Jets fly over Renegades 23-13 sending them to the losers Bracket
The Jets came into the game against the Renegades 4-0 on the week. Their schedule was easy and familiar up till now. They started against Palm Beach in the Bandit’s first game ever and won easily 18-0. They then played two familiar local opponents downing BCS 24-9 and Tyler 13-5. On Double Elimination, their win was against another Texas team as they knocked out Lone Star 15-5. This would be their first true test of the tournament.
For the Renegades, the training wheels would be taken off Rob Dias as he would play both ways in his first start of the Series as his back felt better. Joey Buizon was still being managed with his injury to his calf less than 3 weeks old. The plan was for him to play defense and rotate David Sanchez and Joe Yee in the six hole of the line up.
On the first pitch of the game, Zach Arambula hit a shot into deep left and Thaxton felt the ball was dead. After umpire review, Thaxton’s belief was confirmed. Jet pitcher, Kevin Sibson worked the count to three strikes before Zach hit a bomb into right field where nobody was. Arambula would set the tone for the Jets offense with this opposite field blast. After a rare, Sibson strike out, David Smith hit a grounder up the middle which got over Justen Proctor, rolled by Shawn Devenish and Thaxton picked it up for the out due to a missed base by Smith. Proctor would stop Axel Cox and the Renegades got off the field without allowing a crooked number.
The Gades did not start well on offense either. Thaxton saw 7 pitches, fouled off 5 of them and struck out as he appeared to struggle with his timing and comfort. Joe McCormick would see the minimum of 4 pitches and make no contact for the second out as he struggled to be consistent with his swing plane. Larry Haile would hit a line drive to the right side but Ricky Ruzika would stop him on a close play and after one inning in slight drizzle the Jets led 1-0.
Aaron Almanza led off the second with a blast into right field to start the second. Ricky Ruzika hit a ball up the middle that Devenish just missed and bounced of McCormick’s chest for a score on a close play. Arambula hit a bomb into left field McCormick had little time to make the play and it was 4-0. Will Lopez then hit a dribbler to the 40 foot line and missed first base as Proctor made the play. Two outs in the first two innings were awarded to the Gades defense due to poor base running on the Jets. Smith scored on a hard grounder up the gut of the defense and it was 5-0. Axel Cox whiffed to make it two outs. Things would then get real bad.
Aaron Almanza hit a hard grounder up the middle past everyone that the Defense cried dead ball on, but the ball came back to life and started beeping, 6-0. Ruzika hit a line drive into left which McCormick had slip put of his hands in deep left, 7-0. Arumbula would score for the second time in the inning on a ball that Proctor could not get to in time and Thaxton had die in front of him. Lopez got on the board with a high pop fly near the 40 foot arc that bounced with a ton of spin and Proctor could not find it in time, 9-0. Smith hit a dribbler to the left side but the call from Grillo froze Proctor and he hit the ground early. The umpire called Smith out. Boston came off the field and huddled and even sent Shawn Devenish to the batters box. After San Antonio contested the call, it was found the volunteer umpire did not know the rectangular part of the base could be touched. Boston had to go back on defense with a 10-0 deficit. Cox would blast a shot down the third base line. Aaron Almanza would score his second run of the inning on a short pop up that Proctor had bounce off his body. At 12-0, Weissman called a defensive time out as San Antonio celebrated on the bench. Ruzika would whiff to end the frame. This was the second worst inning ever in team history as Boston let up 11 runs (the worst was in 2017 vs Indy when the Gades let up 12).
Shawn Devenish prevented the 12 run rule from kicking in in the bottom of the second with a grounder down the third base line that kicked off a defender into foul territory to score the first run for Boston. Rob Dias came to the plate, with his back feeling better, saw 6 pitches but struck out as Ron Cochran had 3 k’s in his first five hitters. David Sanchez would hit for Buizon and Jamie Dickerson trotted in to pitch to Sanchez. Piror to this game, Weissman and Sanchez made the call to change things up. He grounded out to the left shorty, Isiah Wilcox. Thaxton fouled off three straight pitches and then hit a rope by everyone on the line that stopped rolling well beyond the 170 line. McCormick hit a grounder down the third base line for the third run of the inning. Larry Haile who was 11-14 in his first four games came to the plate and with three strikes, hit a grounder up the middle to Arambula. After two, the Jets led 12-3. Joe Yee would sub in for Sanchez in defense as the Renegades continued to play offense/defense in the six hole and rest Buzion.
