Thunder Come back and Roll over Renegades 30-19
Welcome to Friday! The Renegades were still alive without two losses on the last day of the bracket for just the 7th time in team history. The Renegades would take on the Indy Thunder with both teams having a loss. The Thunder beat Oklahoma 37-20 (3 inning 12 run rule), Gateway 18-17 (in a 12 run rule win) before losing to the Jets 20-19. The winner of this game would stay alive as one of the top four teams and the loser would be sent packing to the 5/6 placement game.
Boston lost the coin toss and would start the game at the plate for a 7:30am start, the earliest start to the beginning of a game in team history. Christian Thaxton would get things started off Ron Cochran’s second pitch which he launched into left field for a run. Shawn Devenish then smacked the first pitch on a line down the third base line. Zach Buhler booted it and Shawn was safe. Peter Connolly trotted out to the mound to face David Sanchez. On the first pitch, Sanchez hit a fly ball to center field that bounced over the last layer of the defense for a run. Shayne Cantan was next and on Connolly’s 2nd pitch, Cantan kept the party rolling with a line drive into left field. Buhler was able to stop this ball on a bang-bang with Cantan running to third. Drew Crook brought Ron Cochran back to the mound. He saw 5 pitches (compared to the 6 combined pitches to the four guys in front of him). Crook would hit a squibbing, spinning ball off the very tip of his bat to the right side. Cody Jeffares would make the play after taking a bad line to the ball. Chris Kimball was next, as a pinch hitter for Ivan Rodriguez. He hit the first offering from Cochran on a line up the middle. That ball got through three defenders as Kimball scored on a ball that Kimball knocked 80% of the beep out of and the players could not hear it. Boston led 4-0 with Thaxton coming to the plate for the second time. He nailed the first pitch into deep left field. There was no volunteers on the field in the outfield or at third base. When the ball was hit Weissman said it was a Home run and was immediately questioned by the Indy bench. When asked how Weissman knew, the answer was “there is no ump out there so we likely won’t get it – but I’ve seen that same ball twice this week and it looked gone, though I have no proof.” Seconds later word came in from the Indy spotter, that the ball went over the line and Thaxton had his third Home run of the week (there was a total of 10 hit in the week). A Home Run is worth two runs and Boston jumped to a 6-0 lead. Devenish then worked the count deep and hit 3 straight fouls balls with the last one a bomb into left that hit the fence. After a break where Devenish needed his coach to help him tie his cleats (Devenish was not happy about this), he hit a fly ball up the middle off the top of his bat that froze the defense. The short men were both slow to adjust and ran in late allowing Devenish his second run of the inning. David Sanchez then hit the second pitch off Connolly into left field and beat out a close play as Buhler lifted the ball right after David hit third base. Shayne Cantan battled to three strikes with two foul balls in a row and hit a weak grounder to the left side. Kyle Lewis grabbed it a few steps before Cantan hit first. A great start for Boston as they plated eight runs in the first inning. Boston had only plated 8+ runs in the first inning of a game 7 times in their history. This was also the 8th time ever the Renegades had plated 8+ runs in an inning. A great start to this 7:30am game!
Joe McCormick would take Sanchez’s spot in the lineup and run out to play defense in left field for Boston. Guy Zuccarello would replace Kimball and jog out to his spot at the right short spot. Jarred Woodard would take the mound for the Thunder. With at least 6 championship rings in his trophy case, this thunder team would have a lot of confidence. Buhler would lead off and belt a grounder up the middle. Devenish took a step too far and missed it, McCormick dove and missed it and the Thunder were on the board. Gerald Dycus was next and lofted a ball at Shayne Cantan on the fly and would score. Kyle Lewis struck out on four pitches. Cody Jeffares was next, worked the count to three strikes and hit a grounder up the left side. He took a bad line that he was able to correct near the Renegade bench. Rob Dias slid to his left and stopped the ball with his chest for the second out. Chris Dunleavy then lofted a fly ball to center field past Devenish. Giving chase, Cantan dove and collided with McCormick. The run would score. McCormick would try to walk it off but it was too painful and Dr. Marciello took him out of the game. Luis Rodriguez would be called into action and would replace McCormick at rover. Toby Gregory would step up after a lengthy delay. He would hit a short fly to the right side. Cantan was there on his knees and the ball dropped in front of him as Cantan picked it with plenty of time. After one inning, Boston led 8-5.
