Game #1 Comets B. The B stands for Blanking Boston (8-0)
Boston strutted into Chicago for their 4th consecutive Bolingbrook tournament. Excited from its 4th place finish in 2005 and its high hopes for 2006, Boston was most looking forward to a rematch against the Comet B team. In 2005, the two teams faced off in a duel that Boston won in extra innings. This excitement would soon turn into a nightmare. After a three hour rain delay on a day when it did not look like any baseball would be played Boston took the field in anticipation of its best season ever. Boston thought it got out of the first inning with a 1-2-3 inning but the third out was over turned by the umpire, Boston was sent back on to the field and before they knew what hit them the score was 2-0. The Boston Bats could not break the Comet defense. Chicago found a hole and exposed it in the 5thinning as they plated five runs with 2 outs. Chicago would get sweet revenge for their 2005 loss. Boston’s only good news was it recorded 14 put-outs. This was the most put-outs it had ever recorded as a team. Darren Black led the way with 9 put outs of his own.
Game #2 Kansas Kills Boston for 6th Straight Time 13-1
Playing the best team in the United States is never easy. Boston was unlucky enough to draw Kansas for the 5th consecutive year. There is only one team in the entire NBBA it has faced every year,Kansas. In that time, Kansas has been one of the best team’s in the league. In the past two seasons they have lost in the finals to Taiwan. The Kansas defense was stingy as 4 different players had multiple put-outs for Kansas, despite Boston’s lowest Strike-out percentage ever against this club (37%). Joey Buizon scored the first Renegade run of 2006 in the first inning to give Boston a very short lived lead. Luis Marquez recorded 3 put-outs for Boston to break a 16 game streak where Darren Black either led the team or shared the team high for put-outs in a game. Kansas stayed far away from the Boston Garbage man.
Game #3 Boston Shows Spunk In Loss to Comet A 12-6
Boston was given a lecture about playing tight after it only managed to put up 1 run in 2 previous games. To loosen things up Coach Weissman decided to light a fire under the veteran squad by starting first year Rookie Tom Walsh as a Designated Hitter. Down 2-0, Walsh stepped up in the 2nd inning and scored the first run of his career to loosen things up on the Boston side of the field. Chicago hit the ball hard and often as they put 89% of their balls into play led by Warren Richardson who was 4 for 5 out of the lead off spot. Boston was forced to play defense and their 12 team put-outs was one of the best marks in their history. Darren Black led the way with 7 put-outs as Luis Marquez pitched in another three on his own. Offensively for Boston the story was the rookie, Tom Walsh. Walsh became the first rookie to score two runs in his first start. JJ Ward and Luis Marquez also pitched in a pair each to account for the Boston Offense. The other highlite for Boston was the pitching of Ron Cochran and Steve Kasha. Splitting duty in this game they helped Boston put 67% of their balls into play, which was the fourth best effort in Renegade history.
Game #4 Indy Thunder Put the Boom on Boston 13-4
Right out of the gate Indianapolis was hitting bombs all over the field. Everything was hit high and hard by the Thunder as they built up a big lead on Boston and then emptied their entire bench on the home town team. The emptying of the Indy bench would be the only thing keeping Boston from being 12 run ruled. The Boston offense put many balls into play as 68.2% of their hits were put into play behind the arms of Ron Cochran (78%) and Steve Kasha (61%). The unfortunate thing was many of them were trash hits eaten up by Clint Woodard and Dave Benney. Tom Walsh scored his third run of his career to lead the Boston Offense on the weekend with a .429 batting average putting all of his 7 at-bats into play. Darren Black was named to the all defensive team for the tournament with his 20 put-outs on the weekend. Boston limped out of Chicago with an 0-4 record and a last place finish out of 6 teams, its worst finish since 2003.
