Game #1 Boston Pays back the WolfPack (4-2)
The first time the Renegades have opened a season in a city other than Chicago in the history of the team. They opened at Hofstra University against the Pennsylvania Wolfpack. This would be the first of four planned regular season contests between the two teams. Boston was looking forward to playing on a fast grass but came to New York to discover the grass was thicker than most fields they had ever played on. It would prove to be a tough defensive game as the Wolfpack have two of the better defensive players in the game in Greg Gontaryk and Kevin Burton. All pre-season Boston had been preparing to hit the ball deep. That game plan would take Gontaryk out of play and lead to multiple runs. Boston would lead off the game by achieving this game plan but Kevin Burton was able to make plays up the middle of the field on the first two hitters of the game. Larry Haile would be the first Renegade to score in 2008 as he was able to beat out a pop-up into the middle of the field with one out in the second. Philly would get that run back in the second frame as Tony Santiago scored on a 41 foot coffin corner ball down the third baseline just beating Dino Vasile who almost made the play. JJ Ward would pay back Santiago for that hit in the 3rd as he hit a towering pop fly to the right side of the field which landed directly on Santiago’s head and bounced 20 feet away from him. Santiago would be ok and almost recovered to make the play. The scoring stopped in the 3rd for both teams. The Boston defense would clamp down in the middle innings as JJ Ward made 4 put-outs in the 3rd, 4th and 5th innings while Dino Vasile (2) and Luis Marquez would also get outs in those innings. In the 6th, Evan Silver (grounder down the 3rd base line) and Luis Marquez (pop fly into left center) would lead off with back to back runs for much needed insurance. After the first two Wolfpack hitters struck out, Kevin Burton scored on a weak hit up the middle. In the end Boston would win with 4 different batters scoring runs. JJ Ward would have a career game on defense with 4 stops in his first career start at right shorty. Marquez pitched in 3 of his own playing the mid-field spot while Vasile also had two. Greg Gontaryk (who would tie for the defensive MVP of this tournament would lead the game with 7 stops. Kevin Burton also had 5 of his own). Boston avenged their defeat in the double elimination round of the 2007 World Series. This win also marked the first ever winning streak in tem history as they won their last game of 2007 against Long Island. A two game winning streak was born for the first time inseven years!
Game #2 The curse stays reversed as Boston defeats Long Island again (7-2)
Both teams won their first game of the tournament by the same 4-2 score as Long Island defeated the Chicago Comet B team. Boston came into this game with a lot of confidence and a defensive plan to beat the Bombers again. Luis Marquez did what he does best and led off the game with a well hit ball up the middle of the field to put Boston on top. They would never look back. In a Deja Vous moment, Braulio Thorne would leave the game due to injury just as he did in the 2007 World Series game. JJ Ward (2) and Darren Black would shut out the Bombers 1-2-3 in the first. Larry Haile and Evan Silver would go back-to-back in the second as they both scored on pop flys to short stop. Boston’s defense would continue to turn Long Island away as Long Island went a total of 12 (and only 2 strike-outs) consecutive batters before finally plating a run in the 5th inning when Braulio Thorne Re-entered the game. Luis Marquez would make the defensive play of the game in the 2nd inning on a smash down the 3rd baseline by Bomber speedster Matt Sapolin. Marquez who was playing at 105 feet would have to angle to his right and would make a diving play at about 115 feet, just nailing Sapolin. The Boston Bats came alive for another deja vous moment as they plated 4 consecutive runs in the 5th on well hit balls by Larry Haile (pop up to second base), Evan Silver (pop up up the right middle), Marquez deep pop up up the right middle) and Joe Quintanilla (deep pop up to center field). That would prove to be the end of the Bombers. It was a decisive a win as Boston has had. Their bats mighty, their defense like a wall. The 15 put-out by Boston would tie a team record and this would prove to be their best game on defense ever as they made plays on 88.2% of the balls Long Island put into play. Dino Vasile led the way with 5 stops playing left shorty. Marquez had 4 at third base, JJ Ward had 3 at Right shorty, Darren Black had 2 at mid-field and Sengil Inkiala had one pick while playing right shorty when JJ Ward was injured in the 5th inning. Boston now owns a 2 game winning streak against the Bombers and improved their own win streak to 3 games!