Drew Crook led off the second for Boston and went down on strikes after hitting hard shots down both lines as Cochran was trying to get the timing down with Drew. This brought Guy Zuccarello up and he hit a short pop to the left side. Kyle Lewis bobbled it but picked it in time for the second out. The Red Hot Thaxton was next while it was still cool in Oklahoma. He drilled a hard line drive past everyone to the fence and Thaxton was 4-3 (not a typo – 4 runs in 3 at bats!). Devenish then hit a weak grounder to the left side. Devenish ran about 5 child size steps to first and then cut across the field in front of Ron toward the Renegade bench, corrected it and scored. Indy claimed dead ball and they were right. This was about the 7th ball that had to be replaced in this game. This ball did not deserve to be dead on such a weak hit, but something was going on with the balls in this heat! Devenish then hit a harder grounder that got thru the defense and he scored on a cleaner play after the dead ball. Joe Yee subbed into the game, replacing Luis Rodriguez (who subbed in for Joe McCormick). Yee stayed hot, hit the second pitch to the right side rolling past Jeffares hands and found its way past three deep defenders crisscrossing by it. That ball had eyes for sure weaseling it’s way past four defenders! Cantan would foul three balls off and missed one. He then hit a line drive into left field past three diving defenders and scored his first run of the game. Crook would get his second at bat of the game. He would work the count to three strikes off Cochran and hit a line shot into left field past Buhler to the fence. Zuccarello would end the inning losing a bang-bang battle with Kyle Lewis at the left short slot. Boston led 13-3 after one and half.
Heading into the bottom of the second, Joe Yee stayed in the game and moved to first base as Shayne Cantan moved from first to Rover to replace Rodriguez. Leading off the second was the leadoff hitter, Zach Buhler who crushed a line drive into right field where Joe Yee had no chance to make a play as he was not deep enough. Gerald Dycus then hit a fly ball to center field and the Boston defense could not hear it. The ball was dead and Dycus came back with a 0-0 count as it was on the first pitch. He then hit a grounder to Rob Dias for an out. Kyle Lewis would strike out for the second time and the second out of the second inning. Cody Jeffares was next, and hit a fly ball down the right field line which was wide open and Jeffares scored with ease to make it 13-5. Chris Dunleavy would end the inning with a weak grounder to the right side where Zuccarello lined it up and made an easy stop as Jarred Woodard walked off the field before Guy had the ball because he knew Guy had the play. Boston led 13-5 after two frames.
Christian Thaxton led off the third smoking a grounder down the third base line past Buhler to the fence. He took a tumble over the bag but would be ok. Shawn Devenish struck out on 4 pitches. Sanchez then pinch hit for Joe Yee and hit the third offering off Connolly up the right middle of the field. Chris Dunleavy shuffled to his right, dove and made the second out of the inning. Shayne Cantan would not waste time and rocked the first pitch off Conolly into left field and scored. Drew Crook then hit a grounder into left field past two defenders but not past Zach Buhler who made the stop with plenty of time. Boston led 15-5 after two and a half innings.
Luis Rodriguez re-entered in for David Sanchez to start the third inning. Tobey Gregory would leadoff and hit a flare to the left side. Dias had it bounce by him and he would chase it backwards but could not pick it clean with a bobble and an error and Gregory was safe. Buhler then hit a fly ball that Devenish lined up and on the second bounce, Devenish stopped it in the gut for an out and the first time Buhler had been retired in this game. Dycus lofted a fly ball to the left center of the field, Dias went back on it, Devenish hit the ground but Dycus scored. Kyle Lewis then had a moment. He hit the ball to the right side but at the same time he hit the ball into fair territory, the bat flew into the field near Zuccarello. Controversy ensued because the umpire called the play dead and actually gave Lewis a do over on a ball that was hit into play. Lewis got a second life (but in 2024, this would be ruled an automatic out as a rule passed making this an out and