Renegades Eliminate the Edge 15-10
Rain was in the forecast for this game that was supposed to start at 8:30am. Sadly, the league had no no rain contingency plan. Volunteers, umpires and teams prepared for that scheduled start time. It was a light drizzle during warm-ups but the forecast looked bad.
As the lineups were turned in and the pre game preparation was starting, the Edge did something that has never been done against the Renegades. In fact, they demanded something not even in the rule book. They wanted every Renegade with usable vision to wear a mindfold. This is a foam blindfold with a plastic visor. Other than Joey Buizon, most of the team had never worn one before in a game. The players were all wondering what was going on. Coach Weissman went to the Edge and asked if and why his team was being accused of cheating before the game had even started. This is the same Indy Edge team that had posted many things on Social media that the Renegades were the most over rated team in the league and were undeserving of a top seed. The same Edge team that trounced the Renegades and 12-runned them by a score of 23-8 in 2018. Here they were complaining before the game had even started.
As the umpire relayed to the league to bring more mindfolds to the field, Weissman talked with his team. Thaxton, McCormick, Haile, Buizon, Devenish would all be forced to wear the mindfold and the game would be delayed. As the teams waited for the mindfolds, the alarm sounded at the facility to get all the teams off the fields due to thunder storms. The players would get a chance to talk about the mindfolds and try them on during the 3 hour rain delay. It was not going to be an issue for the players. The team wanted to make a statement. They felt the Edge was playing head games and this added fuel to the fire for sure. The Renegades were working on mental toughness during the season. It was not going to be an issue. In fact, it would act as a catalyst.
Three hours later, the game started, pushing all the other games back to very late in the day. These two teams could not be any different in how they were made. The Renegades an 18-year-old program with every player and coach growing up in its system.. The Edge a team started in 2016 but its players and coaches had a roster of many people from other cities and so much experience playing for other teams. Many of the players had won World Series titles playing for teams from California, Kansas and the Thunder.
Danny Foppiano would lead off for the Edge, this former Long Island Bomber/Pa Wolfpack/West Coast Dawg/Kansas all-star was chasing another ring. After fouling off the first two pitches he hit a slow grounder through the wet grass to a laid out Christian Thaxton at third for the first out. Sophomore, Nick Mulherin, who won the offensive MVP in 2018, fouled off a pitch and then hit a high pop fly to the left side that Rob Dias picked up after a bounce in deep left, just after Mulherin scored. Marc Morris, (one of just three starters who played their whole career in Indy, but for three different teams) then hit a dribbler to the left side at the 40 foot arc. Morris, one of the fastest players in the league raced to first as Dias took an odd angle at the ball. Morris was ruled safe on another Rob Dias bang-bang play. Chris Dunleavy (entire career with the Edge) fouled off the first pitch and then missed on the second. This was the first swing and miss for the Edge. He hit a grounder to the left side. As Dunleavy raced to first, Dias missed it, Thaxton over ran it and McCormick picked it up but a split second late. The Edge led by three and all three runs scored on close plays. Richie Krussel (who has played for St. Luis, Lone Star and Colorado) then hit another dribbler to the 40 foot arc. Dias raced in, bobbled the wet ball and made the stop. Nick Silver (St. Luis, RHI, Chicago) then hit the second pitch up the middle. Shawn Devenish laid out and made a great stop to nail the speedy Silver. Even though the Gades allowed three runs, all were on close plays and the team had confidence.
Leading off for Boston, Christian Thaxton hit a lazy line drive to the left side which eluded two Edge defenders on the first pitch for a run. The second pitch of the inning was hit to almost the same spot and despite a late base, McCormick beat it out as Marc Morris had the ball bounce him for the second Renegade run. Larry Haile needed a moment and took the first pitch. He then hit a grounder up the middle where Morris stopped him. Cochran was matching Kyle Kennedy by getting the bat on the ball. That trend continued as Devenish also hit the first pitch he saw and blasted it into left center by everyone for a tie game! Rob Dias would have the first swing and miss of the inning but would then hit a grounder up the middle of the field which Danny Foppiano had roll just by his feet for a run and a Renegade lead. Buizon would foul off the first two pitches but go down on strikes. Thaxton would then bat for the second time in the inning. With three strikes, Thaxton bounced one up the middle of the field and it rolled off Foppiano for the second time in the inning. Normally Foppiano is lights out, but the Boston speed may have been too much. McCormick would go down on strikes to end the frame but Boston led the Edge 5-3 after one full frame. Both pitchers made a lot of contact but the Renegade defense was better in this frame despite the blindfolds they were forced to wear by their opponent.
Justen Proctor got the defense going to start off the second as he stopped a worm burner up the middle diving to his left while playing in a new defensive shift (devised the night before in the hotel) off the bat of lead-off hitter, Danny Foppiano. Former MVP, Mulherin whiffed for the 2nd out. Marc Morris then lifted a fly ball to the foul line down the third base side that Rob Dias picked up in time. The Renegades felt the ball was touched in fair territory before going foul but the umps did not see the same thing. That would have been a 1-2-3 inning…but as momentum goes, it shifted to the Edge in a controversial call. Morris then hit a high pop up that Dias charged in on and the ball bounced over him for a run. Next, Chris Dunleavy lofted a fly ball to the left side. Grillo’s call shifted the defense all toward the middle of the field but they had to reverse direction. It landed between Dias and Thaxton and they did not have time to pick it up and the Edge tied it up at five. Richie Krussel would strike out to end the inning.
Larry Haile led off the 2nd frame for Boston with a grounder that made it into the second level of the defense, but Haile ran slightly inside the base. When he went to the ground in an ugly knee first body flailing to the ground motion, he missed the base while trying to save his face from hitting the turf and the defense had enough time to make the out. Shawn Devenish stayed hot and roped a hard grounder by the left side to left field for an easy run. Next up, Rob Dias hit a bouncer to the right side and was stopped on a bang-bang play. Buizon would strike out for the second time in the game. After two, Boston clung to a 6-5 lead.
