Game #1 Boston Avenges last years loss to Comets B (11-4)
The start to a much anticipated 2007 season would start with the Chicago Comet B team for the 3rd straight year. These two teams have battled in the past but Boston had come out on top in two out of the three contests. However, the lone Comet B win came in shut-out fashion in 2006 in Bolingbrook. Luis Marquez got things rolling with a run in the first at-bat of the Renegades season but the team would then strike-out 3 times to end the first inning. Boston opened it up wide as they scored 3 runs in the second and 5 runs in the third inning to take a 9-3 lead over the shocked Comet B team. Boston would put the clamps on defensively and not let Chicago back into this game. Luis Marquez led the way offensively for Boston with his 4th ever four run game. Joey Buizon and Darren Black would each score two runs while Dino Vasile, Joe Quintanilla and Guy Zuccarello would each score one run a piece. Offensively, the 11 runs scored was the 4th highest output ever by the Renegades, their 27.6% strike-out percentage ranked 4th all time (at this point). Defensively, Boston stopped 75% of the Comets hits (6th best all-time at this point). Darren Black led the way with six stops but he got help from Luis Marquez and Guy Zuccarello (2 a piece) while Evan silver and Joe Quintanilla pitched in one each. The seven run win marked their second biggest run differential in team history
Game #2 Comet A sticks up for their “little brothers” beating Boston 12-5
There was a lot of Firsts in this game. That is about all you can say for this game from the Boston point of view. One First was the head coach of the Comet team, JT Herzog pitched his very first tournament game to prepare for emergency use in the World Series. Boston hoped this would help them out but JT caught fire with his bats in the second inning as they plated five runs and would never look back. Giovanni Francese (Big G) would lead all scorers with 3 runs scored and Mike Grunze would make six defensive stops against Boston. The firsts for Boston would include the solid bench play. Boston would score four of their five runs from players coming off the bench in this game. Two of those players, Larry Haile and Steve Houston would score their first runs of their careers. This was a big feat considering the Comet A team has one of the best defenses in the game. Darren Black would pace the Boston Defense with four stops while Luis Marquez went 1 for 4 in his bid for the offensive MVP in this game.
Game #3 Boston Takes the Boom out of the Thunder 13-7
Boston had usually played the Indianapolis Thunder tight but had never come out on top in five tries. That streak ended here as Boston dominated this game 13-7. Boston started this game off hot for the first time in the tournament as they sent 6 players to the plate scoring three times. Boston would score at least one run in every inning and built up a 13-4 lead before giving Indy some last minute hope when they scored three of their runs with one out in the 6th inning. Offensively, Boston was paced by an outstanding performance by Luis Marquez who was 4 for 6 with his second 4 run performance in this tournament and his 5th four run game ever. Dino Vasile, Joe Quintanilla, JJ Ward and Darren Black each scored a pair of runs and Evan Silver scored one to round out the offense. Boston’s offense shocked the Thunder. The 13 runs scores was the 4th highest output ever, their .419 team batting average was 6th all-time, their 22.6% strike-out % was 3rd and their 6 run margin of victory was also third best in franchise history. Defensively, Guy Zuccarello led Boston with 4 stops. For Indianapolis, defensive whiz Dave Benny made 8 stops but his teammates could not help him on the deep balls as they only made 3 stops as Boston plated 13 runs. Considering the Thunder placed 6th in the 2006 World Series, this could arguably be considered the first win ever over a mid-major beepball team.
Game #4 Cleveland Shocks Renegades with come from behind victory (13-12)
Two teams heading in opposite directions faced off on Sunday morning. Boston was coming into this game on a high after beating Indy and Chicago in the previous day while Cleveland was reeling after dropping all three contests on Saturday with their new pitcher and a few big names missing from their roster. Boston drew first blood by scoring 2 runs in the first inning but they would then find they still had sleep in their eyes as they struck out six times in the first three innings and they would be held empty in the 2nd and 3rd innings. Meanwhile, on the other side of the field, Cleveland was doing damage as Ben Hsu and Wilbert Turner would each score three runs in the first three innings building a 9 -2 lead. Boston would finally wake up in the 4th and get things rolling. Boston would score six times on 9 balls put in play infourth and fifth frames while only striking out three times (a far cry from earlier in the game) and on the defensive side they would come up with two big stops while theCleveland bats went silent with 4 whiffs of their own in two innings of play. After five innings of play Boston had fought back and found itself down 9-8. Guy Zuccarello, Luis Marquez, Dino Vasile and Joe Quintanilla would score back-to-back-to-back-to-back to lead off the top of the 6th inning giving Boston a 12-9 lead. Bostonhad to hold on defensively to win this huge come from behind victory. Cleveland scored three straight times to lead off the 6th and Bryan McGucken would put the dagger in with a walk-off hit to defeat the Renegades 13-12 to give Cleveland their only win of the tournament. The Scrappers were led by Ben Hsu and Wilbert Turner who scored 8 of the Scrapper’s 13 runs (4 a piece) For Boston, Marquez, Vasile and Quintanilla would each score three runs while Zucarello (2) and Black (1) would round out the offense. Marquez and Zuccarello would make three defensive stops a piece to lead the Boston Defense. Ron Cochran would set a Renegade record for best batting average against in this game as the boys hit .571 off him for the 19 batters he faced in this contest as he split time with Steve Kasha on the bump.