rightfully so as that bat came close to Zuccarello). Lewis hit the next pitch up the middle and Zuccarello sprinted in. The call from Lenicheck may have been off as the ball was well to Guys right..and he had to correct and find it. That correction cost him too much time and Lewis scored. Jeffares crushed a line drive to right center. Luis Rodriguez took off toward his left despite the call and the ball going in the opposite direction. That mental error cost him a chance to make the play. Dunleavy then hit a line drive up the middle. Rob Dias slid to his left and stopped it, making a nice play. This should have been the last out of the inning if the gift to Lewis was not awarded. Instead, the inning continued. Gregory stepped up from the right side and hit a weak pop to the left side in the air. The ball had a ton of back spin on it and died near the 40 foot line. Dias must have gotten frozen by the call as he was a little late to sprint forward but when he heard it land..he crashed forward and dropped to his knees about 15 feet too short and then crawled to the ball and Indy scored again as Dias put his head on the ground knowing what happened. Buhler was next and hit a grounder to the right side past Guy and Luis Rodriguez and scored. Dycus then hit a fly ball up the middle that bounced right to Devenish’s right. Rodriguez hit the ground and could not pick it clean and Dycus scored. Woodard then took the left handed, Kyle Lewis to left field. Cantan moved in the wrong direction off the bat, had to recover, was slow to the ground and the ball was past him. This was 6 runs in after the Lewis thrown bat controversy and the score was 15-12. Jeffares then lofted a fly ball to the right side to Luis Rodriguez. Luis hit the ground too early and it got by him, but Jeffares missed third base and Luis was still crawling after the ball and was not quick enough. Dunleavy then hit a bouncer to the left side. Dias hit the ground but it bounced over his hips. Crook laid out and missed it and Shayne had it lined up but never laid out and it rolled through his legs as he was on all fours as that error would extend the inning. Gregory then hit a ball up the middle on the ground to the left center of the field. Dias slid to his left and Zuccarello moved to his right as they converged on the ball. Normally, Dias comes up with it, but this time, Guy Zuccarello pushed Dias out of the way and took the ball to end the 3rd inning in which the Thunder plated 10 runs. This was just the 9th time ever Boston allowed 10+ runs. The Energy had changed and the Renegades and Thunder were tied at 15.
The game would be delayed to start the fourth to replace a weak first base. Guy would hit a dribbler up the middle where Lewis and Jeffares converged on it and Lewis struggled to get the ball up fast and eventually won the race on a bang-bang play. Thaxton was next and after fouling a bomb into Kevin Milllar territory in left, would hit a high fly to left. It took three hops before Buhler could corral it but Thaxton would beat it out for his sixth run of the contest. Devenish then hit a grounder down the left side that got past all three layers for his 4th run of the game. Chris Kimball would re-enter the game and hit for Luis Rodriguez. Kimball hit the first pitch on the ground to the left side and Kyle Lewis would gobble it up for the 2nd out of the inning. Shayne Cantan would step up against Connolly looking for insurance. He would have an epic at bat. Before the ball could be pitched, it started beeping oddly and would need to be replaced. One of the bases started having issues as well which delayed things even more. Cantan swung and missed on the first two pitches. He hit a foul down the third base line next. A foul tip was then followed by a weak grounder to the left side, foul. Another foul tip back to Weissman and another foul ball that was close and Cantan had to run this one out as he broke the ball on this weak hit. Shayne decided to catch his breath and took the 8th pitch. He then rocked a foul ball down the third base line on the 9th pitch. The 10th pitch was fouled off down the left side. The 11th pitch was hit off the top of the bat with back spin up the center of the field, but it did not have the distance and was foul. He would whiff on the 12th pitch. Shayne’s at bat took close to 8 minutes of game time and the Renegades led by a score of 17-15 heading into the bottom of the 4th.