Game #3 Boston comes back and walks off with Long Island Classic (8-7)
Tie breaker scenarios were running through Coach Herzog’s head for Chicago. Chicago had a chance to win the Long Island Classic but they needed to beat the undefeated Renegades and an 8 run victory would force a second tie breaker. After an hour long lunch break and an hour long thunderstorm, the rain stopped and the teams took the field. For the first time in the tournament, Boston found themselves behind as Chicago plated three runs in the first two frames. Boston was hitting the ball, but not getting much on it as Chicago’s Jose Martinez would make 6 put-outs in the first three innings. Even their well struck balls would find their ways to Chicago players like magnets as Dino Vasile was put out on a rocket to right center field on a ball that Bernardo Barrera would make a spectacular diving play on. In the 4th, Chicago’s bats would get hot again as Barrera, Wally Mozdzierz and John Herzog Jr would score to give the Comets a 6 run lead. The tie breaker situation looked like it may be in sight for the Comets. The Bottom of the Boston order would again make a huge contribution as Evan Silver and Sengil Inkiala would go back-to-back to lead off the 4th to put Boston on the board. Mike McGlashon would get one back for the Comets in the 5th and Evan Silver would answer again for Boston in the bottom of the fifth. In the top of the 6th inning the momentum started to turn Boston’s way as Joe Quintanilla made one of the best stops of the day on a smash by McGlashon down the first baseline. Quintanilla playing at about 90 feet would turn and run back to about 115 and make the play on the line nabbing Mcglashon just before he reached the base. Sengil Inkiala would then make two plays at the Right Shorty position to give him 4 on the day (a single game career high for him). Boston would come to the bench fired up.
Coach Weissman huddled them up and asked them to stop swinging tired bats. The lunch coma had to end. They had a chance to win the tournament if they could swing the bats like they meant it. The message was heard. Coaches Bryan Grillo and Justin Manjourides put on the rally caps. Marquez led off the inning with a smash off Ron Cochran’s shoulder (that would leave a bruise for 3 weeks). Cochran toughed it out and served up a beauty pitch that Marquez rocked into deep left center field for the first run. Joe Quintanilla would then work the count full and hit a weak bleeder up the first base line but his line to the base was perfect and he beat the defense by a step. The score was now 7-5. Dino Vasile would strike out for the first out. Larry Haile entered the game with a chance at offensive MVP but he struck out the first three times in the game to end those chances. However, he answered Weissman’s call on a full count with a grounder up the middle for the 3rd run of the inning. Evan Silver would then hit a towering pop up to short stop (possibly one of his best hits of his offensive MVP day) but would be put out on a nice play by Mozdzierz. Two outs and down by one, Sengil Inkiala strode to the plate with his personal pitcher, Danny Cotter. Inky hit a weak ball up the middle and his perfect line to the base produced a run on a bang-bang play to tie the game at seven. Luis Marquez came to the plate as the team batted around. He had the team’s only walk-off run in team history as he beat this very same team in Chicago in an extra inning affair in 2005. Marquez hit a grounder to the right side and beat the play as the defense was playing to deep and the celebration started. Players and coaches pig piled on Marquez. Boston had won its first ever tournament on an amazing come from behind 5 run rally in the 6th inning. Silver and Marquez would be named as co-offensive MVP’s. Larry Haile would place second in the voting with his 4 runs scored. Boston had its second consecutive 15 defensive put-out game. On defense Dino Vasile would pace the Renegades with 5 stops. Inkiala had 4, Quintanilla & Marquez each had 3 while Larry Haile would have one. For Chicago Jose Martinez would make 8 stops on the day. The Boston win streak would reach 4 games and the team would come home with 3 new shiny trophies (tournament champs and co-offensive MVPs).
Game #4 Boston shuts out the Wolfpack 3-0
The first home game since 2005 was played at 9:00 am on Saturday, June 28th in Watertown. As the teams prepared to play, Coach Weissman shocked the team with the starting line-up as three players made their first ever career start. Joe O’Neill started at Rover as the designated fielder. Steve Houston started at first base for his first time on defense in a game ever. Rookie Tony Flinn got the nod at deignated hitter. Both O’Neill and Houston were shocked and happily surprised to get the start. The Wolfpack would send three big namesin the NBBA to the plate to lead off the game in former World Series champion Kansas All-star, Kevin Burton (stuck out), Fromer star of the Columbus Vipers Dan Kelly (grounded out to Evan Silver) and Long time NBBA player Sherlock Washington (grounded out to Guy Zuccarello). Dino Vasile would lead off for Boston and would hit a grounder down the thrid baseline for the first run of the day. This would break an 0 for 12 start to Vasile’s season. In the second Vasile would score again on a pop up down the first base line. Boston would then get a run from Joey Buizon who had missed most of the season recovering from surgery. That would be all of the offense on the day. The Wolfpack would struggle to get the bats on the ball as they struck out 11 times in this game. Boston would pitch its 3rd ever career shut-out in team history (2nd against the wolfpack as they shut them out in 2006). Vasile, Silver and Zuccarello would each get two defensive stops for the Renegades in this win. Boston did put the ball in play but some poor base running and stellar defense would limit them to three runs. Kevin Burton finished the game with 6 stops while Dan Kelly, darren Daly and Greg Gontaryk each had one stop. The defensive play of the game was made by Darren Daly of the wolfpack on a line drive hit by rookie Tony Flinn in the 2nd inning. Daly made the stop at about 115 feet in center field. Tony Flinn in his first career start put two balls in play and almost scored his first run of his promising career. This game was played in a crisp hour and 26 minutes. The Boston win streak had reached 5 games!