Game #5 Boston Holds on after Chicago Scares them (15-13)
For the second straight year, Boston faced off against the Chicago Comet B game in the first game of the Long Island Classic. Unlike in the first match-up of the year, defense would not factor much into this game. After two innings, a combined total of 12 runs has crossed the plate as Boston led 7-5. In the third inning Boston scored four more times and their defense clamped down a bit on the Comet B team as the defense made 4 stops out of 5 balls put into play as Evan Silver came up big with 2 of these put-outs. Boston was cruising and was 12-6 after 4 innings. Flashback to Bolingbrook in 2005. The Comets came roaring from behind to force extra innings against Boston. This game had a similar feel. When Boston thought things were safe, the Comet Bats woke up and scored 3 runs in the 5thand plated 4 runs in the bottom of the 6th as they only had one out. Chicago got the top of their order up to the plate in this game but they were unable to come through in the clutch as the last two batters struck out to end the game.
The 15 runs Boston scored was the 3rd most in team history. Their .455 batting average also marked the 4th best in team history. Joe Quintanilla paced the offense on his way to an offensive MVP with his first ever 4 run game. Dino Vasile and Joey Buizon each scored three times while Darren Black & JJ Ward scored twice while Guy Zuccarello had a big run as he scored the 14th run for the Renegades in the top of the 6th inning for his only score of the game. For Chicago, Captain Jose Martinez led their charge as he scored three times and led the defense with 7 put-outs.
Game #6 Long Island wins 7th straight 10-7
Once again, the game against Long Island and Boston came with a lot of hype. Both teams get fired up to play each other every year. Boston entered the game with a six game losing streak but had a good feeling improved defense and hot bats would carry them to victry. As usual, Boston started hot. Long Island went down 1-2-3 in the first inning capped by a great stop by Darren Black at 3rd base to end the first inning. Joe Quintanilla and Dino Vasile would be the first two batters for Boston and both would score to give the Renegades a 2 run advantage. In the second, Long Island started the inning by striking out twice in a row making 5 consecutive outs before the flood gates would open as they would score 4 times with 2 outs due to some shoddy defense by Boston. Boston would again strike quickly as Evan Silver, Quintanilla and Vasile would score the as the first three batters in the 2nd inning. Guy Zuccarello would make two big plays in the 3rd inning and Quintanilla would score for the 3rd time to give Boston a 6-4 advantage midway through the game. Long Island would once again get their runs in bunches. They scored five consecutive times in the 4th inning jumping out to a 9-6 lead and they never looked back. Steve Guerra would put the nail in the coffin in the 6th inning scoring a big insurance run with 2 outs to give Long Island a 10-7 victory. The story for Boston was that Quintanilla and Vasile would account for 5 of the 7 Boston runs. The rest of the team would struggle as they went 2 for 16 with 9 strike-outs. Long Island was led by Steve Guerra (3 runs scored and 3 defensive stops) and Jim Hughes who made 5 big defensive stops and scored 1 run. The losing streak would reach 7 games as Boston looked to regroup.
Game #7 Renegades beat Wolfpack in a tired battle (5-2)
After a big loss to the Long Island Bombers, Spotter Bryan Grillo pulled the team aside and reminded them to let the game go and focus on a Wolfpack team that was very hungry to beat Boston. Bostondefeated them twice in 2006 in close games. The Wolfpack drew first blood and Boston found itself down a run going into the home half of the first. The Renegade bats would roar early. Joe Quintanilla would get to the plate twice in the first inning and plate 2 runs while Darren Black, JJ Ward and Joey Buizon would score a run as Boston poured on 5 runs in the first inning. This was their best output in the first inning in team history. That was the good news. The bad news was Greg Gontaryk would play shut down defense the rest of the way for the Wolfpack as he collected 8 put-outs and Bostoncould not score a run for the rest of the game. Boston would play stellar defense in this game as they recorded their 4th best ever defensive performance by stopping 81.8% of the balls hit into play. Guy Zucarello paced the defense with three stops while Black had 2 and Quintanilla, Dino Vasile and JJ Ward each had one a piece.