Zach Arambula led off the third inning with a few foul balls and a hard grounder to Proctor. Justen laid out early and stopped the ball with ease to retire Arambula for the first time in 4 trips. Will Lopez hit a hard grounder to Justen again. The ball ricocheted off his feet up and over his body and far away from him for a “Jet life” run. Lupe Perez subbed in to hit for Smith. He hit a looper to the right side which Dias ranged way back and to his left on near first base and stopped him for a web gem. Cox hit a high fly to Justen that bounced with spin and Proctor could not pick it clean as Cox scored. Aaron Almanza then hit a line drive to the right side and Rob Dias made another web gem near the base for the out. It was the first time in 4 trips Almanza had been stopped. Heading to the bottom of the third, the Jets led 14-3.
Devenish led off the inning with solid contact. First he hit it off Ron’s butt cheek. Then he hit a line drive to the right side but was stopped by Will Lopez. Rob Dias scored on a “grounder with eyes” to pull the Gades within 10. Joe Yee went 6 pitches deep into the count and struck out for the second out of the inning. Thaxton would score on a 40 foot weak pop up to the middle of the field on the first pitch. It was the first one pitch at-bat of the game….till Joe McCormick hit a 90 foot pop up and scored on the first pitch as well. Larry then also hit the first pitch to Wilcox. After three innings, the Jets led 14-6. Cochran was starting to find the bats.
The 4th inning would be another train wreck for the Renegades on defense. The Jets would plate 9 runs in this inning and put this game away. In fact, this would be the first game in team history it had allowed two innings of 9 or more runs in a game. The 23 runs allowed would represent the 3rd worst amount of runs allowed all-time. Zach Arambula would pace the Jets with 5 runs and go on to join Devenish and Thaxton as league All-Stars.
Boston would show some fight, trying to avoid the 12 run rule. The Renegades plated 5 runs in the bottom of the 4th but 23-11 was not enough as it was 12 runs exactly. In the end, this was one of the worst games of the year for Boston. The team struck out 10 times and faced its only 12 run rule loss of the year. The biggest highlight was the fact Rob Dias plated three runs and made some great stops on defense in his first start of the series.
Boston would now head to the losers bracket and would face the winner of the match up between Tyler and St. Luis. San Antonio would get to play another game against a Texan opponent in the Bayou City Heat.
Boston 12 runs Tyler too quickly and wins 15-11 and staying alive!
Elimination time as both squads had a loss. Tyler lost to the Indy Edge in the first round of the double elimination round. They then defeated the St. Louis Firing Squad in the morning game in a contest full of controversy. In that game, the Firing Squad had multiple people ejected for fighting amongst their own team. The rumors had been flying around the fields about this all morning and it would impact the Renegades as they had plenty of history against the Tigers from Tyler, but very little against St. Louis. Boston had an 8-1 lifetime record vs Tyler with their last two wins in 2015 & 2018 occurring in 12 run win fashion.
Tyler won the coin toss and the Renegades would bat first. Boston was full of confidence and right out of the gate pounced on the Tigers. Christian Thaxton hit the first pitch of the contest down the third base line for a run. Joe McCormick hit a bomb into left for a second score. After Larry Haile was stopped because of a base running miscue, Shawn Devenish laced a shot into left. Rob Dias then launched his best hit of the week into left field as well. The last player to score in the inning was David Sanchez, who entered the game for the ghost player, Joe Quintanilla. Boston invented a new position, the Ghost, Joe was injured and would be unavailable. Since Weissman wanted to split time in the six spot between Buizon, Sanchez and Yee…he was unsure when the spot in the lineup would come up. So a Ghost spot was created as a way to burn Quintanilla and use Sanchez if the spot got up and Buizon if the spot did not come up. Sanchez scored and Boston would have a 5 run lead heading into the bottom of the first.
Tyler would lead off, Ron Jordan who is the league leader in home runs over the past few years (with 2). He would strike out. Carlos Black would score the lone run for Tyler on a ball hit to Shawn Devenish. Rob Dias would stop Tim Chappel to end the inning with a 5-1 lead for Boston.