Game #5 Boston Gets Revenge on Comet B 6-4
After getting shut out by the Comets in Chicago just two weeks earlier, Boston was primed and ready for some revenge. The lesson was learned that they would need to play tight defense and put the ball in play while playing loose. Boston accomplished all three things. Boston set a team record as it recorded 15 put-outs as the Comet B team only struck out three times in 22 at-bats. Darren Black paved the way with 8 put-outs on his own. Luis Marquez had 3, Guy Zuccarello had 2 and Evan Silver came up with two huge stops in the 6th inning to preserve the win. On the offensive side of the game, Boston welcomed back Dino Vasile off the Disabled list. His hard work in batting practice placed him right into the starting line-up and he produced as he became just the 5th player in team history to score three runs in a game. Marquez, JJ Ward and Evan Silver also pitched in runs. This game was their second best pitching performances in Renegade history as they put 17 of their 24 at-bats into play. Ron Cochran led the way as the batters he faced put 10 of 12 into play. This mix of offense and defense combined with bringing a full roster to Hofstra kept the team loose and clinched their first win of the 2006 season
Game #6 Long Island Continues The Curse 5-4
The press swarmed around the two teams as Long Island continued to talk trash about the curse. Both teams came into this game with a win. Both teams came into the game with key pieces of their team missing or hurt. Both teams came hungry. Boston started the game off on the wrong foot as Vasile and Ward whiffed to end the top of the inning and Long Island’s Steve Guerra and Jim Hughes staked out a 2-0 lead. In typical rivalry fashion, Boston fought back to take a 4-3 lead after three and a half innings. Braulio Thorne hit a weak grounder up the first base side to tie the game before both teams ran for cover and torrential rains and lightening hit the area after four frames. When the showers stopped, Long Island’s Nick Esposito beat out a hit to right field to give Long Island the deciding run. Boston’s offense was sparked by the hitting of Guy Zuccarello who scored twice (Vasile and Marquez plated the other runs). Defensively, Boston was lead by Darren Black who made 5 put-outs and Luis Marquez who had two highlight reel stops in the 4th inning. The story of this game was the pitching of James Sciortino who came out to pitch a gutsy game for the Bombers while planning on having surgery in a few days to remove a tumor. Despite the intense rivalry, Boston tips its hat to James and wishes him a fast and full recovery.
Game #7 Renegades Tame the Wolfpack 3-0 Before Rain Halts the Game
Rain was the theme of the day. The teams had faced countless rain delays and lightening delays but managed to play their first two games in between showers. Unfortunately, this seemed to take a toll on both of these squads as both teams looked tired. Boston did hit the ball early in this match but the newcomers to the NBBA, the Pennsylvania WolfPack showed why goal ball will help their defense as they made some tremendous stops. Ron Cochran got a lift in the 4th inning as he and Joe Quintanilla broke a scoreless game with a smash to left field. Boston would plate two more runs by JJ Ward and Luis Marquez. All of these hits were smashed by the Wolfpack defense and went untouched allowing Boston to easily score. Defensively, Darren Black had 5 of the teams 6 put-outs in what was a very difficult field to play because of torrential rains. The game was called after 4 innings. This was the first shut-out of a team since Boston beat Florida 11-0 in 2003. This win gave Boston its second win of the tournament placing them second of the four teams durinbg the weekend. Long Island would finish 3-0, Boston 2-1, Chicago 1-2 and Pennsylvania 0-3. Darren Black would finish with 18 put-outs on the tournament earning him the Defensive MVP of the weekend.
Game #8 Boston Almost Pulls Off The Biggest Upset of the World Series falling 17-16
|#8 Bayou City||3||2||3||0||4||5||17||10||11|
Bayou City came into this game thinking it was going to walk over the Renegade team after they blew them out 17-5 in 2004. Bayou City is known as an offensive power house as they love to play on fast fields and are led by one of the best pitchers in the history of the game, Fonzie Medrano. Boston proved to the league it had arrived. Boston scored in every inning of play and stayed within a few runs of the Heat the entire game. The story of this game came in the 6th inning as Boston found itself down 12-7. JJ Ward and Tom Walsh started the inning by scoring off Steve Kasha and the flood gates opened up. Before the inning was over, Boston sent 12 men to the plate off Kasha and Ron Cochran. Tom Walsh, Joe Quintanilla and Guy Zuccarello each scored twice in the inning while Luis Marquez, Dino Vasile and Ward each had a run. Boston scored 9 runs in the 6th inning. Prior to this, they had not scored more than 6 runs in an entire game during the 2006 season.