Game #8 WolfPack Beat Boston for first time in four tries (3-2)
The Renegades made their first trip to the Philadelphia area and prepared to do battle with the Pennsylvania Wolfpack, a team they beat in a close game just two weeks earlier. The challenge Boston faced was scoring runs. Boston had scored zero runs in 11 of the 16 innings these teams have faced off. The goal was to get the ball past Defensive whiz, Greg Gontaryk. This goal would be tough to accomplish as the Wolfpacvk had a home field advantage in their favor. The grass was cut very high for this tournament which would take the sting out of hard hit balls. The Wolfpack would draw first blood in the first as their lead-off hitter Danny Fappiano scored. In the bottom of the first Luis Marquez and JJ Ward went back-to-back and put up a two spot on the scoreboard. Omni Romero would score a run in the 3rd inning for the Wolfpack and Greg Gontaryk would once again shut down the Boston bats for the rest of the game. Danny Fappiano scored what would be the winning run in the 6thinning as the Wolfpack would defeat Boston for the first time in four tries. Gontaryk would finish the day with 9 of the Wolfpacks 13 defensive stops. Boston played some tremendous defense on their own which got lost in the final score. They stopped 80% of the balls put into play led by Darren Black (6 stops) and Luis Marques (4 stops) to account for 10 of the 12 stops for the Renegades. Boston’s stretch of scoreless inning would grow to 16 out of 22 innings against the Wolfpack.
Game #9 Boston takes the Bite out of the Vipers 12-2
Boston had hoped to come to Philadelphia to win this tournament but was stunned in game #1. They needed to regroup and regroup they did against the Columbus Vipers. Boston got hot in the first inning with two outs as Joe Quintanilla, JJ Ward and Larry Haile would score three consecutive runs to exceed the offensive output from the first game. The defense would continue to play well as Luis Marquez, Darren Black and Guy Zuccarello made stops in the bottom frame. Boston would never look back. The Renegades would score at least on run in every inning of play until the 6th inning. Dino Vasile would set a personal best with a 4 for 5 performance, his first 4 run game in his career. Marquez , Zucarello and Larry Haile would plate a pair each. This was huge for Boston as Guy had made some adjustments to get out of a season long funk and Haile scored more runs in this game than in his career as he has finally arrived on the scene offensively. This game would be one of the best games played by the Renegades on both sides of the ball. Offensively, Ron Cochran set a Renegade record by only striking out 13.3% of his hitters (4 whiffs in 30 at-bats). The 12 runs scored was the 6th highest output in team history, the .400 team average was 8th in team history. Defensively Black led the way with 4 stops, Zuccarello had 3, Marquez and Vasile would have 2 while Larry Haile would have one. Their 12 stops was the 4th best output ever while they made 85.7% of the plays in the field which is 3rd in team history.
Game #10 North Carolina Wild Card Drops Boston 8-4
Boston still had a chance to win the tournament. They needed to beat the North Carolina Wild Card to accomplish this goal. The team from North Carolina was playing its first NBBA tournament as a team, but Boston was familiar with all of their players as they all have played for other teams across the nation in previous years. The wild Card had won its two games with a close victory over the Wolfpack and a blow out of the Vipers. After two innings the score was knotted at two runs a piece. The two teams looked like they were going in different directions as Boston was hitting the ball in play and North Carolina seemed to be struggling as they had 5 strike-outs in two innings. North Carolina would have a good third inning as the plated three runs to take a 5-2 lead. Boston was not out of this game as they continued to put the ball into play. In a rare appearance, Coach Weissman made a decision to toe the rubber for the first time since 2005 to try and help Joey Buizon get on track. On his first pitch, Buizon ripped a ball and scored a run to pull the Renegades within 2 runs (5-3) but this would be as close as they would get. Despite the 11 strike-outs of the Wild Card, They got the job done as Barney Flemming won the offensive MVP and his 4 for 4 day against the Renegades helped him to this achievement. Boston put the ball in play. Ron Cochran set another team record as he struck out only 13.3% of the batters he faced (3 whiffs in 22 at-bats). Keth Edgerton was too tough on defense for the start-up team as he accounted for 8 of their 15 defensive stops. The 4 defensive put-outs forBoston would tie for their second lowest output ever.