Danny Foppiano would lead off the third and hit a room service grounder to Justen Proctor who was playing up the middle on the front line. As Danny was running to the base, it cut out and malfunctioned. Even though Proctor stopped him 60 feet before the base cut out, the rules allowed him to go back to the plate. He eventually struck out in what some people would call “justice” as the late base had no impact on the play. This marked three straight whiffs for the steady Kyle Kennedy who was struggling a bit for the Edge at this point in the game. That struggle would end when Mulherin lofted a high fly ball that landed in front of Rob Dias playing on the left shorty position right when the speedy Mulherin reached third. Marc Morris then lofted a fly ball down the third base line that Thaxton ranged far to his right on and he scored. Weissman contested if the ball landed fair or foul as the rule says the ball needs to be fair at 100 feet and the Gades felt it may have been foul when it landed. All the calls were going against Boston and the Edge led 7-6. Justen Proctor playing on the right side of the defense would then range to the first base line off the bat of Chris Dunleavy to get the third out of the inning.
Leading off the bottom of the third, Christian Thaxton stepped up and the Edge over shifted their defense to protect the left side. With three strikes, Thaxton absolutely crushed it by all of them and easily scored to tie the game. After two foul balls, McCormick hit a weak grounder down the third base line. Before the at-bat, the Edge shifted a little to give up the line. The call was close and after the umpires conferred a call went Boston’s way. The score went back to a Renegade 8-7 lead. Larry Haile was stopped by Richie Krussel on the right side for the first out. Shawn Devenish would stay red-hot as he laced a shot into deep left for his third run of the game to put the Gades back on top 9-7. Rob Dias would strike out and then Buizon would go down after fouling off 6 straight pitches (4 hot grounders to the right side and 2 tips to the catcher). Buizon was still working on his timing as he had been limited offensively thru the week due to his injury two weeks prior.
Heading to the fourth inning, Kyle Kennedy was working on things. He was throwing a lot of extra pitches behind his teams bench as the Gades were hitting. Based on how the Edge whooped up on the Renegades in 2018, most of them were not happy to be down at this point of the game. Richie Krussel (who has played many tight games against Boston as a member of the Colorado Storm) led off the inning with a few shots down the left side which were foul and would eventually strike out. Nick Silver would then loft the second pitch he saw into deep left field. Silver slipped out of the box and hit a knee on the ground but got up quickly. McCormick was able to make the stop easily in deep left for the second out of the inning. He would have made the out even if Silver had not slipped. Silver did come up gimpy after that play but would stay in the game. Foppiano then lofted a ball into left but it got by Thaxton and died in front of Dias who was shifted to play deep. Foppiano, the lead off hitter was now 1-4. Mulherin, who is close to half of Foppiano’s age then almost repeated what he did prior when he lofted a high fly to the middle of the field that bounced over Justen’s head (Justen was playing the left side for this hitter) and Mulherin scored just as the ball landed. Marc Morris who had scored three straight times came to the plate and hit a lazy fly ball down the third base line. Rob Dias ranged to his right and slid on his knees to pick up the ball. A conference was needed and there was controversy as to when the ball was touched…in fair or foul territory. There was also a “stop” called on the play. The final call was foul. Eventually, Morris would strike out.
Boston had their 1-2-3 hitters to lead off the 4th as the Bayou City Heat walked over to watch the end of this game. The Heat would await the winner of this game as they eliminated the NJ Titans. Thaxton would lead off and hit a line drive up the middle. As he hit the ball, he took a step to the middle of the field as he did not hear the base. He called late base as he ran to third and was put out. After a conference the ump ruled it was not late. Replays from the live feed show it was a late base and it cost the Renegades a run. A terrible call that kept the game in a 9-9 tie and stopped one of the hottest bats in the league. McCormick then hit a weak grounder to the left side which Marc Morris gobbled up for the second out. Up stepped Larry Haile who was “ofer” the day and had a missed base earlier in the game. With three strikes, he hit a fly ball up the middle and ran to first. Larry was running with a little fear in his step of making sure to hit the base and it slowed him down a little. The Gades went down 1-2-3. The Edge were fired up as their defense put up a donut on the Gades. After four innings the score remained tied at nine.
The edge would have the bottom half of their lineup to start off the fifth. Collectively they were 2-9 with 2 strikeouts on the day with Dunleavy scoring both runs. Dunleavy would whiff to start things off for the Edge. Richie Krussel with two strikes lofted a fly ball up the middle of the field. Rob Dias ranged from the left side toward the middle and dove on his knees to pick up the ball for the second out of the inning. Could Nick Silver turn over the lineup? He hit a dribbler off the bottom of his bat that was room service for Rob Dias. The Gades defense got a 1-2-3 as well. The game stay tied at nine and the Renegades were fired up as their 4-5-6 hitters came up.
Boston’s 4-5-6 hitters were 4-9 with 4 whiffs on the day. As the weather started to warm up and the fields dry out, Weissman removed his lucky yellow pants. Shawn Devenish was on fire and would lead off the inning. He had scored on three lasers in this game. After two fouls, Shawn hit a deep fly down the third baseline as he gave the Gades a 10-9 lead diving into first base. Rob Dias hit a short grounder that Marc Morris slid bye and missed. This ball had Renegade eyes and Dias raced to third to score and give the Renegades an 11-9 lead. Weissman turned to the bench. Buizon had seen 15 pitches and fouled off 8 of them. He was still working on his timing and his leg health. That work would be put on pause. Joe Yee entered the game. He fouled the first pitch off down the right side, took the next pitch and then saw 5 more pitches. Yee had a time out for a screaming baby (you never know what constitutes a noise time out) before going down on strikes. His timing was off despite having great BP in the morning. That BP was more than 2 hours earlier. Thaxton had no timing issue. He laced the first pitch into left center for his 4th run of the game and a 12-9 lead. Joe McCormick, who was 2-4 on the day with his speed making the difference hit the third pitch he saw in the air down the left side of the field. Morris ranged backwards and tracked the ball which bounced off him for a Renegade run and a 13-9 lead. Haile who was 0-4 with a missed base, stepped to the plate looking to add some insurance. Weissman had talked to him about running more freely and listening to the base between innings. Haile lofted a ball to the Bermuda triangle in the middle of the field and scored. The play was contested by the Edge but the call stood. 14-9! Shawn Devenish came up for the second time in the inning with four blasts for runs on the day. Devenish had seen 7 pitches coming into this at bat and made contact on all of them. He missed the first one in this at bat then fouled off a ball and swung and missed again. On the 5th pitch, he lofted a short fly to the left side that froze Morris. He backed up at first fooled by the sound of the contact or the call and then struggled to recover the ball as he fumbled it when Devenish hit third base. Shawn Devenish picked an amazing time to have his first ever five run game. Boston led 15-9. that would be all the Gades would get as Dias struck out and Joe Yee was stopped by Morris on a weak grounder to the left side. The Gades needed three outs and if they could hold on they would play the Bayou City Heat next, a team they had never beaten in history.
