Renegades Put out the Fire in Extra innings 17-15
The Beast of the East is supposed to be a local tournament designed to grow programs on the East coast. Somehow this message got lost this year as the Philly Fire paid to fly in Johnny Walker from Colorado. Walker is one of the best ambassadors of the game and a top-flight pitcher. He was flown in to coach the team and to pitch. The Renegades would throw Jamie Dickerson in this tournament. This would be Jamie’s 2nd year pitching but his first tournament he had ever been the sole pitcher. Boston would get off to a slow start as the top three Renegade hitters would flail and miss on 16 straight pitches. Walker would have similar results until Scott Hogwood would ground out to Justen Proctor. Boston would roll out for the first time a 4-headed monster in the line up. Four players would hold a rotation for a spot in the line up. Since three of these players are recovering from injuries, this allowed proper rest while contributing. To lead off the 2nd, the third head of that monster was Tim Syphers who would pop a fly ball to the right side to change the mojo for the Renegades. Larry Haile would then lace a shot down the first base line and help turn the lineup over. This time, Christian Thaxton would go opposite field after making an adjustment to his timing and the Renegades would take a 3-0 lead. In the top of the second, Philly also found their groove. Cody Hogwood (Teenage daughter of Scott) would hit a ball down the first Base line that eluded Joe McCormick and Thaxton. That run fired up the Fire and when the top of the lineup came up, John Margist and Mike Coughlin hit bombs to tie the game. With two out, Scott Hogwood laced a bomb into left field which would surely have given them a run and the lead but Joe McCormick was in a special shift we called the Hogwood shift and made the out as he was fired up about our saber metrics. In the third, Joe Quintanilla would score with two outs and get back to Thaxton who would lined a shot into right field to pull ahead 5-3. This time the bottom half of the Philly line up would come up empty and go down 1-2-3. For both teams the strikeouts would start to build. Rob Dias plated the only run as Boston had 6 runs and 7 strikeouts through 4. Philly would tie again in the fourth as Margist, Coughlin and Cody scored again (we were wondering if she was giving her dad a hard time that she was 2-3 while her dad was 0-3). Thaxton would lead off the 5th with his third run of the game but Dickerson and Weissman were now puzzled by the number two hitter, Joe McCormick who had 4 strikeouts and only had two foul balls in 16 pitches. Due to his veteran presence and stellar defense we kept with him hoping it would pay off. The four headed monster would strike again in the 5th as rookie, Shawn Devenish would rip a grounder down the first base line and Larry Haile would score on a grounder up the middle to make it 9-6. In the bottom of the frame, Boston got a huge shot in the arm when Christian Thaxton laid out to stop a hard hit ball off the bat of leadoff hitter, John Margist. With one out, Coughlin would score and Scott Hogwood would also get on the board to make it 9-8. Randy George would come to the plate and be called out on a bang-bang play that would have tied the game at 9 as Rob Dias charged a ball to put him out. In the top of the 6th, Tim Syphers would pinch hit for Joe Quintanilla and loft a fly ball into the middle of the field that landed on Randy George’s shoe tops. George scrambled to make the put out. Thaxton would plate his fourth run of the game on a shot up the middle. As the Coaches agonized about what to do with McCormick, he struck out for the 5th time in the game. Mac would go back to the bench and be heard yelling into a bag so people watching would not hear his frustrations at what had happened to him on offense. Rob Dias would then be put out on a ball that hugged the third base line all the way into the waiting hands of Mike Coughlin. Up came Shawn Devenish. On the second pitch he hit a frozen rope right up the middle that came 2 inches from hitting his pitcher, Dickerson in the face. Larry Haile then scored on a gift down the third base line that Coughlin could not real in. Boston was up by four. Weissman was feeling confident because Philly had not been able to score four in an inning all day and they were leading off with the six hitter, Gina Natoli. She would ground out to Joe McCormick. The Philly team would catch fire as Margist would score on a weak pop up that Joe Mac and Justen Proctor had a miscommunication on. Coughlin and Scott Hogwood would plate runs. Weissman would call time out and explain to the team that the bottom of the line up was less threatening and not hitting as well and to relax and make a play. Randy George then hit a grounder down the third baseline which Thanh Huynh could not find and Philly tied the game at 12. In the 7th, Thaxton and Dias would plate runs but Dickerson would strike out three hitters. Philly would have the top of their order up. They were responsible for 9 of their 12 runs. Margist would lead off by hitting a ball to the first base side but was stopped by Christian Thaxton for a huge out that would save the game because the next two hitters, Coughlin and Hogwood would tie it up. Randy George had a chance to be the hero again but this time Justen Proctor stopped him. The score was 14-14. In the 8th, Joe Quintanilla would strike out to lead off the inning but Thaxton would pick him up scoring his 6th run of the game. Joe McCormick would then finally make contact and break his string of six strikeouts but would be stopped by Randy George. Rob Dias would then come up and launch a bomb into left field but for the first time all day (and only time) the bases would not go off. This sure run was taken away. Instead of getting upset, Rob launched the next pitch into left again showing his mental toughness. Looking for one more run, Devenish came to the plate and scored on a grounder through Mike Coughlin to give Boston a three run lead. Devenish had his first three run game of his career in a big moment. In the Bottom of the Eight their 6 hitter, Gina Natoli struck out and john Margist would score to make it 17-15. Justen Proctor stopped Mike Coughlin who had been tearing the cover off the ball. Scott Hogwood would whiff to end the game. In the second longest game Boston had ever played it had defeated Philly and was the number one seed in the Beast of the East. Two milestones happened in this game. Boston struck out 17 times, which was the most they have ever struck out in a game breaking their 2005 high of 15. Also, Christian Thaxton became the first Renegade player to score 6 runs in a game. Keep In mind both of these happened in an 8-inning game.