Game #11 Boston Wins First Game of World Series 6-4
This was one of the most anticipated first day match-ups of the 2007 World Series. After Boston defeated the Thunder back in June, Indianapolis was given a wake up call. Their Coach and Pitcher, Darnell Booker was quick to give Boston praise but warned them they had been working hard after that tough loss earlier in the year. The grass was wet and slow on the first day of the Series and this would look like it could play into the hands of the Indy Defense and eventual defensive MVP Dave Benney. Boston went down 1-2-3 in the first as Benney made 2 stops and Curtis Bradley made a huge stop on a smash by Quintanilla in deep left field. Indy took the lead in the bottom of the frame as Demeille Wright led off the first with a run. This would be the only lead Indy would have. JJ Ward and Luis Marquez plated 2 runs in the second for Boston and Ward pitched in another run in the 3rd. Steve Michaels pulled Indy within a run in the 3rd inning but that would be as close as they would get. JJ Ward would lead Boston with 3 runs scored in this game as Marquez (2) and Dino Vasile (1) also scored. The story of this game was defense though. The slow grass made it hard to score. Boston set a team record for most balls put into play in a game (92%) but only managed to plate 6 runs as Dave Benney paced the Indy Thunder with 10 defensive stops. James Michaels also contributed 4 as Indy made 73% of their stops on defense. It was not enough. Boston played some defense of their own. Dave Benney paid the Boston defense tribute has he was amazed during the game and stated “Everyone on their team is making stops”! He was almost right. Five of the six starters made stops for Boston led by Guy Zuccarello six snags. But it did not stop there. Black and Marquez had 2 a piece while Vasille, Quintanilla each had one. Boston made 75% of their plays on defense. This marked their 10th best performance in the history of the team.
Game #12 Boston Gets Bitten by the Dawgs 18-6
The Dawgs came into this tournament as the number one seed since the Taiwan Home Run were not at the Series. This would be a tough match-up for the Renegades as the Dawgs had already defeatedTyler 20-8 and they used their bench to do so. The Dawgs did not use their bench against Boston and they came out roaring. The Dawgs put on a clinic and plated 18 runs in just 2 innings of play. Lupe Perez scored 4 times in 4 trips to the plate. Chance Cranford, Mike Finn, Elexis Gillette and Neil Macdonald all scored 3 runs for the Dawgs. The Boston defense was “saved” by the fact the Dawgs struck out 3 times in the 2nd inning after scoring 10 runs. Trying to keep the mood light on the Boston bench, Ron Cochran stated the Dawgs were getting tired “They struck out the side” he claimed. It did not matter. Boston was 12 runned for the first time in 2007. It was the second worst defensive performance ever in Renegade history as Boston made just 3 defensive stops in this game but in fairness, The Dawgs were crushing the ball. For the Renegades, Guy Zuccarello scored twice, JJ Ward, Darren Black, Evan Silver and Joe Quintanilla also had a run each. The Dawgs would outscore their opponents 55-28 in the round robin portion of the tournament while Mike Finn would hit .595 and finish 6th on the all-offense team for the Dawgs. The Dawgs would go on to finish second in the 2007 World Series and would be the toughest opponent Boston would face all year.