Danny Foppiano would lead off for the Edge in the 6th. He has been on many teams and may have never lost to the Renegades in his potential hall of fame career. He would keep their dream alive with his best hit in the game, a fly ball into center field. 15-10. Two of the fastest players in the league would be up next in Mulherin and Morris. Neither had hit the ball as they wanted in this game but their speed was killing. Between the two of them they had scored 6 runs. As the rain began to fall, Mulherin would strike out for the second time in the game. Morris would follow suit with a strikeout as well. With one out to get for the Renegade win, the Edge would send up Tobey Gregory to hit for Dunleavy. Gregory who ate Christian Thaxton and Joe Yee for dinner in the 2016 World Series title game found his way into the batter’s box. If he were to score, Krussel and Silver would be due up next and they were 0-8 with 3 strike outs. Boston had only made it this far in a World series once in their long history. Gregory fouled off the first pitch to the right side. On his second offering, he hit a hard grounder to the left side. Bryan Grillo made a quick and perfect call. Rob Dias quickly dove to his right and stopped the ball in the box! The Gades won…the Gades won…the Gades won!
Shawn Devenish paced the offense with 5 runs. Thaxton had four runs, McCormick had three and Dias pitched in a pair. Defensively, Rob Dias paced the Defense with 4 stops but most impressively was five different Renegades had stops. Proctor had a pair while Devenish, McCormick and Thaxton each had one. Both teams struck out at slightly higher rates than they had wanted. Kyle Kennedy struck out 9 batters in 28 at bats while Cochran outpaced him with just 7 in 30 trips. It was a hard-fought game in wet conditions, a slick batters box and long delays due to rain.
All the Facebook chat about how over rated the Edge felt the Renegades were was put to sleep. The mind games and mindfolds that were forced on to the Renegades pulled the team together. In fact, with the cool weather, many of the guys forced to wear them actually liked them better and thanked the Edge for the free equipment. The Renegades would pack up and move to another field to take on the Bayou City Heat. Boston was one of the final four teams with Championship aspirations still alive. The San Antonio Jets and Indy Thunder would also be playing at the same time as the only two teams still alive with no losses. The Edge would be eliminated by a team they publicly said was not a top team in the league. The New Jersey Titans excitedly awaited them. The Titans were a team playing for their best finish ever (the Titans would eventually beat the Edge when the Edge decided to sit many of their starters in the last game). This would rank as one of the best wins in Renegade history and it vaulted them to a top 4 finish for just the second time ever!
The Heat get cooled off and are Eliminated by the Renegades 18-17
After playing a break from playing Texan teams in a big win over the Edge, (Boston had played 4 games against Texan teams in their first 8 games of the Series), it was back to the heart of Texas with the Renegades moving fields to take on the Bayou City Heat. The Heat are one of the few teams in the league with a history deeper than the Renegades. The Austin Blackhawks, Bayou City Heat and Chicago Comets are the only active teams to make more consecutive World Series appearances than the Renegades.
The Heat entered this game looking to get back to the finals where they took the Thunder to sudden death in 2018. Like the Edge, the Heat’s roster is made up of players from all over the country. Players from Arizona, Kansas, Taiwan and many more places. A team always willing to take on players to try to win a title would take on a home grown team. Goliath vs David! The Renegades were big under dogs for sure, at east in everyone’s eyes but the Renegades. To make matters worse, Boston had never beaten the Heat and owned a 5 game losing streak. They came close to beating the Heat in 2005, but the Heat walked off. They came close again in 2014 and had a huge lead, but the Heat came back. The Heat have a reputation for big bats and big offensive scores. They always put up runs against the best of defenses.
Whomever would win this contest would have to play again, in a night game, under the lights for the right to play for the title on Saturday morning. The game started under contention as Weissman was roaring mad there was only one umpire on the field. There were only two games happening at this time and 4 teams with a title shot, yet there was only one umpire. Weissman asked for an umpire before the game tarted but that request would be denied and Weissman would have to appeal to one of the League reps on a golf cart. The game would start with one umpire and a fuming coach.
The Renegades won the coin toss and elected to be home. An over confident Bayou City team took the field with their lead off hitter and former Offensive MVP, Tanner Gers at the plate. Gers, who left his Heat to play with the Edge in 2018 was back. That’s how the Heat roll, signing new players most years. Gers, worked the count to three strikes with his golf swing before he lofted a short fly ball to the right side. The ball landed with spin toward the right side and Proctor (playing the right side short position) could not get there in time. Mike Malloy (formerly on Colorado) then hit a weak fly to the right similar to where the ball landed for Gers. This Time it did not land with spin but when Proctor got there, he fumbled it and Malloy scored on a close play. Rock Kou from Taiwan (an offensive all star for many years) next hit a lazy short fly ball to the 40 foot arc. It was Proctor again, but this time he made the stop with ease. The Bayou four hitter, from Kansas and a former offensive all star, then hit a line drive into right where Buizon and Devenish could not find it. The Heat had a 3-0 lead with every ball hit to the right side. Chad Sumner (formerly of Kansas and Colorado and another former all-star) stepped up. Sumner teased the Renegades in the early years of their existence with suggestions he would move to Boston. That job opportunity never came to fruition. He hit a grounder that just slid by Dias, Thaxton and McCormick for a run. Daryl Minor, the only player in the Heat lineup that had spent his whole career with Bayou city batted next. This former all star rounded out and explosive offense. Minor would strike out. Gers stepped up for the second time in the inning and laced a line drive into left by a diving Thaxton. At this time, the league had a second umpire finally make it to the field and play stopped to allow John Lykowski Sr to take the outfield and Weissman started to calm down. Next. Mike Malloy hit a hard grounder to the left side. Almost similar to the spot Gers had hit it. This time the defense called for a dead ball. The new umpire was used right away to help with the dead ball call and the ball was dead. By rules, Malloy returned to the box with the same count and then lofted a short fly ball to the left side. Dias dropped to his knees and quickly crawled to the ball to make the out. The Heat led 5-0.
Down five runs, the Renegades needed to find a way to recover. Thaxton would have a rough at bat with 3 misses and a foul tip for the first out. Joe McCormick hit a dribbler to the left side. The Heat defense and Kuo was frozen on the play as it appeared the wrong call may have been made. McCormick scored easily with his speed. Haile would loft a fly ball to the right side. Front man, Tanner Gers waited for it, and was able to get it off the ground before Haile got to third for the second out. Devenish hit one of the best balls of the entire inning up the middle but Mike Malloy dove and made a great stop. Boston was down 5-1 after one frame.