Chris Kimball stayed in the game and went to first base to start the 4th. Zach Buhler would lead off for the Thunder and hit a fly ball down the right field line where nobody was placed and Buhler had his 4th run. Dycus then lofted a fly ball down the third base line. Dias pursued but gave way to Drew who was playing too deep and did not come up on it. Dycus was too fast and plated his 4th run as well. Kyle Lewis would have a good grip on his bat in this trip and on a full count hit a grounder to Rob Dias. The ball hit Dias in the feet and the ball popped up in the air up towards his head. Dias was able to pick it clean and made a nice stop on a hard grounder. Boston adjusted its defense to protect the line which Jeffares had been peppering, but Woodard took Jeffares up the middle. Shayne was there, but was slow to the ground and the ball was past him. Dunleavy hit a line drive to the first base line. Kimball sprinted toward the line, dove feet first and the ball went under his legs for his 3rd run of the game. Gregory hit a grounder up the middle. Dias dove and missed. Devenish did not get far enough over and it was by him and Shayne could not line it up or get to the ground and Indy had a 20-17 lead with just one out. Boston called a time out for water. Buhler then hit a ball into left center and the Renegades defense could not hear the ball but it had noise in it and the run counted. The ball needed to be replaced again and during that time, Weissman switched Cantan and Devenish on the field as Devenish moved back to Rover and Cantan moved up to Mid Field. Woodard found Cantan with a grounder up the middle of Dycus’ bat. Cantan hit the ground and slid to it, but was too slow and Dycus scored. Kyle Lewis then hit a ball to left field that Devenish could not handle the 8th straight run. Jeffares went back to the right side on the fly. Kimball was there but could not get it in time to beat the speed of Jeffares. Dunleavy was next and hit a fly ball to Kimball and the ball changed pitch off the bat. Kimball was on his feet and it landed near him as he did not back up enough on the play and the ball got past him for another run. Gregory hit a line drive to the left side past a diving Crook and Devenish for his second run of the inning and the 11th run of the inning. Buhler then hit a grounder to the right side. Guy was one step shy on his dive and it was by him. Cantan over ran it, came back and bobbled it as Buhler had his 3rd run of the inning. Another error for Cantan on this play as he was to fast with his hands and booted it away from himself. Another time out by Boston. Dycus then hit a grounder to the left side ticking off Rob Dias’ hands. He slowed it down and Shawn Devenish could not find it in time. Kyle Lewis lofted a bomb to right center where Kimball and Cantan chased but were unable to make the play. Jeffares went back to Kimball on a line drive that rolled a very long way and he had his 6th run of the game and third of the inning. Indy went to the bench to hit for Dunleavy with a rookie, Danial Diaz. He hit a grounder up the middle. Cantan was on his knees again, but this time he made the stop for the second out of the inning. EJ Sellers was then inserted into the game to hit for Gregory. But before he could hit, another issue with the bases delayed the game and kept the Renegade defense baking. Sellers then hit a hard grounder to the left side. Dias slid to is right, dove and made a nice stop to end the inning. The Thunder plated 15 runs, setting the Renegade record for most runs allowed in an inning. 25 runs in two innings was also a record the Renegades would not be proud of. Indy led 30-17 and the game entered the 12 run rule.
Heading to the 5th inning, the Thunder would make a few subs as Ikram replaced Diaz in the lineup and Michael Lewis replaced Kyle Lewis on defense. EJ Sellers stayed in the game. Boston would go to its bench. Elana Regan hit for Drew Crook. She battled, fouling off four pitches but eventually struck out. Ivan Rodriguez would hit for Guy Zuccarello. Peter Connolly would take the mound to face him. On the second pitch, Ivan lost his balance and fell to the ground as laughter ensued. He struck out. This brought Rob Dias in to pinch it for Thaxton as the DF replaced the DH. This would be Rob’s first at bat of the World Series. Dias swung and missed at the first offering from Cochran. Dias then hit a hard grounder down the left side past Ikram and to Buhler who could not get it in time to stop Dias. Luis Rodriguez pinch hit for Devenish and with three strikes hit a fly ball into left field. Adam Rodenbeck worked his way to the ball as Luis Rodriguez missed first base. That was enough time to give Rodenbeck the out. Indy led 30-18
Heading into the 6th inning of this 12 run rule. Chris Kimball led off and hit a hard ball to the right side past all three layers of the defense for a run. David Sanchez re-entered the game and hit for Cantan. He hit the first pitch into the third layer of the defense and Zach Buhler made the play look easy. Elana Regan was next and hit a grounder to the left side which Ikram came in on but the ball rolled past him. He was able to recover in time for the out. Ivan Rodriguez was next, hoping for his first career run. He hit a nice grounder down the left side that got past Ikram and Buhler came in on it and made the play. The problem was Ivan did not hear his coaches when Indy started to celebrate the win and he did not slow down quick enough and would eventually slowly walk into a wall. He would be ok without injury and would kick it in frustration. That about summed up the end of this game.
The Thunder would advance to the next round to play the Philly Fire (they would eventually beat them and take third place). The players of this game for the Thunder were Zach Buhler who went 6-7 with 4 stops in the third layer of the defense. Cody Jeffares was also 6-7 with 1 stop. For Boston the players of the game would be Christian Thaxton with his home run and 6-5 performance (not a typo as a home run is worth two runs). Shawn Devenish was 4-5 with 1 stop on defense and Rob Dias had 5 stops on defense for Boston. the Renegades would change fields and prepare to play the Bayou city Heat for 5th place The Indy Thunder have now beaten Boston more than any other team in our history with 14 wins in 19 games.