The second inning was a memorable inning for the Renegade offense. Boston would send 13 hitters to the plate and score ten times. Thaxton, McCormick, Haile and Dias all scored twice in the inning and every player in the starting lineup scored at least one run. As this was happening, Weissman was worried about twelve running Tyler too early. By rule, the team with the lead has to finish the game playing all remaining innings on defense. This could give Tyler 15 outs to tie the game. By rule, if Tyler tied it, Boston would be given their 15 outs as well. Bottom line, Weissman did not want his players baking in the hot sun.
John Ingram and Ron Jordan would be the only players to score in the bottom of the second forcing the game into a 12 run rule at 15-3. Boston would be forced to play defense. It would get ugly. Weissman tried to sub out guys to get rest as Proctor and Devenish came off the field. With defensive lineups the team had used in practice, Tyler chipped away. Drew Crook was at Rover, Joe Yee saw action at Right shortie. Boston struggled. To make matters worse, a few players left the bench to make the trek to the bathroom, leaving Boston short handed.
Tyler would plate 6 runs in the third inning. Boston shuffled players around on defense. A scary moment happened when Drew Crook collided with Joe Buizon on a ball hit up the middle. The ball laid right next to Buizon as he laid motionless. Buizon thought he was paralyzed but in the end had a jammed finger. Colliding with Drew Crook is no joke and can rattle a player. Buizon was forced to leave the game to collect himself, forcing David Sanchez into the field for some of his first defensive action of the year. Eventually, Boston would right the ship with Joe McCormick and Rob Dias playing up front. Tyler would score just three runs from the 4th inning on. Rob Dias would lead the team with 6 stops on defense while McCormick had a pair. Yee and Thaxton each had one.
Boston hit .714 in this game, the second best batting average in a game in team history, trailing only another match up with Tyler in 2015. This game was only the third contest in team history where a twelve run game was called within two innings (one other time was Tyler in 2015 and another was Stockton in 2007). It was also just the 4th time in history the Renegades had a ten run inning on offense (the last occurrence was in 2015 vs these same Tigers)
Tyler was eliminated and would head to the 9-12 bracket to face Philly. They would eventually finish in 10th place. Boston stayed on the field and prepared to welcome the BCS Outlaws who had just upset the Philly Fire 13-12 and were guaranteed their first ever top 8 finish in their team history.
Thaxton Hits first ever home Run in team history to lead Boston over BCS 14-5
The BCS Outlaws were riding a high as they had clinched their first ever top 8 finish in team history by beating the Philly Fire in the previous game. the Renegades were on a mission as they had been knocked to the losers bracket and had to fight back. Not a lot of history between these two teams as Boston held a 2-0 lifetime record against BCS with wins in 2016 (8-1) and 2018 (4-2). In both contests, the BCS squad was able to hold the Renegades offense down. Some of that low score in 2018 was due to the very tall grass on the field they played on..at least that was how Boston felt. the Renegades would not take this BCS team lightly as they needed to get their bats back after they only had 2 innings of play against Tyler and had been put on ice for a few hours.
Boston would put the pressure on in the first inning with Joe McCormick, Shawn Devenish and Rob Dias all scoring on grounders and using their speed to beat it out. In one inning, they had almost matched their output from last years match, and that grass was going to play in favor of the Renegades this season,
BCS does not have a lot of power in their lineup, but they can put the ball into play. That was on display in the first inning as Justen Proctor stopped their first two hitters and Shawn Devenish finished of the Donut with three straight defensive stops as the Renegade defense continued to gain confidence.
In the top of the second, Thaxton led off with a towering short pop up and once again, the speed of the Renegades was too much for BCS, 4-0. Joe McCormick hit a bomb into left for the best hit of the game at this point and Boston’s 5 runs were more than they scored in the entire game in the previous year. The damage was only just beginning. Shawn Devenish would beat out a grounder to make it 6-0. With two outs, Joe Buizon would get a chance to hit as the Renegades were trying to ease him in and get his timing down. On the 7th pitch he saw, he laced a line drive into right field for a big run and a big boost of confidence for Buizon and his gimpy calf. Cochran had thrown just 8 pitches to the previous 5 batters in the inning but it took some time for Buizon and Cochran to get their timing down. Cochran would get back to work and throw just two pitches total to Thaxton and McCormick. Thax would hit a rope that would roll forever. McCormick would hit a grounder to the left side and use his speed to beat out a bang-bang play and Boston had scored six runs in the inning to push the game to 9-0. Weissman would call to the bench to get some action for the team. Rob Thayer would come in and go down on strikes for the end of the inning.