In the second, Rock Kou hit a high fly ball to the left side as Kou raced to first. Dias lined it up and heard it bounce a few times and lined it up for the first out. Doug Biggins with three strikes laced a bomb into left. Rob Dias called for dead ball and he was right. The second time in the game this had happened. Biggins then hit a weak grounder for a room service Rob Dias out. Chad Sumner fouled off two balls and then hit a line drive into left center. Christian Thaxton ranged to his left and made a nice defensive play. Boston’s defense had made a donut. The score remained 5-1.
Rob Dias made two stops in the top of the inning and would lead off the bottom of the second. Dias hit a line drive to the right side to get the team on the board off the first pitch he saw from Cochran. Buizon also hit the first pitch down the first base line. He took his first step to third, but it did not matter as Gers was able to stop him. Good news for the Renegades that Buizon was getting his timing down with Cochran. Thaxton hit a hard grounder that bounced of Rock Kuo’s foot who was playing left shorty. It rolled a long way after that deflection and Thaxton pulled the score to 5-3. The Heat called for a defensive time out. Cochran had thrown just 4 pitches to the first three hitters. The Heat would shift their defense around after this play moving Kuo the third layer and Boudreaux to the second layer and Minor to the front layer on the left side. McCormick hit another slow grounder to the left side. Minor won this race and stopped Mac on a close play. Haile had a rough plate appearance with 4 misses to end the inning. After two, Boston was down 5-3.
Daryl Minor, batting sixth ripped the first pitch up the middle of the field to start the third. Shawn Devenish, who really was playing some great defense ranged a few steps to his left and as he laid out, the ball bounced off his head and rolled away for a run. Devenish was not hurt physically but that made it 6-3. Tanner Gers hit his pitching wedge swing to the right side sending Buizon to his left toward the base line. Gers would score easily on just the second pitch from Fonzie Medrano in the inning. Rob Dias would make a stop off the bat of Mike Malloy for the first out of the inning. Rock Kuo, a Taiwan Home Run legend, playing for the Heat this season laced the second pitch he saw to the left side passed a diving Dias, Thaxton and McCormick who could not pick it up in time as Kuo scored on the third base side. Joseph Fleeks then entered into the game for Doug Biggins with a 8-3 lead. Fleeks swung and missed on four straight pitches. Chad Sumner would also whiffed as Medrano struck out three hitters in the frame. A rare moment for Fonzie Medrano, the long time Heat pitcher.
Red hot, Shawn Devenish would lead off the bottom of the third and once again his consistency would pay off. He hit the first pitch he saw on the ground to the left side. The left shorty, Minor missed it and the ball died between a few defenders as Devenish crashed into first base. Rob Dias, toying with a new swing with the goal of putting less stress on his back battled some inconsistency, fouled off three pitches before striking out. Buizon would also struggle with Cochran again missing on 4 straight swings. Thaxton strode to the plate. He took the first pitch and then took the second pitch as he was not comfortable which was a called strike by rule. A move he preferred over taking a bad swing. On the 4th pitch he hit a line hugger down the third base line that curled foul after it passed the bag and rolled a long way for a big run. Joe McCormick who had seen just two pitches in the game came up as Weissman was asked both Drew Crook and Larry Haile to warm up. While McCormick dug into the box, Weissman was trying to figure out who to go with. Joe hit a weak grounder to the left side on the first pitch he saw and called late base out of the box. He was not awarded the late base (replays show the right call was made). Daryl Minor made the stop for the Heat and Boston lost the inning and was down 8-5. During the half inning, Weissman talked with Haile about his struggles on the day against the Heat and the Edge. He wanted Haile to swing more aggressively and focus on his base running. Haile looked tired and had lost his mechanics. His swing was getting long. He assured Weissman he could fix it. Nobody can adjust their game like Larry Haile when he knows what is wrong.
But before the team would see Haile hit, the Heat would lead off with some golfers. Daryl Minor and his golf swing lofted a fly ball to right center for the first run of the frame. Gers hit his golf club sky-high and would score easily with his speed as Its near impossible to catch a ball with that much air. Gers and Minor had scored 6 of the Heat’s 10 runs to this point. Golf swings are big in beep baseball because its near impossible to catch a fly ball. Players who can swing with these golf like motions often hit fly balls or balls with crazy spin on them. It sounds easy to do, but it can lead to a lot of strike outs. Fonzie Medrano is the best pitcher in the country at hitting these swings. While a base was being replaced, Weissman was sitting on the bench and decided to stick with Haile and Larry would be ready to lead off the 4th after the two talked about tweaks to make. Back to the action and Mike Malloy, with a more traditional upper cut swing took the count to three strikes and then hit a weak dribbler up the middle. Justen Proctor laid out but came up short and Rob Dias backed him up with a nice stop. The Taiwan all-star, Kou lofted a fly ball to Rob Dias. Rock ran to third and just beat the play out as Dias got the ball off the ground a hair after the run was scored. Fleeks took out his golf clubs and hit a grounder up the middle of the field. The defense called a dead ball (3rd one from the Heat) and Shawn Devenish laid out and was able to make the play without a beeping ball. He beat Fleeks who was running to first for a big out. Making plays on dead balls is not easy, but Devenish was in the zone. Seth “bam bam” Clark would be called upon to pinch hit. This big power hitter hit a high fly that landed near Justen Proctor. Justen could not get the ball up in time and another run scored. Minor came up again and hit the first pitch he saw into left center. McCormick was playing too deep and Minor had his third run of the game. Gers hit a 3 iron this time up the middle that froze both callers. McCormick lined up the ball and had it knocked off him. Gers missed first base and that allowed Mac to collect the ball. The Heat had their second 5 run inning and had a commanding 13-5 lead.