Game #13 Boston Wins 2 Games on Day 1 of WS for First time
Playing three games in a day is always a tough thing to do. Both teams had to do this and Boston was sure it was more prepared than Tyler due to the depth of their roster. How would Boston respond to the beating they just took at the hands of the Dawgs? Could they get their bats going? The last time these two teams faced each other was 2003 and Tyler walked away the victor in that match-up. A lot has changed since then. A confident Renegade team took the field looking to take the 2 seed from their bracket. Tyler went down 1-2-3 in the first with Darren Black and Dino Vasile each making a defensive stop. Luis Marquez led off the bottom of the first with a run but JJ Ward grounded out weakly, Joe Quintanilla whiffed and Vasile grounded out weakly. The tables were set and this game was going to be a grind. Sam Swanson and Tony Bush led off the second innings plating runs for the Tigers before the next three batters struck out in a row and Tyler held a 2-1 edge going to the bottom of the second. Joey Buizon, Guy Zuccarello and Luis Marquez would score runs in the first three at-bats of the inning to put Boston ahead 4-2. The Tigers kept scratching as Larry Reed led off the 3rd with a run. Luis Marquez got that run back for Boston in the bottom of the third and Dino Vasile gave them another run in the bottom of the 4th and Boston led 6-3 after 4 innings. Things looked good for the Renegades despite the fact their bats looked tired. Boston was not hitting the ball well and was hitting many weak 7 foot grounders. The difference here was Tyler had struck out 7 times in the first 4 innings and they had no answer to Boston’s speed. As in 2003, Tyler fought back. Tony Bush, Keith Edgerton and Jason Toole scored three straight times with one out to tie the game at 6-6 in the fifth inning. In the bottom frame, Luis Marquez scored his fourth run of the game and Joe Quintanilla scored his first run to give Boston some much needed insurance and an 8-6 lead. As Boston took the field to protect the lead in the 6th inning, they did so with confidence as they had just protected such a lead in the first game of the day against the Thunder. Darren Black and Luis Marquez made stops to clinch the game as Boston won 8-6 and took the two seed into the double elimination round for the first time ever (in a four team bracket). Luis Marquez led the way on offense with a four run performance for Boston. Darren Black led the team with 3 stops but every starter had at least one stop on defense.
Game #14 Pennsylvania Sends Boston Packing to the Loser Bracket 6-2
For the Third time in the 2007 season, Boston would play the Pennsylvania Wolfpack. The two teams had split the series up till this point. The Wolfpack had some roster changes as they picked up a few players to round out their roster. Boston knew the key was to hit the ball past Greg Gontaryk. Do this and the game would end in a positive way for the Renegades. Boston did what they wanted to do in the top of the first but Sherlock Washington and Mike Patterson made huge outs for the Wolfpack and then in the bottom of the second Bernardo Berrera (of Chicago Comet B fame) hit a 40 foot bleeder to break the ice and put Pennsylvania on the board, Luis Marquez would score in the top of the 3rd inning but Gontaryk was starting to pile up the put-outs (4 in the first 3 innings). In the third inning, Mike Patterson would lead off with another 40 foot dribbler and the Wolfpack would take a 2-1 advantage on two balls that traveled a total of 80 feet. Joey Buizon connected in the top of the 4th inning on a shot down the first baseline that traveled almost twice as far as the Wolfpack two runs. Then it was all Greg Gontaryk who stopped Zuccarello, Marquez and Vasile. The bounces were all going againstBoston as balls would ricochet off one Wolfpack defender right into the arms of another on multiple occasions. In the bottom of the 4th inning, the Wolfpack sensed blood and went for the kill as Sherlock Washington, Omni Romero and Tony Santiago would put up a 3 spot. The 3 runs they scored in this inning equaled their output in the match-up in July and exceeded their output when the two teams played in the 2007 Long Island Classic. Mike Patterson would give them some insurance in the 5th inning and the Wolfpack found themselves up 6-2 as Boston batted in the 6th. Sherlock Washingtoncame through for the Wolfpack as he made two huge stops against Larry Haile and Luis Marquez to clinch the victory for Pennsylvania. On the day Greg Gontaryk would make 9 defensive stops,Washington would make four to account for 13 of the teams 14 stops. Boston was led on defense by Darren Black who had 6 stops but once again, the Bats were silenced by a good defense. This loss would send Boston to the loser bracket and Catapult the Wolfpack forward to take on the Kansas All-stars.
Game #15 Boston Takes out Frustration on Stockton 13-1
As the Renegades were reeling from a big loss, they tried to regroup. They could still achieve their goals but it would take a slightly different road. Their next opponent would be the Stockton Stingrays. Stockton had not fared well in the Series as they had been outscored 47-8 at the hands of Bayou City, Colorado, Columbus and Kansas. Boston was trying to find answers and desperately needed to see if they could get their bats going after some poor showings against Tyler and Pennsylvania. Stockton was excited to play Boston as the two teams had played a very close game in 2005 in their only match. Coach Weissman decided to keep the top of his lineup in tact to see if they could get kick started in a game they should win. Stockton won the coin toss and elected to be the home team and then something happened that has never happened in Boston history. Boston scored 8 consecutive times to lead off the game and totaled 11 runs in all. Boston came very close to 12 running their opponent in the first inning. Luis Marquez set a Renegade record by scoring three times in a single inning. Boston would finish the mercy rule in the second inning by plating two more runs and would go up 13-0. Their offense was supplied by Marquez, Larry Haile and Joey Buizon (3 runs a piece) while Dino Vasile (2 runs) and Joe Quintanilla and Evan Silver each plated a run. Boston would then be forced to stand out in the field for the rest of the game and they made seven of the eight plays they needed to seal the victory. Dino Vasile, JJ Ward, Joey Buizon each had two stops while Joe Quintanilla also made one for the Boston defense. Boston set a few team records in this game including most runs scored in an inning by a player (Marquez at 3), most runs scored by a team in an inning (11), highest team batting average in a game (.684) and largest margin of victory (12). The game was also their 3rd best game ever in putting the ball in play (89.5%), the third best defensive percentage (87.5%) and the second lowest amount of runs allowed (1). Stockton volunteers who were very excited to play Boston at the outset of the game retracted those words afterwards but they found solace in the fact they felt they could reach the Renegade level of play in a short time if they focused on working on their skills. Coach Weissman had hoped this blowout and fun game for Boston would help propel them past their next opponent.