The Heat seemed to be cooling off and all Boston needed to do was get three outs. Bayou City’s Lee Rodriguez led off the bottom of the inning with a dribbler up the middle which Boston could not find. Four batters later, Bayou City came from 4 runs down to win by a run without Boston recording a single out. The Heat were led by all-Offensive team member John Keabadeaux who led all scorers with 5 runs in his 6 at-bats. For Boston, Guy Zuccarello became just the third player in team history to score 4 runs in a game. Marquez & Vasile scored three a piece. Quintanilla and Walsh each had a pair and Ward and Joey Buizon contributed one a piece. Defensively for Boston, Evan Silver led the way with 2 put-outs. Darren Black, Dino Vasile and Rookie, Larry Haile each had one stop. This put-out was the first of Larry Haile’s budding career. This game would set a few Renegade team records. Its 16 runs and .471 batting average would be the best ever efforts by the team (later broken in the Columbusgame). Its 20.6% strike-out percentage stands as its best effort ever to date as Ron Cochran put 21 of his 26 batters into play and Kasha contributed 6 of 8 for the batters he faced. Unfortunately forBoston, its defensive performance ranked as its 5th worst as it only stopped 22.7% of the balls put into play by the Heat
Game #9 West Coast Dawgs Take a Bite Out of Boston & 12 Runs them in 4 innings 22-7
|#4 West Coast||7||4||2||9||x||x||22||5||10|
After watching the end of the gut wrenching game Boston played against Bayou City, The Dawgs knew not to take Boston lightly. Boston would jump out early with runs scored by the first two hitters of the game, Luis Marquez and Joe Quintanilla. This would be as close as they would get all day. The Dawgs jumped all over Boston sending 10 batters to the plate in the first inning. The Top three hitters (Chance Cranford, Mike Finn and Lupe Perez) for the Dawgs were 16 for 18 in their 4 innings of play. Cranford would eventually win the offensive MVP with a perfect six for six against the Renegades. The Dawgs would enforce the 12 run rule after 4 innings of play. This was the most runs Boston had ever let up in a game and tied their game against Taichung County in 2005 for their biggest loss in history (15 runs). Boston would get their offense from Marquez & Quintanilla (2 runs a piece), JJ Ward, Joey Buizon and Evan silver also pitched in a run. Defensively, Darren Black led both teams with 5 put-outs. The Dawgs would eventually take second in the World Series losing only two games to the Champion Taiwan Home Run
Game #10 Cleveland Rocks Boston In 2 Innings of play as they 12 run them 14-4
Boston won the coin toss in this game and chose to take the field first. This would quickly prove to be a bad decision. Cleveland sent 13 hitters to the plate in the first inning and put Boston in a 10 run deficit. Steve Kasha would draw the start for Boston in this game and the bats never got going as they struck out 6 times in their first 9 at-bats with three dribblers to Cleveland’s short fielder, Jeff Dell.Cleveland got their offense from every spot in the order as 4 players scored three runs each (Rob Weigand, Jeff Dell, William Ruiz and Wilbur Turner). Boston finally got on the board as their 11th batter of the game scored a run. In the end, the only bright spot for Boston was the play of Sengil Inkiala who led the team with 2 runs scored. Tom Walsh and Evan Silver pitched in the other two runs forBoston. Darren Black made the only 4 put-outs for Boston tying Jeff Dell for the most in the game. This would be Boston’s worst hitting game of the tournament as they only managed to put 50% of their balls into play
Game #11 Boston Holds Off the Wolfpack 9-5
After their worst Offensive showing of the tournament, Boston came out loud in this game. Their bats were booming off Ron Cochran as Luis Marquez, Joe Quintanilla and Guy Zuccarello started the game off with three consecutive hits. Boston was loud in all facets of the game. They would score 7 runs in the first two frames and their defense stopped five of the first six balls hit at them. Everything was going Boston’s way until they received a warning form the umpire for being too loud. Apparently, teams from the other fields were complaining about the excessive noise from the Boston bench. Once the bench quieted down, the Wolfpack started to make outs against a Boston team that put 70% of their balls into play (fifth best outing ever). Guy Zuccarello and Tom Walsh would give Boston the much needed insurance in the 5th inning to preserve the victory for the Renegades. The story of this game was Boston’s defense. They had their tournament best 14 put-outs which was also their 2ndbest quantity ever in a game. They also stopped 74% of the balls hit at them ranking as their 6th best game in history. Darren Black led the way with 10 stops for Boston as Luis Marquez had two and Joe Quintanilla and Zuccarello each had one.