Haile would lead off after his talk with Weissman looking for results. Haile would swing three times and come up empty but his balance and swing was better. Weissman encouraged Haile that things looked better. Cochran honed in on Haile’s adjustment and the next pitch was laced into center field. Blake Boudreaux would make a great play for the out in the second layer. Shawn would then hit the first pitch again on a bounce up the left side. A bouncer which made it to the second layer of defense and a run. Dias then hit a grounder to the left side. It kicked off the Minor’s legs and Dias scored easily. Buizon was late on three pitches and lofted a moon shot down the first base line landing on the line beyond the base. Tanner Gers ranged far to his left and backwards and got Buizon by a step. Buizon was gaining confidence. Thaxton hit a hard grounder and it found a way by the defense for his third run of the game on what was likely a bad call by the defensive callers who sent the defense in different directions. Joe Mac next hit a dribbler to the left side, raced to third and beat out the play for the 4th run of the inning. Mac’s weight loss program during the off-season was paying off. Haile then laced another shot up the middle by all three layers as he found his confidence. Weissman had a big hug for Larry and his adjustment. Devenish excitedly and calmly came to the plate and again hit the first pitch. It was a pop up to the right side, had spin and Shawn’s speed beat Gers to the ball which ended up near the 40 foot arc. Dias would hit a weak bouncer up the middle that got by Gers on the right front side, but Minor backed him up for an out. Boston answered with a 6-run inning and pulled within two runs to 13-11. A very excited Renegade team took the field for defense.
Entering the 5th, the Heat did not expect this come back. Mike Malloy would lead off with a strike out and was just 1-5 in this game as the number two hitter. Rock Kuo worked the count to three strikes and laced a shot into left center. Weissman had just switched McCormick and Thaxton right at the start of the inning and it paid off as Thaxton made a tremendous play deep in the outfield for his second stop of the game. Fleeks would strike out for the second time in the game and Boston had made a donut with the help from Medrano and the Heat bats striking out twice. Momentum was changing like a cold front moving into warmer air. The Heat were getting cooled down.
Buizon would lead off the 5th frame for Boston. This long time veteran had waited many years to play in this type of game. He had played for many years but had missed most of the more successful Renegade seasons as he was at home playing the role of Dad. He was excited to play this year and spent countless hours in rehab for his legs during the off-season. It was heart breaking to see him get hurt in Philly just two weeks prior. Buizon hit a high fly ball to the middle of the field. It bounced off Gers and Buizon legged it out to third to pull the Renegades to a 13-12 deficit. A great time for his first score of the day. Thaxton took the first pitch to the right side and found another gear with his speed to score his 4th run of the game and tie it up at 13. Boston was stoked and everyone on the team was in the zone, focused on every pitch. Joe Mac would strike out. Haile would hit a ball off the bottom of his bat, Gers dove to the middle of the field, bobbled the ball but nailed Haile by a split second for the second out in this tie game. Devenish hit a pop up to the left side, raced to first and missed first base. Minor picked up the ball and a conference took place with the umps. Devenish took a line inside the first base line and never gave up, as he struggled to get back to the base. The umps said he made it back in time and that is how Boston took the lead,14-13. Mentak tougness and grit on the part of Devenish to not give up. Rob Dias hit a weak ball to the arc, took a step to first, when third base was ringing. Gers raced to the ball, and bobbled it. Dias missed third base and the out was awarded. After five innings, Boston held a 14-13 lead. The Renegades knew this lead would not hold.
Seth Clark, who entered the game in the 4th, dropped a fly ball to the center of the field to lead off the 6th, where Devenish made a nice play for a big out. Minor then hit his golf swing up the middle again. It bounced by Devenish and McCormick corralled it just after Minor scored his 4th run of the game to tie it at 14. Next, Gers dropped a high-flying bomb on the defense and by the time the ball landed and McCormick could make a play, Gers had scored his 5th run of the game. The Heat went to the bench to look for a new option for a struggling Malloy. They turned to a dead red pull hitting veteran, Lee Rodriguez. Boston knew where he was going to hit it. Right field. On cue, he hit a grounder to the right side, by Proctor, by a diving Buizon and by a diving McCormick for a huge run as the Heat celebrated their move and a 16-14 lead. Weissman called a time out to talk to the defense. That was an out they should have made. The Gades huddled to collect themselves. The team knew they missed an opportunity but everyone was calm and ready. Rock Kou then hit a hard grounder that made it by 4 diving Renegades and scored. Two plays, 7 bodies on the ground and no outs. Frustrating for sure, but the most important play is always the next one and the defense had put it behind them. Fleeks hit a grounder to the left side. McCormick was now at third and was able to make the play with some flare! Seth Clark would then miss the first two lobs from Medrano, foul off a grounder to the left side and then whiff.
Boston needed 4 runs to win the game entering the bottom of the 6th. Boston had been involved in plenty of last-minute dramatic games in 2019 including losing a game to Philly when Joe Yee missed a base in the first contest of the year. Joe McCormick walking off on the NJ titans in New York and having the Austin Blackhawks walk off on day one of the Series. Close games were something the Renegades had a lot of practice with. Defensively, the Heat moved Jason Walters into the game to replace Lee Rodriguez. Boston had never beaten the Heat before and the Heat had come back to beat the Gades twice. Could the Renegades return the favor. The Renegades huddled up and Weissman led them thru a guided breathing exercise to keep everyone cool, including himself. Mental toughness would be at play here for sure. Boston had scored 9 times in the past two innings. Four runs was not out of the question.
Leading off again, was Joey Buizon who fouled off the first pitch. Time was called as the indy Thunder who were playing on the adjacent field were being loud and celebratory. They had just held on to beat the San Antonio Jets and advance to the finals in a 30-28 victory. As time eventually came back to this game, Buizon hit a bomb down the first base line, foul. After a swing and a miss, Buizon hit a grounder to the right side and raced to first. Gers had the ball bounce off his feet and by the time he recovered, Buizon was safe for his second run of the game. Meanwhile, Thaxton was digging in and enjoying a 4 run game of his own but all of those runs were on grounders. Thaxton was looking for his stroke with Cochran. This time they got it and hit a blast to left center. Boudreaux made a nice stab at it as it bounced off him. Thaxton was slow out of the box as he took a bad step but scored to make the game 16-15. Joe McCormick followed suit and for the first time this game also got the ball into the air and he tied the game tagging first base with nobody out! Could Larry Haile be he hero? He hit a line drive to the right side that off the bat looked like the winner. Gers made a nice play to stop the liner and stop Larry well before he hit the base. That brought the hottest hitter on the team (and possibly the league) to the plate. Devenish had seen just 6 pitches in this game, made contact on all of them and 5 of them were fair. He was 4-5. On cue, he fouled off the first two pitches. His consistency with Cochran was stuff beep ball dreams were made of. On the third pitch, he hit a rocket into deep left and took off toward first. Half way down the line, the base quit and died. The Heat made a nice play on the ball, but Devenish would have been safe. This was the only mal-functioning base of the game and it was an awful time to happen. Weissman and Devenish chatted at the plate like they had all week. Weissman joked about how much Devenish hated base running drills without the speaker on and reminded Shawn how much that would have helped at that moment. Nerves of steel and having fun. That’s how Shawn was approaching it. Keep in mind, the count was 0-2. Devenish hit another pitch up in the air, this time short and near the third base line and the arc. It went foul as he raced 100 feet again to the base. He needed to collect himself and his lungs. He had not swung and missed all game. The Heat called for a new ball, playing games with Cochran by making him throw an unfamiliar ball. A bush league move that the Heat pulled and the Renegades ignored. Mental toughness! As Shawn dug into the box, with his wide stride. He hit another pop fly to the left side and took off toward first again. This time it hopped fair with some spin. Devenish and his mental toughness beat it out as Minor was a hair late in getting the ball up.