Game #16 Colorado Storms Back in walk-off Fashion 7-6
The plan to get the bats working against Stockton looked like it would pay dividends against the Colorado Strom. Once again, Luis Marquez would start the game off with a run but Colorado would play some great defense as Randy Staclup would make a play on a Joe Quintanilla smash and then Paul Trujillo would steal a shot away from JJ Ward in the first inning. Despite the fact Boston only plated one run, they hit three solid shots to start off the game, which was a good omen. Problems would develop for Boston in the bottom of the first. Glen Permar, Kerry Kuck, Jim Walker and Randy Stalcup would lead off the game with four consecutive runs before Weissman called a time-out to talk to the defense. Boston made some adjustments and the put-outs started to pile up. Boston would come up big and stop 13 of the next 14 balls put into play and they kicked and scratched their way back into the game. The Offense was scratching. Darren Black scored a run in the second. Joey Buizon got one back in the third. Marquez plated his second run of the game in the 4th and after five innings of play Colorado clung to a 5-4 lead. Both pitchers seemed to be on and both teams were making the plays in the field. Glenn Permar had six stops at this point and Darren Black had seven to lead their teams. Down by a run and with one out in the 6th inning, Captain Joe Quintanilla strode to the plate and launched a fly ball down the 3rd base line for a run to tie the game. Two batters later Joey Buizon would score on a squeaker down the first base line and Boston would have its first lead of the game at 6-5. The Boston Defense had been fantastic since the defensive adjustment in the first inning. They also had some confidence after holding leads over Indianapolis and Tyler earlier in the tournament. Coloradowould not blink. The Father/Son combination of Johnny Walker the pitcher and his sighted son Tim Walker led off with a run to tie the game. Dino Vasile then made a stop on a Randy Stalcup ball to record the first out of the inning in a tie game. Then Dan Greene came to the plate. Greene hit a dribbler that barely cleared the 40 foot arc. In a bang-bang play, Greene beat Vasile to the ball and they had a walk-off hit. Boston was now eliminated from the double elimination portion of the dance and could finish no higher than the nine seed. Their goal of improving their seed was not met and their season stood at 8 wins and 8 losses. Denver would improve to 4-1 in the World Series and would go on to take fifth place by beating both Columbus and Austin.
Game #17 Renegades Tame the Tigers Again 9-5
The Renegades needed to regroup. After two tough losses to Pennsylvania and Colorado, their goals of finishing as a top eight seed were gone. In a crowded hotel room, the team gathered on Thursday night to discuss the season. “Its not over, we will have two new goals now” Coach Weissman said. “We have a chance to do something we have never done before, finish with a winning season. Let’s focus on the winning season guys. This means we have to win two games tomorrow:” Tyler was the first opponent and the Renegades knew they did not give their best effort against them earlier in the tournament.
This time the game started out much better for Boston as Joe Quintanilla, Larry Haile and JJ Ward scored on consecutive at-bats to build a 3-0 lead and the defense downed Tyler 1-2-3 with two stops by Darren Black and one by Quintanilla. Boston put up another three spot in the top of the second with runs from Evan Silver, Ward and Joey Buizon. Tyler would answer in their half as Jason Toole and Keith Edgerton plated runs for Tyler to pull within 3-2. This would be as close as they would get.