Game #12 Indy Shows Lightening and Thunder Downing Boston 19-16
The two teams had squared off in June and Indianapolis walked all over the Renegades. This time Boston was ready to show Indy they could play some ball. Boston busted out with three runs in the first (they had only scored four runs in the first match up). The teams went toe to toe smashing the ball. One proof this was a hard hit game was that no player in the short field position had a put-out in the game. Indianapolis found a hole down the third base line and they exposed it to their advantage for seven runs in the first three innings. Boston would make a defensive adjustment moving Darren Black to third base which solidified the hole. The difference in this game was Indy was able to make some huge defensive stops on bombs off of the Boston bats. One example of this was a blast that Joey Buizon hit straight up the middle of the field on a high fly ball at roughly 130 feet deep in the field. Midfielder Ron Brown caught the ball in his hands after it bounced once on the ground. Spectacular plays like this with the thunderous offense brought this game home for Indianapolis. The top three hitters in the Thunder line-up produced 15 of the 19 runs as they were led by Ron Brown’s perfect six for six outing, James Michaels’ five runs and Demielle Wright’s four runs. This would be one of Boston’s best Offensive performances ever as they scored 16 Runs and hit .471 which till this date was tied with their best efforts ever with the Bayou City Heat game the day before. For Boston, Luis Marquez had his second career four run game. Joe Quintanilla, Joey Buizon and Guy Zuccarello each scored three times while Dino Vasile (2) and Tom Walsh (1) also contributed. Ron Cochran was responsible for 15 of the 16 runs Boston scored while Steve Kasha had one run scored in his brief stint on the mound.
Game #13 Boston Out Slugs The Vipers 20-17
In the new World Series format, Boston would now play in the placement bracket with the other teams which had won just one game in the double elimination rounds. Boston’s pitcher, Ron Cochran got the party started by helping his team score nine runs in the first three frames. It looked as if Boston had a chance to 12 run a team for the first time as the Vipers went into the bottom of the third down 9-2. The Vipers bit fast as their bats awoke dropping a six bomb on the Boston defense to pull within one run. The boxing gloves were off and the two teams battled it out for the rest of the way thoughBoston never relinquished the lead. After blowing a four run lead to the Heat two days earlier, Boston knew it would need to get some insurance runs in the sixth inning to help their defense. Cochran connected with the first five batters of the inning to give Boston a six run cushion going into the bottom of the sixth. The lead was big enough to hold and Boston had its second win of the World Series. Boston would set team records for most runs scored in a game (20), best team batting average (.526) and 2nd lowest strike-out percentage in a game (21.1%). Ron Cochran was responsible for 16 of the 20 runs and he put 89% of his batters balls into play. Steve Kasha contributed four runs and had five of his ten batters put balls into play. Dino Vasile and Joey Buizon became the first ever Renegades to score five runs in a game. Luis Marquez (3), Zuccarello (2) and Quintanilla (1) also had runs off of Cochran while Sengil Inkiala scored three times and JJ Ward pushed one across off of Steve Kasha. Defensively for Boston, Luis Marquez led the way with four put-outs. The Vipers were led by Jordy Stringer who recovered after Luis Marquez hit a laser beam off his forehead in the third inning. Stringer stayed in the game and led the Vipers with four runs and three put-outs. The spark in the Vipers bats carried over and eventually help them beat the Long Island Bombers in the next game to finish 11thin the 2006 World Series. As Coach Weissman would soon announce, this would be the first ever World Series that Boston had placed higher than Long Island.
Game #14 Austin Strikes Early and Hold onto lead Clinch 9th Place 17-14
Boston and Austin would face off for the second year in a row. This time they were battling for 9th place in the World Series. Austin came into the game knocking off the Long Island Bombers for the second time of the tournament while Boston had defeated Columbus. Both teams were banged up from playing on these tough fields and for Boston it showed as their bats looked tired in the first two innings. Finding themselves down 9-3 after two frames the bats woke up and they climbed back into the game. As the game progressed, Boston played with more confidence and their defense made four stops in eight plays down the stretch to keep them in the game. The difference in this game was Boston would come up empty in the fifth as their top three hitters Marquez (whiff), Vasile (dribbler up the middle) and Quintanilla (whiff) would come up empty. Austin’s Offense was led by 2006 offensive All-Star Craig Cotton and Hugo Sanchez who scored four runs a piece. Their main reason for winning was the play of Defensive MVP Adam Rodenbeck who made seven defensive stops and scored three runs for the Blackhawks. Boston’s offense was paced by another four run performance by Luis Marquez. Dino Vasile and Joey Buizon scored three times while Sengil Inkiala (2), Joe Quintanilla and Guy Zuccarello each scored one time. Marquez led the way for Boston on defense with four defensive stops. Austin finished as the number nine seed and Boston as number ten in the 2006 World Series.