the bench for David Sanchez. He hit a line drive up the middle of the field and ran to third base, however, first base was buzzing. Thayer recognized this and tried to change direction. However, his direction took him toward the Titans bench and the Renegades stopped him to avoid injury.
Elana Regan and Luis Rodriguez would head into the field on defense in the 6th inning. Sam Mischler would strike out to lead off the inning. Weissman would then take this opportunity to get Ivan Rodriguez into the game on defense as Chris Kimball exited the game. John Cruz then hit a dribbler to the left side, which Guy Zuccarello gobbled up for his game leading 4th stop. Zack Turner next hit a weak flare to the left side which froze Zuccarello. Guy hit the ground too early and then pushed the ball away from him as Turner burned down the third base line for the Titans second run of the game. Widener would end the game with the Titans 11th strike out. The final score was 7-2
Boston finished the day 2-1 in their first three games of the 2022 season. Overall, it was a good tournament. We saw improved swings from Dias, Sanchez, Cantan, Kimball and Regan. We saw a more confident defense than in 2021. We saw a much improved pitching performance from Peter Connolly from previous seasons. Everyone contributed and the Renegades knew they would only get better as Joe McCormick, Joe Yee and Melissa Hoyt would be joining them for their trip to Philly. There was work to be done for sure, but it was great to have 2022 off to a good start and the team’s confidence in what Weissman preached preseason was growing!