Boston kept the pressure on as Quintanilla and Haile scored their second runs of the game building an 8-2 lead. In the bottom of the third, Tyler’s bats would go silent as they struck out eight times in their next nine at-bats through the 5th inning. Boston went silent in a different way as they were unable to push any runs across due to the stellar defense of Keith Edgerton who made three stops in the fourth and fifth innings (six in total for the game). In the sixth inning, Luis Marquez plated the ninth run for Boston to give them some insurance and a 9-2 lead. Tyler would plate three runs in the sixth inning but would not pose a true threat after falling down by seven. Darren Black led the renegades with four defensive stops while Evan Silver had two and Quintanilla pitched in one. Tyler would strike out 11 times in this game.
Game #18 Thunder Win One for Michaels and Crush Boston 17-4
The combination of the brackets being pre-determined, 14 teams were in the World Series and Boston was upset by Pennsylvania gave Indianapolis a bye in the placement bracket as six teams were fighting for 9th place. Indianapolis came into this game with one win and four losses while Boston had defeated Indianapolis on day one (Boston was 4-3 at this point). All of this was thrown out the door. Boston had a two game win streak against the Thunder and the Thunder was looking for some revenge. They were also playing with some heavy hearts as one of the star players, James Michaels was carted off the field in an ambulance on the prior day with a dislocated elbow suffered after tumbling over a base.
Boston won the coin toss and Indianapolis started the hits early. Demeille Wright and Ron Brown would lead off for the Thunder with runs to start off the game. Right from the start Boston gave up two runs that they would have stopped the day earlier. Their defense did not look as sharp as it had in recent games. But they got out of it down 3-0. In the bottom frame Luis Marquez and Joey Buizon plated runs to pull with a run (3-2). This would be as close as they would get all afternoon. Indianapolis was crushing the ball all over the field and would score a crooked number in every inning they played netting 17 runs against Boston. Demeille Wright would pace the way for the Thunder five runs in six plate appearances. Michael Lewis scored four times, Steve Michaels scored three times, Ron Brown and Dave Benney also plated a pair for Indianapolis. The story of this game was Dave Benney. He made 12 defensive stops against Boston. He made stops of line drives off his body. He made stops on high pop flies down the base lines. He made stops on dribblers. He just made stops. Boston was hitting the ball often. They only struck out twice in the whole game and their 9.1% strike-out percentage on the game was their second best outing ever (just behind their performance in game #1 of the Series against Indy.) Benney would go on to earn the defensive MVP of the tournament and he can thank the Boston renegades as he made 22 of his 56 stops against them.
Game #19 Boston Ends the Curse and Beats Long Island 13-7
With a record standing at 9-9 on the year The Renegades had their sight on two goals. Win this game and have the first ever winning season. Win this game and beat Long Island for the first time ever. Challenges the team would be up for after getting crushed by the Indianapolis Thunder. Challenges would start before the game even began. Before the game started, the Renegades lost Joe O’Neill and coach Matt Nippins for an unknown period of time which left the Renegade defense scrambling and put the pressure on caller Bryan Grillo to run the majority of the defense by himself. The veteran players stepped up and did their part and the team held together. It was a tough way too start a game. Long Island jumped on Boston in the first inning as Matt Sapolin, Jim Hughes and Frank Guerra plated runs. When the Bombers took the field in the bottom half of the inning they were forced to sit Renegade killer, Braulio Thorne who injured himself in the first inning.
Luis Marquez, who missed the June match up between these two teams scored on a pop fly to lead off the first but Joe Quintanilla would ground out and Joey Buizon and Dino Vasile would strike out to end the frame. Long Island looked weak in the second as they struck out twice and went down 1-2-3 which was five straight outs in a row for Boston. As Nippins and O’Neill returned to the team in the second inning, the life came back into the club as Boston put 5 balls in play in the inning while JJ Ward, Quintanilla and Buizon plated runs to give Boston a 4-3 lead. In the third, Frank Guerra would lead off the inning and tie the game at 4 a piece before Darren Black and Dino Vasile would make big stops to down the Bombers in the 3rd inning. In the bottom half of the third, Marquez scored again to give Boston a 5-4 advantage. Boston knew all too well, that it had to play a full 6 innings to beat Long Island and that a one run lead was not safe.
Long Island continued to battle as Matt Povogel and Marlon Stover scored for Long Island. However, Boston was making some great defensive stops and the defensive confidence was building as both short players Dino Vasile and Guy Zuccarello made stops for Boston in the 4th frame. The bottom of the fourth may have been Boston’s most exciting inning of the year. Down 6-5 and with one out, Dino Vasile off the inning scoring on a line shot up the middle. Ward followed with a run scoring line shot up the right side. Zuccarello scored on a dribbler up the first base line. Marquez scored on a line drive to left center. Quintanilla kept the streak alive with a line drive down the third baseline. Five batters, five runs in a row and Long Island was shocked. Before the inning was over Vasile scored his seond run on the inning on a hard grounder down the third baseline. Boston was up 11-6.