The Renegades came back to beat the Heat for the first time ever. They eliminated a team that went to the finals in the previous year. They eliminated a team loaded up with out-of-town players to try to win a title. They came back in a game in which they never led until the final at bat. It was just the third time in team history, Boston had two players on offense score five runs each. The only times it happened were in 2006 vs the Columbus Vipers when a younger Buizon teamed up with Dino Vasile to accomplish the feat. In 2012, Joe McCormick and Larry Haile did it against Cleveland. This time it was Devenish for his third career 5 run game and Thaxton for his 5th time in 2019 alone. This game would go down as one of the biggest wins in Renegades history and vault the Renegades to take a shot to get back to the finals for only the second time. This Renegade team which looked like it was playing on fumes found that extra gear and came back. Players like Larry Haile who fixed his swing and Joey Buizon who found his swing represented just how mentally tough this 2019 Renegade team was. Five of the 8 games at the Series were against teams from Texas. Their next opponent, the San Antonio Jets and that game would be played under the lights due to the three-hour rain delay to start the day!
Renegades play with heart and emotion but run out of gas and lose to Jets 26-17
Rain delays followed by two long games and the start time for this contest was at 6:48 pm central time, the Renegades took the field to face off against the San Antonio Jets. The winner would go to the championship game and the loser would finish third. These teams faced off already in the week but it felt like forever ago as the Gades had played 4 games since. The difference was the Jets had not played as many games because they were undefeated until they lost to the Indy Thunder in a game which the Thunder came back to win 30-28 while the Renegaded were playing the Bayou City Heat. The sun was still up but the lights were on at the field as this was the only World Series game being play at this time slot.
Zach Arambula would lead off the game and hit the first pitch to the left side which got over Justen Proctor and rolled into the breadbox of Joey Buizon, playing third base. It was the first stop Buizon had made all week and he made it with a lot of confidence. Will Lopez then hit a dribbler up the middle and Justen Proctor ranged to his left, charged the ball and scooped it up quickly for the second out. David Crystal Smith then hit a hard ground ball up the middle of the field that Shawn Devenish just missed, but Christian Thaxton would range far to his left and make a play in the third layer of defense for a 1-2-3 inning. Boston was stoked with their defensive bagel.
Thaxton led off for the Renegade offense and blasted a moon shot into left field hitting Zach Arambula in deep left field on a bounce. Thaxton’s speed was too much and the Gades were on the board. McCormick fouled off the first three pitches and then hit a weak dribbler to the left side off the bottom of the bat which Richie Flores gobbled up easily. Larry Haile then hit a grounder to the right side and their right shorty, Axel Cox dove on it to make the stop. With two outs, Shawn Devenish lofted a fly ball into left and the defense called dead ball on the play. After the umps checked on it, the ball was still beeping and the Renegades had a 2-0 lead. Rob Dias then hit a hard grounder into left which made it to the third layer, but Arambula stopped him. After one inning, Boston was ahead and the battle was just beginning.
Aaron Almanza, leading off for the Jets hit a lazy liner which hit Rob Dias on the fly. Dias had to collect himself and found the ball just after Almanza scored. Axel Cox then struck out for the first out of the inning. Lupe Perez got the start in this game and laced a grounder past a diving Justen Proctor, past a diving Shawn Devenish and into the belly of Christian Thaxton. Perez was ruled safe after a request from Weissman to check the call. The umpire said Thaxton did not have the ball off the ground in time. Zach Arambula struck out for the second out. Will Lopez laced a hard bouncer to the left side which bounced over Buizon at third and Thaxton could not line up for a run. David Crystal Smith hit a weak grounder to the left side that bounced off Proctor and rolled to Buizon. Buizon made the play and Smith was out. Kevin Sibson contested that Buizon did not have the ball away from his body and he was awarded the call by the umps. Almanza then hit a weak grounder up the middle which cause Sibson to jump over to avoid being hit on. Proctor and Dias converged and Dias aggressively pulled the ball into the air for the out. After 1.5 innings , The Renegades were down just 4-2 but this game had a very different feel than the Thursday morning matchup.
Buizon led off the second with a fly ball to the first base line that landed right near the line and forced Cox to charge to his right and forward. Charging to the ball with Buizon huffing and puffing down the first base line is always hard and Cox fumbled the ball as Buizon hit the base for a run. Thaxton then laced the 2nd pitch he saw in this game on the ground down the third base line. The defense messed this up somehow by running away from the ball, tie game at four. McCormick who saw 5 pitches in his first trip would see another 5 pitches in this trip, foul two of them off and then strike out. Larry Haile then hit a weak dribbler to the left side, Richie Flores ran by the ball as it rolled past him. Flores slammed on the brakes and reversed direction, but Haile was to quick down the first base line and the Renegades had a 5-4 lead as the Jets called time out to huddle the defense. Devenish then hit a grounder up the middle that got past Flores who pursued it backwards into the defense as Devenish scored. The Jets wanted the umpires to talk about it. The play was over turned to the dismay of every Renegade coach who saw the play. It was the second time in the game a play was over turned for the Jets. Rob Dias hit another ball at Flores who jumped to his left and then dove back to his right and kicked the ball out of the way as Dias scored. The Jets looking for answers changed their caller on the left side at this time. Buizon would be stopped on a hard grounder down the third base line by Lupe Perez. Boston led 6-4 after two innings.