Boston and Bayou City battle for nearly 4 hours
The Bayou City Heat battled all week long. They were seeded 6th to start the week but beat the Gateway Archers in a 4 inning 12 run rule 23-12 to grab the 5 seed into double elimination. However, they were upset by the Houston Hurricanes in the first round by a score of 20-16 sending them to the losers bracket. They then beat Cleveland 20-5 in a 2 inning 12 run game, Gateway 23-20 (in a 4 inning 12 run game, New Jersey 23-12 (in a 4 inning 12 run game) and were coming off an elimination game at the hands of the Philly Fire which they lost 42-34 in which Philly 12 runned them. They had to be exhausted.
Boston tweaked the lineup a bit as Thaxton would start the game on the bench and Devenish would bump up to the leadoff spot. Chris Kimball also started this game and Rob Dias would get his first start of the week in the batting order. The winner of this game would take 5th place and both teams were fighting for this spot. This did not have a consolation game feel to it at all.
Devenish got things started with a second pitch grounder down the third base line. Mike Coughlin dove and fell a few feet short as Devenish scored running to third. Connolly came into the game for the 2nd and 3rd hitters, David Sanchez and Shayne Cantan. Sanchez hit a grounder up the middle that was stopped in left center by Brandon Chesser. Cantan hit a line drive into left field and scored the second run of the game. This brought Chris Kimble up and Ron Cochran back to the mound. He hit a line drive up the middle and slid into third base for a run. Crook then lined a ball into left field. The designated fielder, Dennis Lynch made a nice play to stop the missile and that had to have left a mark. Rob Dias then stepped into the box, a foreign place for him this week, and he hit the first pitch bouncing to the right side where Richie Flores made the stop. Boston led 3-0 after the first half of the first inning.
Tanner Gers would lead off for the Heat. One of the best hitters in the league’s history. Gers swings like he is using a golf club with the goal to hit the ball high in the air and use his elite speed to crush opponents hopes. He would not golf this at bat and instead hit a hard grounder down the third base line. Crook was slow to get to the line and the Heat were on the board. Mike Coughlin who has grown up with beep ball and played for years with Philly was now a Heat. The Renegades knew him well but that did not matter as he hit a seeing eye grounder to the right side thru Zuccarello, Devenish and Kimball was caught on his knees unsure which way to lay out and the Heat were up 2-0. Brandon Chesser (formerly of the Austin Blackhawks) was next, looking oddly different in his orange uniform, would ground a ball up the middle. Devenish hit the ground, moved to line it up and made the play for the first out of the inning. Speaking of Orange uniforms, the next hitter, Alex Gonzales was wearing white, looking like a libero on a volleyball team wearing a different color than his whole team. This was his very first at bat in his career vs Boston. He launched a line drive into left field. Kimball struggled to find it and Boston called dead ball. After a long walk past the 170 line, the ball was still beeping and the run counted as the ball was broken and exchanged. That took 2 minutes and 36 seconds to complete and this would become a theme of this game. Richie Flores was next. He has worn more team jerseys than we can keep track of but he cut his teeth winning titles with the Austin Blackhawks and had also played with Atlanta and the San Antonio Jets. He hit a line drive to the left side. Drew laid out but came up short and Kimball struggled to find it for another Heat run. Chad Sumner had been in the league for years. He started against Boston playing for the Kansas All-stars and the Colorado Storm. He has played with the Heat for a few years as well. He hit a high fly ball to the right side, right to Guy Zuccarello. The ball hit the ground in front of him and as it bounced, Guy dropped to his knees to attempt to block it and it bounced well over his head. Guy could not chase backwards in time to make the stop. Gers came back to the plate and hit a fly ball to right center. Shayne ranged to his right, laid out well and made the stop for one of his best stops of the week and the second out of the inning. Coughlin then launched a fly ball down the right field line. Cantan was there, but laid out and missed it, got back to his feet to chase it but Coughlin scored for the second time in the inning. Brandon Chesser then hit another shot at Cantan who dove on his stomach and missed it as the Heat had seven runs in. Bryan Grillo called a time out to regroup and hydrate. Alex Gonzales then struck out to end the inning. After one full inning, the Heat led 7-3.