Battle of Friends on the mound results in Boston 9-3 victory
In all the years we have faced the Long Island Bombers they have had only two pitchers face us. Over the past few years, The Renegades have been using batting cages in Woburn donated to them by The Mazza family. The Mazza’s are friends with Joe McCormick. Dave Mazza attended Harvard University and has known many of the Renegade coaches over the past years including an old friend of his, Jamie Dickerson. On this day, the two would be the starting pitchers for the Renegades and Bombers. Jamie in his second season, Dave in his second month. Joe McCormick was lost at the plate, but he would play and start as a designated fielder for the first time in his career. To start the game, Weissman took the coin toss and actually won after the team had lost 5 tosses in a row over the past two seasons (and just the 6th time in the past 20 games). The Boston bats were connecting in this match but the Long Island defense was making more stops around the field. Rob Dias got the Renegades on the board in the first. Justen Proctor scored his first run of the day in the 2nd. Heading into the third, Mazza and The New York bats were struggling as they had 6 strikeouts in 7 at bats. Nick Esposito would beat out a short hit that Justen Proctor could not corral and heading into the bottom of the third it was 2-1 Boston. In the third, Boston would bust out for its biggest inning of the day scoring 5 times as Shawn Devenish, Larry Haile, Justen Proctor, Christian Thaxton and Rob Dias plated runs to push the score to 7-1. In the 5th inning and an 8-3 lead, Rob Thayer would come off the bench and hit a ball up the middle of the field that died between three fielders. As he chugged down the third baseline, the team held its breathe and erupted in the loudest cheer of the day when he scored his first run of the season. Then with two outs Thanh Huynh came to the plate for the first time of the day and hit a hard grounder down the first baseline that Braulio Thorne stopped. It was the closest Thanh had ever come to scoring in a game. Boston would win 9-3. Dickerson’s final line was 9 runs in 24 at bats with 7 strike outs. His Harvard classmate, 3-21 with 14 strikeouts. This year the advantage went to Boston…but keep in mind Mazza had only been pitching for less than 2 months. We hope this becomes a future rivalry.
First Ever 7:00 start and the Renegades win in less than 2 hours 9-4
After waiting nearly 4 hours to play and being told we would not be able to play the game, we found a way. Two of our coaches were pulled into duty to help umpire the game and some of the Philly Fire were also called into duty to help. We decided to play the game without any speed up rules. Philly had just won their last game 11-10 as they came from behind to beat Long Island while the renegades were on a bye. Due to the time, Johnny Walker would be unavailable to pitch and Dom Natoli would pitch the whole game. Again, it would be a battle of two new pitchers in Natoli and Dickerson. Natoli would start hot as John Margist and Randy George would evade the Boston defense and take their first lead of the day 2-0. That would not last as Boston would plate three in the bottom of the frame With Rob Dias, Tim Syphers and Joe McCormick plating runs. Thanh Hunyh came up and hit a line drive to the right side and on a bang bang play where Boston prematurely celebrated, he was called out to end the inning. The Renegades thought he had his first ever career run. For Boston, McCormick was a big part of the story in this game. After his rough start, he worked with Jamie and Rob Weissman during the break to get his timing down. That lesson paid off immediately. Joe McCormick would plate 4 runs and in his last at bat of the day and as he raced back to the bench he could be heard saying “mac is back…mac is back”. McCormick would pace the offense with 4 runs and the defense with 3 stops as Boston would finish this game in less than 2 hours winning 9-4 and becoming the Beast of the East for the 6th year in a row.