Axel Cox led off the third inning with a weak grounder up the left middle, which was scooped up Justen Proctor for the first out. Lupe Perez then lofted a fly ball up the middle that got by Shawn Devenish and died in front of a laid out Christian Thaxton for a run. Zach Arambula stepped into the box and laced a low line drive up the middle of the field which bounced off Thaxton for a run. Will Lopez hit a grounder under Justen on the left side and off Buizon’s shins as he dove feet first into the middle of the field making it 7-6. David Crystal Smith launched a bomb to left which Thaxton had no chance at to make the score 8-6, Jets. The Renegades needed a time out. The hours of intense play were taking a toll and every Renegade player on the field was giving it everything they had left. Aaron Almanza lofted an opposite field flare to Rob Dias who tried to make a play but kicked it away from him for a 9-6 deficit. Axel Cox hit a grounder down the third base line which died around 105 feet allowing Buizon to gather for the second out of the inning and the second time Cox had made an out in this frame. Lupe Perez then lofted a bomb into left which left Christian Thaxton one small chance to make the play, Perez scored. Zach Arambula then took the count to three strikes. He hit a grounder down the left side under the late dive of Buizon. Thaxton went a long way and actually got the ball but Zach was safe. He made an amazing dive at the ball but came up short on time. The Gades were running out of gas and to save the tank, Weissman made a change to move Thaxton to the right side of the defense and pull McCormick to the left side. Having equal confidence in both players, the hope was to save Thaxton’s body. Will Lopez hit another grounder to the left side. Buizon came up empty and McCormick was late to get to the ball as they scored again. Smith would give the Renegades a break by striking out to end the inning. The Jets put up 8 runs to take a 12-6 lead heading into the bottom of the third. This was the 20th time the Renegades had let up 8 + runs in an inning in team history, and the second time to the Jets this week.
Thaxton would lead off for the Gades and hit the third pitch he saw all game off the bottom of his bat to Richie Flores. Thaxton took a divot out of the ground when he tried to correct himself for taking the wrong step to the base and went fell to the ground. Weissman told an exhausted Thaxton to stay on the ground as Flores easily gobbled it up. McCormick continued to struggle seeing another 5 pitches and striking out for the second time in a row. Thaxton was battling his legs and McCormick, his mechanics with a pulled muscle in his chest. Larry Haile, the oldest player in the Renegade lineup had fixed his mechanics and probably had the freshest legs as he only played one way,stepped up and hit a Bermuda triangle ball up the middle ( a ball that dies between three players in the middle of the field) and scored running to third to keep the inning alive and get the lineup to a steaming hot, Shawn Devenish. Devenish lofted a bomb into left off the defender for another run to pull the game to 12-8. Dias would end the inning with a 6 pitch, 3 foul ball at bat before striking out.
As the Renegades took the field, Cochran started to worry about the health of the players. The bats looked tired, every time a player hit the ground, they got up slower and slower. Marciello, Weissman and Cochran started to talk about how to manage this game. The 7 players in this game had played a ton of innings all day and week and these hard fields and long games were not helping. In fact, the game was about 90 minutes in and the sun was down. Aaron Almanza kept the trend alive and hit a grounder to the left side. This time Buizon was able to stop it for the first out of the inning. Cox, looking to score his first run hit a fly ball to Buizon again. Grillo called his number again, but Buizon jumped to his left and then had to scramble back to where he was standing, bobbled the ball and Cox scored. Lupe Perez hit another ball to the left side, Proctor dove and missed and Buizon had it roll into his body for the out, his second out of the inning and his 4th stop of the game. Zach Arambula laced a line drive to the left side again. Buizon and Thaxton both dove and came up empty. The inning would end with a weak grounder off the bat off Will Lopez which Justen Proctor stopped. The score was 14-8 as the night sky started to settle in. 90 minutes into this game and we went to the bottom of the fourth. The Renegades bodies were all in pain but their heart and determination was un matched.
The Renegade coaching staff started to have conversations. Cochran had concerns the players were going to get seriously hurt but at the same time every coach saw how much this group wanted this game. They were playing with a ton of heart. Buizon with his gimpy calf, pulled just two weeks ago stepped into the box to lead things off. Buizon was late on the third pitch he saw and pounded it into the ground to the left side where Richie Flores gobbled it up. Thaxton was up next. His legs were killing him as his hips, and lower legs constantly needed to be stretched. Thaxton hit a bomb down the third base line that landed near the line and bounced into foul territory long beyond the bag, an easy run for Thaxton, as he easily tagged the base avoiding contact with the ground. Joe McCormick was next with a pulled muscle in his chest, he lofted a short pop up to the left side that landed between the shorty, Flores and the third baseman, McCormick’s speed was too much and the score was 14-10. Larry Haile up next with a sore bicep would strike out for the first out. Devenish, who had made contact with all 4 pitches he saw in this game, fouled off two pitches and then hit a fly ball up the middle of the field and legged out a run to third pulling the Gades to 14-11. Rob Dias and his balky back dug in and on the 6th pitch hit a line drive up the middle and scored down the first base line for his second run of the game. This brought Buizon back up for the second time. After fouling off three straight pitches, Buizon hit a high pop that landed next to the first base line. Buzion raced to first, Axel Cox raced to the ball and landed on it as Buizon scored. Cox was unable to get the ball off the ground and away from his body in time and the game was 14-13. The darkness was really starting to set in now. The darkest game a Renegade team had ever played in as the lights shined bright. Thaxton on an 0-2 count lofted a pop up to the 40 foot arc and crashed into third base but the ball had a lot of back spin and it was called foul. Thaxton was very slow to get up. He got to his feet with guts and heart. The next pitch he hit to the right side. Cox had to wait for it to land and by the time he picked it up, Thaxton had tagged first base for a tie game. McCormick stepped up with a chance to take the lead and San Antonio went to their bench and took Will Lopez off the field and replaced him with Ricky Ruzika. McCormick hit a grounder on the first pitch to the left side and Flores gobbled it up. Heading to the 5th, this mentally tough Renegade team tied up the power house Jets 14-14 with a 6 run inning, their largest output of the game.