Shawn Devenish started off the second inning, hitting the first pitch on the ground to the left side. Coughlin stopped him with ease diving to his right. Sanchez then hit a grounder to the left side and Coughlin made the play on a bang-bang play. Weissman contested the call but lost the challenge and the out was recorded. Shayne Cantan was next and would be retired on strikes as the Renegades put up a big bagel in the second. The Heat maintained their 7-3 lead.
Richie Flores would lead off the second and hit a ball into the defense that was dead. a One minute and 47 second delay to check the ball and it was confirmed as dead. Flores would eventually strike out. Chad Sumner would follow suit with a strike out of his own. Tanner Gers would then hit a no-doubter bomb into deep left field for a run he could have walked to the base on. Mike Coughlin would end the inning on a grounder that Shawn Devenish gobbled up. The Heat led 8-3 after two innings.
Chris Kimball led off with a line drive up the middle and score hitting third base. However, he slid late again and jammed his finger into the ground. A trip to see Dr. Mike started before he got back to the bench. Drew Crook would strike out after hitting Ron in the glutes with a weak bouncer and fouling two balls down the third base line. Rob Dias then hit a 41 foot grounder up the middle and beat it out running toward first base. Devenish was next and swung and missed three times and on his 7th pitch hit a line drive into left field for a run. David Sanchez was next with Connolly coming to the mound. He hit the second pitch weakly up the middle. Coughlin came in and was slow to the ground as it rolled under him and Sanchez ran hard to third for the run. Shayne Cantan was next and struck out on 5 pitches. This brought up Luis Rodriguez, hitting for the injured, Chris Kimball. His swing was inconsistent and he struck out on five pitches as well. Boston crawled back into the game and after two and a half the Heat led 8-7.
For Boston, Elana Regan replaced Luis Rodriguez and went to right shorty. Weissman also made a decision to move Rob Dias back to the rover position for his first ever playing time in that slot which also slid Guy Zuccarello over to the left shorty position. Additionally, Bryan Grillo came out of the game with Peter Connolly going into call the right side with Jason Lenicheck moving to the left side to call there. Brandon Chesser tested the left side right away, hitting a grounder which Zuccarello dove and missed. Drew slid to his left but dove and fell short of the ball but Rob Dias slid to his right feet first and made the stop on the first ever chance he had playing rover. Alex Gonzalez was next in his white shirt and he hit a fly ball to the left side. Zuccarello was there but it bounced over him and he could not pick it in time. Flores then hit a fly ball to left field. Dias was there waiting for it. He was on the ground, moving for it but it spun just a little bit when it hit the ground and went off Rob’s hands and Flores was safe. Sumner and Gers would strike out to end the 3rd inning. The Heat led 10-7 after three frames.
Drew Crook led off the fourth with four swings and misses as both teams were exhausted and it showed in the combined ten whiffs at this point in the game. Rob Dias, playing both ways for the first time in the week would foul two balls off and on the fourth pitch tag a laser into left field for a run. Devenish then hit the first pitch to the left side and scored. Sanchez then went to the 4th pitch and hit a hard grounder to the right side and scored the tying run. Shayne Cantan would also go deep into the count fouling off three pitches before hitting a ball to the right side and scoring the go ahead run. the energy was building on the Renegade bench. Weissman felt it was Elana’s time and if she could score, the energy level would help the Gades and crush the Heat. She was a little amped up and as the at bat went on, she calmed down, ultimately taking the 4th pitch. On the 5th pitch she hit a weak line drive to the right side that got past Flores and Regan had a huge run for the Renegades. Drew Crook then did something he has never done, he hit a first pitch fly ball to the 40 foot arc and actually beat it out as Coughlin got frozen on the call and was slow to get it as Drew followed Lanie with another big moment. Rob Dias then hit a hard grounder on the first pitch and Coughlin made a nice play for the second out of the inning. Boston was up 13-10 with Shawn Devenish hitting the first pitch up the middle which Coughlin had trouble tracking and Shawn had his second run of the inning. Sanchez then hit the first delivery off Connolly in the air to the right side and scored running to third for his second run of the inning. Cantan would