Game #5 Boston Walks off on Wolfpack in front of home crowd (4-3)
The fans started to come in for this game and sit down the first baseline to support the Renegades. Between games, both teams had some time to hone their skills. Pennsylvania took a lot of batting practice after their 11 strike-out performance. Boston worked on their defense. Both teams worked on parts of their game they knew would be needed to win the contest. As Weissman was filling out the line-up card for this game, he huddled with other coaches to figure out what to do as Joe Quintanilla was not available. Joe had lost his father to cancer 40 days prior to this game. In his culture, it is customary for the family to attend ceremonies 40 days after the burial. Joe had told the team he would miss game one but he assured the team he would be there for game two and he wanted to do something special to honor his father. In a moment familiar to die hard Red Sox fans, as the teams were about to take the field, Quintanilla was seen running on to the field in uniform with a guide…much like Doug Mirabelli did for the Sox in 2006. He was quickly inserted into the two slot as the designated hitter.
the Wolfpack would start cold again as 5 of their first 8 hitters struck out. However for Boston in the 2nd inning Joey Buizon (Fly ball to right field) and Sengil Inkiala (weak grounder to the right side) plated back-to-back runs to start the frame. Darren Black would be put out on a hard hit by Tony Santiago on a pop-up to the right side. Vasile would be put out by Dan Kelly on a hot shot to second base and Quintanilla would be put out on a deep fly to right center by Sherlock Washington in a play where Quintanilla missed the base. Coach Weissman asked the Boston bench how the team hit..and they replied in unison “Wicked hard!” as the crowd roared in approval. Defense would be the name of this game as the wolfpack would only strike out once after the 3rd inning. In the top of the 3rd,Sherlock Washington hit a ball over everyone’s heads in deep center to get the Wolfpack their first run of the day. In the 4th Sengil Inkiala may have made the most exciting defensive stop of the game on a high fly down the first baseline by Kevin Burton. Inky back pedaled from his spot at 90 feet on the first base line and has he went to the ground to make the play the ball hit him in the chest for a huge out. In the 5th they took the lead over the Renegades for the first time in 3 games as Washington hit a line drive off a diving Vasile to lead off the inning. Mike Patterson would then score on a pop-up to the middle of the field to give the wolfpack a 3-2 lead. It was short lived. Sengil Inkiala would hit a pop-up down the first base line and beat Gontaryk to the base to tie the game in the 5th.
The 6th inning may have been one of the most exciting innings in Renegades history, Kevin Burton led off the inning with a line drive up the middle. Evan Silver made a diving stop to his right for out #1. Two pitches later Dan Kelly hit a hard line drive up the middle that Larry Haile stopped at about 120 feet out in left center field for out #2. Sherlock Washington (who was responsible for 67% of the Wolfpack offense on the day) lofted a high pop up to the middle. Darren Black was able to make the stop for a 1-2-3 inning on the top hitters for the Wolfpack line-up. Dino Vasile and Darren Black led the defense on the day for Boston with 4 put-outs each. Silver, Haile and Inkiala each pitched in big outs at the right time.
Dino Vasile led off the 6th inning with a nubber down the third base line that sent Greg Gontaryk scrambling. Gontaryk beat Vasile by a step for the first out (he made 6 stops on the day). Quintanilla came to the plate. He had hit the ball hard twice and had nothing to show for it. On the first pitch he crushed a high fly to left field and took a great line to the base to score. The Renegades walked off with a sweep. They had their second walk off win of the year and third in team history. Their win streak reached 6 games. The crowd was on their feet in approval of the Renegades first two wins at home in team history.