San Antonio had a lot of life left, their bench much deeper and they had played less games. Boston had been on the fields for 14 hours, playing iys’ third game. The Jets were only playing their 2nd contest of the day. Smith blasted a fly ball to left and Thaxton laid out as it bounced by him. Aaron Almanza hit a grounder to third passed a diving Buizon and into Thaxton however Thaxton bobbled it and the run was awarded. Cox then hit a high fly to the middle of the field. Devenish slid a few steps to his right but was unable to get the ball in time as the Jets had scored three fast runs. Lupe Perez then hit a grounder up the middle which Devenish picked up this time for the first out. Zach Arambula hit the second pitch he saw on a line drive up the middle passed a diving Devenish and off the hands of Thaxton. Ricky Ruzika stepped up to the plate for the first time in this game. He lofted the second pitch to the right side and McCormick could not find it in time. Smith then laced the first pitch he saw up the gut passed a diving Devenish and Thaxton made a huge diving stop for the second out. Almanza hit the third pitch he saw on the ground to the third base side passed Buizon and he hit the cord of the base with the base falling on top of him as Thaxton picked up the ball. He was ruled safe. Cox hit a line drive to the left side, Buizon laid out to his left feet first and missed it but Thaxton was there for the stop. The Jets had scored six quick runs and the score 20-14.
As the Gades came off the field, Weissman huddled the team. He praised the team for their guts, their heart and their determination. The coaches were concerned the team was at serious risk of serious injury. Weissman asked the players what they wanted to do. They had nothing to prove to anyone. They had played a great tournament but serious injury was not something Weissman wanted for anyone. After a short moment, Buizon spoke up and said his calf which he had injured had pulled at him and he took himself out of the game. The team wanted to see what would happen this inning as they were down 6 but owned last ups. They were still all in. With a very emotional Buizon headed to the bench, Larry Haile came to the plate. He laced a line drive to the right side for his third run of the game. Devenish then blasted the first pitch he saw on a fly to the left side. Lupe Perez ranged back toward the line and made the defensive play of the game to take a sure run away. Rob Dias would foul off 2 pitches but eventually strike out for the second out. This brought Joe Yee to the plate to hit for Buizon. He fouled off the first two pitches and after a bad swing on his third swing composed himself and hit a grounder to the left side over Richie Flores’ hands and scored running to first. Turning the inning over to Thaxton who had scored 4 times in this game already. He fouled off a pitch to the right side and then another back into the hands of Weissman. On the third pitch, he blasted a shot into left. Arambula amazingly lined it up and picked up the ball as an aching Thaxton actually slowed up as hit ran to first base. After 5 innings, San Antonio led 20-16.
To the 6th inning the teams went. The Renegades limping along and the Jets angered this game was taking so long. Lupe Perez would hit a high pop fly to the left side but short. Justen Proctor charged it and on the second bounce picked it up in his arms. The umpire claimed the ball was trapped against his body (replays show they got the call wrong) and despite a plea for an appeal, the Renegades were hosed on a bad call which two umpires got wrong. In bad form, the head umpire asked the third base ump for help and he was blinded on the call as he was sitting in a chair more than 20 feet away from the field. A terrible call with lazy umpiring on this very long day. In the second biggest game of the year, the third base umpire was sitting in a chair far from the field. Back to Zach Arambula. He hit a fly ball to the right side, which bounced right in front of Rob Dias. Dias raced after it and picked it up just as Arambula tagged first base. Ricky Ruzika then hit a three strike grounder up the middle. Proctor took one step to his left and could not recover. Devenish missed it and the Jets had three quick runs. Smith, who had deep bombs all night hit a weak grounder that hit a laid out Proctor in his shins for an easy out. Almanza then hit a weak grounder to the left side. Proctor went in on the ball and dropped to his knees instead of laying out, the ball got by Proctor and Almanza scored at third base. Axel Cox then hit another grounder down the third base line. McCormick was now playing third as Yee was inserted at first. He over ran the ball and Cox scored. Lupe Perez hit the second pitch he saw in the ground. Proctor laid out and it bounced off him toward Dias. Proctor was quick to his feet and made the stop for the second out of the inning. Arambula, with 5 runs in this game fouled off the first pitch and then laced a shot over Joe Yee on the right side to give the Jet a 10 run lead. An inning in which most if the balls were hit on the ground but an inning in which the Renegades struggled to make the plays. Ruzika would end the inning with a strike out. The Jets had compiled 26 runs, the third most runs allowed in Renegade history.
Weissman huddled the team again to check on everyone. This time, down by ten, the starters decided it was time to let their teammates into the game. Drew Crook would pinch hit for McCormick. Crook was limited this week with hamstring tightness but would get an at bat in this inning. On the second pitch he hit a grounder to the left side and raced toward first. Half way to the base, he came up lame and pulled his hamstring but finished the play and scored. That brought David Sanchez into the game to hit off Jamie Dickerson. Sanchez hit the first pitch to the left side and Flores gobbled it up for an out. Luis Soto came off the bench to hit off Dickerson next. He hit the second pitch he saw passed Flores but Soto missed first base, giving time for Flores to make the stop. Rob Thayer would be the fourth straight pinch hitter. After two misses, he also put the ball in play off Dickerson. He hit a line drive up the middle of the field which Cox had to glide backwards on. As he struggled to find it, Thayer chugged down third and Cox made the stop as Thayer face planted while diving into the base. That play represented the heart and sole of this team as the Renegades have no quit. Thayers base running summed up how the Renegades felt after this marathon World Series of 10 games.
Boston would finish in third place in a game that ended near 10:00 at night. It was the second highest finish in team history. Boston would be the only team at the 2019 World Series to play 10 games. It was the 8th time in the season the Renegades scored 15+ runs in a game, setting a team record surpassing the 7 times it was accomplished in 2015. The Renegades were very proud of their finish. They knocked out two big teams and it took the Jets, everything they had to put away a very tired Renegade team. Boston knew if they had found a way to win this game, they would have had nothing for the title game, the following day. In fact, with bad weather predicted on Saturday morning, the Championship game was moved up to 8:00 am. This was the longest day of beep baseball in team history with about 15 hours on the field but one of the most gratifying as the team came away with two wins and was tied up after four innings against the Jets. The Jets would eventually lose in the finals to the Thunder who would go on to win their 4th title in a row.
Christian Thaxton and Shawn Devenish would become the first ever Renegade pair to make an All start team on offense. Thaxton who spent much of the season coaching Devenish would see his hard work at the plate and in the coaching realm pay off. Thaxton would place 6th on the all-star team (his 4th appearance on the all-star team) going 36-51 and hitting .706. Devenish would place 4th on the squad getting 33 runs in 46 at bats for a .717 average. It was Shawn’s first appearance on an all star team in is career. Shawn was a career .354 hitter at the World Series prior to this season, He raised his average 338 points from the 2018 World Series which is probably close to a league record for most improved season in league history.