start of his at bat with a grounder but the base did not go off and he had a second life. He made the best of it and after a take, launched a line drive into left field. Bayou City called for a dead ball but it still had a tick in it and the run counted after a two minute delay to check that ball. Could Elana Regan do it again? Her confidence was higher this time for sure. She hit a grounder up the middle between Coughlin and Flores. The call on the field was an out. Bryan Grillo asked to challenge it. The call was over turned and Grillo jumped with excitement (not injuring his calf as he did in 2022). Regan had two runs in the inning. Crook then had an epic at bat. He launched a bomb into left field, took two steps to the wrong base and then trotted to first easily. The ball was clearly 200+ feet away and the defense said it was dead. This took a long time for the umpire Kevin Miller to get to and after close to a 4 minute delay, Crook was ready to go for the second pitch. He launched another bomb down the third base line and Bayou City called dead ball for the second time in two pitches. They were right again. Another four minute delay and we were back in action. Crook then swung and missed three times, foul tipped a pitch and hit a weak grounder up the middle. Bayou City’s left short man, Coughlin got fooled again as Drew’s contact must have changed the pitch on the ball. Crook was safe and the ball was replaced before Dias stepped into the box. Drew’s at bat took nearly 12 minutes of time as the Heat were baking in the Oklahoma sun, mostly due to the balls not holding up in this game as crook went through three balls in his at bat. Rob Dias then hit a laser into left for his second run of the inning. Devenish would come back for the third time in the inning and hit a hard grounder into left field. Brandon Chesser made a nice play to stop the bleeding. Boston plated twelve runs in the fourth to take a 19-10 lead. This would go down as the second largest output in an inning by the Renegades in team history, surpassing the 11 runs they scored on day one against the Sirens and falling four runs short of the game against Tyler in 2015 when they plated 15 runs in the 1st inning of that game.
Mike Coughlin would lead off for the Heat and hit a hard grounder to the right side. Elana dove but came up short, Shayne Cantan was there but never lined it up and did not get to the ground and the ball was by him. Rob Dias got into the area but did not have good spacing with Shayne and it was by him as well before Dias could blink. Chesser then hit a grounder up the middle. Devenish slid to his right, dove but came up a few feet short, but Dias was there and lined it up making his second out of the game in left field. Gonzalez then hit a grounder down the third base line. Crook missed it but Rob Dias was there again for the second out of the inning and his third of the game in left field! Richie Flores then went back at Crook. Crook missed it and Rob Dias could not get it as the Heat struck again. Chad Sumner then hit a grounder to the left side. Zuccarello slid and the ball kicked off his hands. Guy had to get up and run it down and that is what he did to beat Sumner to the base. Boston led 19-12 after four innings. Elana Regan’s bat and Rob Dias going to rover gave life to this team!
Boston needed to keep the pressure on as the Heat are known for their offense. A mandatory five minute break would ensue as both teams tried to get their much needed rest. That five minute break turned into a 25 minute break. David Sanchez would strike out to lead off the 5th. Cantan then swing and missed three times and hit a bouncer to the left side, scoring his 4th run of the game. Elana Regan was next and would have another long at bat. She saw 7 pitches and fouled off five of them but would go down on strikes for the second out of the inning. The Renegades would go to the bench, looking to keep the inning alive and off popped Christian Thaxton. Thaxton would smack the third pitch of the at bat into left field for the second run of the inning and keep it alive as Rob Dias came to the plate, worked the count and hit a line drive into right field for his 4th run of the game. Devenish would keep things going with a pop fly up the middle near the 40 foot arc on the third pitch of the at bat. Devenish had more in the tank than either Coughlin or Flores and would score his 5th run of the game. Sanchez would get another chance in this inning and make the best of it with a laser into left field for one of his best hits of the week. Cantan would be retired to end the fifth, but the Renegades answered with five runs and led 24-12 after four and a half. It was notable that in this at bat, the league ran out of “Denver balls” and put Fonzie balls into play.