The trend would continue for BCS as they would continue to put pressure on the defense. Three players came up and three players would be stopped by the Renegades defense. Shawn Devenish would continue his stellar play at the mid-field position to stop Josh Perry on a fly ball up the middle. Justen Proctor would stop Abigail Junek on a dribbler up the middle of the field and Rob Dias would make his first stop off the bat of Tyler Newhouse on another dribbler where Newhouse ran to the wrong base but would have been stopped either way. This game was looking like it could be another 12 run game. This time, Boston wanted it so they could get off the field and get rest as the team would have to win three games the next day in order to get back to the title game. They would try to do it in Renegade style by trying to get everyone into the game.
Rest would go to Shawn Devenish who had played a ton during the week as Luis Soto got into the game and would play both ways to finish this. Soto would hit the first pitch he saw off Jamie Dickerson to the left side and be stopped. Rob Dias, who continued to feel better with his back wanted to stay in the game and with his new’ish stance, Weissman wanted to see how his swing would be impacted by playing all day in the heat. Dias would score on a grounder to the deep layer on the left side to make it 10-0. Drew Crook came off the bench for Buizon. Crook had been hampered by a tight hamstring earlier in the week and was limited in his playing time. Drew hit a laser and at this time, the best hit of the game. the base was late and it caused Drew to struggle to get out of the box. It did not matter. Drew could score walking on this bomb. As impressive as that was. …Thaxton would soon top it. On the first pitch he saw, Thaxton hit a moon hot into left field and as the ball landed, Bryan Grillo started raising his hands as he and other sighted coaches could see the ball land beyond the home run line. Thaxton cleared the line by about 5 feet. League photographer, John Lykowski saw it. Umpire Jason Price saw it and most impressively, Thaxton had his fiance and family at the game and they got to see this rare beepball feat. In an act of sportsmanship, Coach John stark from BCS suggested the ball be given to Thaxton for this accomplishment. A home run in Beep baseball counts as two runs and it was now 13-0. Joe McCormick would score a big run next on a ground ball to make it 14-0 and that would close out the scoring for Boston.
In the bottom of the 3rd inning, Hunter Fredrick and Josh Perry would each plate runs but it would not be enough to avoid the 12 run rule as Boston led 14-2, the game was exactly 12 runs. BCS would hit for the rest of the game and Boston would need to get 9 outs to get back to the hotel. BCS continued to pressure the Renegade defense. BCS could scratch just three more runs across the rest of the way.
Rob Dias and Justen Proctor each made six stops on defense in this game. Shawn Devenish finished with a pair of stops while Joe Yee also chipped in to make an out. The Boston defense made 15 stops on defense which equaled the most in a game during the 2019 season and only the 7th time in team history they had made this many in a game (but twice against the BCS Outlaws). The difference here was the speed and bats of Boston who hit .636 on the game. It was another big offense week in the team history as it marked the third top 5 batting average in a game in 17 years. Think about that, 17 years of ball and 3 of the biggest offensive outputs were in Tulsa this week! Tulsa was sure good for the offensive stats! This also marked a team record 7th time the Renegades had 12-runned an opponent during the season which set another team record.
In the end, BCS would go on to take 8th place, losing to Austin 8-0. They were very excited about their play and their ability to put the ball in play caused many teams fits. Boston would advance to the top 6 and would be taking on the Indy Edge in the morning. A change from all f the Texas teams the Renegades had faced till this point. The Edge had 12 runned Boston the previous year. The Edge had shown no respect for the Renegades on social media all year. Boston was going to be ready for this game, Their health was getting better, their defense gaining confidence and their bats were consistent. It was time to see what the Renegades were made of and what they learned from the previous beat down when the Edge beat them 23-8.
Part 1– Top of the first inning: Boston at the plate
Part 2– Bottom of the first inning and one batter in the top of the 2nd
Part 3– Top of the 2nd inning (missed two at bats from Joe Mac and Larry Haile)