Darren Black was fired up. He kept telling the defense to hold on and focus. The top of the order for Long Island went down 1-2-3 with Saplolin grounding out to Vasile, Povogel striking out and Jim Hughes grouding out on a hard hit up the middle of the field to Darren Black. In the 5th, Boston kept the pressure on the thoats of their opponents as Zuccarello scored for the second time on the day and Marquez followed with his 4th run. Boston was now ahead 13-6.
The excitement was building for Boston. Frank Guerra who had scored twice for Long Island led of the 6th inning with a weak grounder to the right side. Zuccarello gobbled it up for out number 1. Marlon Stover, who replaced Braulio Thorne was put out on a hard hit down the third baseline as Luis Marquez made the stop, two away. Steve Guerra was left with the bat in his hand and two away. Sweat pouring down his face as every Renegade was reminded that it was Steve who was in the media saying Boston would never beat Long Island. Steve was the man who talked more about the curse than any other player on Long Island combined. It was only fitting to see him up as Long Island was down to their last out. A dribbler off the bat to the right side. Zuccarello barrelled in after the ball but was unable to find it and Guerra survived. However, Matt Sapolin struck out to end the game and mayhem occured.
Like Tug Mcgraw or Jesse Orosco, Darren Black threw his glove 100 feet in the air. Like Jimmy Valvano running around the court looking to hug someone the Renegade players were jumping around looking for hugs or a pig pile. It was if they won the World Series. Long Island looked on with class. Every player on that team congratulated Boston with a hug. The monkey off the Renegades backs. This team has arrived. They may not have won the NBBA world Series, but there was more excitement over this win than there was with Kansas beating the Dawgs in the pouring rain the next day.
Offensively for Boston, Marquez scored 4 times. Quintanilla, Vasile, Ward and Zuccarello would score a pair of runs each. Joey Buizon would score the other run to account for the 13 runs. Defensively, Darren Black and Dino Vasile each had 4 stops. Zuccarello had three and Marquez had one. Long Island was led by Frank Guerra who plated two runs and had seven defensive stops.
Here is a Recap of the game batter by batter:
|Inning||Visitor : Long Island||Home: Boston|
|1st||1. Sapolin: Scores
2. Povogel: OUT by Vasille
3. Hughes: Scores
4. F. Guerra: Scores
5. Thorne: OUT by Zuccarello (Thorne Injured)
6. S. Guerra: OUT by Black
|1. Marquez: Scores
2. Quintanilla: OUT by Hughes
3. Buizon: STRIKE OUT
4. Vasile: STRIKE OUT
|2nd||1. Sapolin: STRIKE OUT
2. Povogel: STRIKE OUT
3. Hughes: OUT by Black
|5. Ward: Scores
6. Zuccarello: OUT by F. Guerra
1. Marquez: OUT by Hughes
2. Quintanilla: Scores
3. Buizon: Scores
4. Vasile: STRIKE OUT
|3rd||4. F. Guerra: Scores
5. Stover: STRIKE OUT
6. S. Guerra: OUT by Black
1. Sapolin: OUT by Vasille
|5. Ward: OUT by Stover
6. Zuccarello: STRIKE OUT
1. Marquez: Scores
2. Quintanilla: STRIKE OUT
|4th||2. Povogel: Scores
3. Hughes: OUT by Vasille
4. F. Guerra: OUT by Zuccarello
5. Stover: Scores
6. S. Guerra: STRIKE OUT
|3. Buizon: OUT by F. Guerra
4. Vasile: Scores
5. Ward: Scores
6. Zuccarello: Scores
1. Marquez: Scores
2. Quintanilla: Scores
3. Buizon: OUT by F. Guerra
4. Vasile: Scores
5. Ward:OUT by F. Guerra
|5th||1. Sapolin: OUT by Vasille
2. Povogel: STRIKE OUT
3. Hughes: OUT by Black
|6. Zuccarello: Scores
1. Marquez: Scores
2. Quintanilla: OUT by F. Guerra
3. Buizon: OUT by F. Guerra
4. Vasile: OUT by F. Guerra
|6th||4. F. Guerra: OUT by Zuccarello
5. Stover: OUT by Marquez
6. S. Guerra: Scores
1. Sapolin: STRIKE OUT