Before the game had started, the league asked the Renegades if they would be ok using Fonzie balls in this game. Boston’s response was that they loved the Fonzie ball but they were playing Fonzie and it would be a competitive advantage for them and that would not be fair. The League agreed but had limited balls they would give in this game. Joe McCormick would enter the game for Thaxton and play defense at third base. Tanner Gers lofted a fly ball into left field to kick off the 5th and would score to make sure this game did not go into the 12-run rule. Coughlin would hit a weak grounder to the right side. Elana Regan missed it and the second layer of the defense did not pursue it with enough speed and the run scored. Brandon Chesser was next and hit a slow grounder to the left side. Zuccarello hit the deck but it went by his feet and slowly rolled past him. McCormick was backing him up and was there but was not low enough and by the time he got to the ground, the ball was past him. Chesser scored. The Heat pinch hit Joe Fleeks for Gonzalez (who was 2-4). Fleeks hit a line drive down the third base line. McCormick was a little late and dove and missed it and it was gone for the 4th straight run. Richie Flores was next and hit a line drive up the gut. Devenish dove to his left and missed and Dias was there for the stop. The Heat pinch hit Jacory Wiley for Chad Sumner (who was 1-4 in this game). Wiley whiffed for the second out. Tanner Gers was next and hit a high fly ball to the right side. Cantan hit the ground a little too early and it spun away from him for a run. Coughlin then hit a fly ball down the right side. Cantan was there and missed it and Rob Dias came a very long way but picked it a split second after Coughlin hit first base. Brandon Chesser was next and struck out but on the last swing would come up lame and in pain. After five innings, the Heat climbed back into it and the score was Boston 24 and the Heat 18.
Drew Crook would re-enter the game for Boston just sitting out the minimum of six outs. Crook would go down on strikes. Luis Rodriguez then re-entered the game to hit for McCormick. He would hit the first pitch weakly to the left side and Coughlin would get him on a close play. Rob Dias stayed hot and hit the first pitch weakly to the left side and beat the defense with an insurance run as he tagged third base with the 25th Renegade run. Devenish would be stopped on a bouncing grounder to the right side by Jacory Wiley. Boston led 25-18 heading into the last of the 6th.
For the 6th, Boston had to make some defensive changes. Shayne Cantan entered into the right shorty spot as Drew Crook went back to third base. Joe Fleeks would lead off in the 6th and hit a fly ball to Dias. Rob had one chance at it but tried to play the bounce on his knees and it went past him. Richie Flores would strike out for the second time in this game. Jacory Wiley was next and hit a slow grounder to the left side. Guy slid to his right and dove coming up short. Drew also dove and came up short as the Heat scored their second run of the inning with the Fonzie balls. Tanner Gers kept the pain train alive scoring his 5th run of the game on a blast into deep left field. Mike Coughlin kept things going with a fly ball to the right side. This should have been Luis Rodriguez’s ball but Rob Dias beat him to the spot and the ball rolled under his legs before he could get it up and the run was safe. The score was 25-22 and the Heat had Darryl Minor in the game (he replaced the injured Chesser). Minor hit a ball in the air up the middle of the field as Guy moved to his left and Guy caught it…on the 2nd hop. If he had caught it on the first hop, the game would have been over. Two down and Fleeks was next. Fleeks swung at the first pitch and lost his bat toward the Bayou City bench. The second time this week a Renegade opponent had thrown a bat. If this was 2024, he would be out as a new rule was passed that makes this play an automatic out for safety. Fleeks was shaken on the play and thought the issue was his batting gloves as he looked to calm down and fix his grip. He then lofted the next ball to the left side and controversy would begin. Guy made the play on his knees but the umpires felt Fleeks missed the base. The call was contested but the call stood and the game was over.
For the Renegades, the players of this game would be Rob Dias with five runs and 4 stops on defense – all in the 3rd layer of the defense where he had never played before. Shawn Devenish also checked in with 5 runs and 2 stops on defense. This would be just Rob’s 2nd career five run game and this would be Shawn’s 6th career five run game. Elana Regan was also huge in this game with two energy lifting runs. For the Heat, Mike Coughlin would be the MVP with a 6-7 offensive performance and 4 stops on defense. Tanner Gers also pitched in with a 5-7 performance out of the DH slot. This was just the second time in team history the Renegades had beaten the Heat. The 25 runs scored tied a team record with the 2022 performance against the Gateway Archers. This was also just the 14th time in team history, the Renegades had allowed 20+ runs (and the third time this week).
The Renegades would take 5th place with this win, marking the 7th straight time they had been a top 5 team since 2015. They took 5th in 2015, 2nd in 2016, 5th in 2017, 5th in 2018, 3rd in 2019 missed 2020 and 2021 for COVID and took 5th in 2022 and 2023. Few teams have had this longevity during this stretch. It was a total team effort this week as eight Renegade hitters had 19+ at bats during the week and every player made at least one contribution in each game during the week with 12 players scoring at least one run and 12 players making at least one stop on defense.