The story here is Quintanilla delivered on his goal. He did something truly special to honor his dad. In 2007, he earned an offensive MVP at the Long Island Classic and he dedicated that performance to his dad. In 2008, he honored his father’s memory with a ceremony in church in the morning and a walk off hit in front of his home crowd in the afternoon.
Game #6 Rengades Win streak stopped by Wolfpack (4-3)
Fundamental Beepball. That is what Weissman told his team they would need to continue to do to win games. It would be imperative to apply the fundamentals that the team works so hard on in practice. For the 4th time in 2008, these two teams faced off. This game would start in an ugly fashion as Ron Cochran would strike out the first the Boston batters of the game. One of the Boston highlites would take place with two outs in the bottom of the first inning as Rookie Tony Flinn got his first career start in the filed playing First base as the designated Fielder. Mike Patterson tested him early and Flinn passed the test nabbing the ball to get out of the inning. Boston got all of its offense in the 3rd inning as Dino Vasile scored, Larry Haile scored on a controversial call and Joey Buizon also scored on a controversial call. In the first two innings both teams were arguing with umpires as the rules were being sorted out. For the Boston offense they would strike out 10 times in this contest and have one of its worst offensive games in two years. For the Wolfpack, Greg Gontaryk scored twice and Sherlock Washington continued to be a mystery to Boston’s defense as he launched two bombs over everyone for the 4 runs. Boston did not play fundamental ball. They made 2 errors in the field, and missed 2 bases that cost them two runs. The six game winning streak was over. One exciting aspect of this game was the defensive play of Sengil Inkiala who made 4 stops at his first career start at Right Shorty. This would play huge for Boston going into the game with the Cleveland Scrappers.
Game #7 Cleveland “Rocked” by Renegades (13-2)
Memories of a 4 run walk-off win that Cleveland had against Boston in Bolingbrook from 2007 were flashing through the coaches heads as they prepared for this game. Boston had never beaten Cleveland in its history, a 5 game losing streak. After Boston, watched the Wolfpack come back and walk-off on Cleveland, it was already determined that Boston could not win the tournament. None of that mattered. Boston came out ready to play on both sides of the ball. As Coach Weissman, predicted, Vasile would have a big game. He led off the game with a run and Boston never looked back. Buizon would hit a bomb down the first base line to give them a 2-0 lead in the first. Simon McNeil would score on a ball up the middle in the bottom of the inning and that would be as close as it would get. The 3rd inning was where all of the action was. Cochran was on fire as the Boston bats rained bombs down on Cleveland scoring 6 times. Sengil Inkiala and Larry Haile would each score twice in the inning while Quintanilla and Buizon would also pitch in a run. Both Buizon and Haile hit balls that traveled well over the 180 mark on a roll and Haile came close to getting it on the fly. Cleveland was left in the field for a long time and tried to switch their defense to no avail. The strong Boston defense would hold Cleveland scoreless till the 6th inning as Sengil Inkiala would pace the defense with 5 stops. Dino Vasile would have three stops while Tony Flinn, Steve Houston, Evan Silver and Larry Haile would also make stops. Steve Houston’s put-out was his first ever career stop and it came as the last out of the game against Simon McNeil. Offensively, Buizon would have a 4 run game (the 12th in team history) on 4 balls that all may have traveled close to 180 on the roll. Vasile would have 3 runs of his own. Inkiala and Haile pitched in a pair while Quintanilla and Steve Houston also scored for the Boston Offense. It was a gutsy pitching performance for Ron Cochran who was sick with food poisoning. He was actually leaving the Boston bench after every inning after the 3rd to be sick while the defense was on the field. It may have been his best pitching performance of the year as the team hit .423 (11 for 26) off him and 11 of the balls put into play were hit hard. Dan Cotter also pitched well (2 for 5) helping Inkiala score his pair of runs.
Game #8 Austin 12 runs Boston in 3 Innings (13-7)
Game one of the World Series and Boston won the coin toss, electing to be home team. That would be all they would win in this game. In the first inning, Boston let up one run to Craig Cotton but Sengil Inkiala made 2 fine stops at third base to escape further damage. Austin would blank Boston for the first three innings of play as Ron Cochran struggled striking out 4 of the first 9 batters he faced. Austin would put a hurt on the Renegades in the 2nd and third. The third inning was one of Boston’s worst innings in team history allowing 7 runs and making zero put-outs as Austin struck out three times. This was the story of the game. The field played fast and Boston could not make any outs unless Austin struck out at the plate. Boston turned in their third worst defensive effort in team history stopping only 18% of the balls put into play. Once the mercy rule was in place, the Boston bats started to relax with hopes of getting some confidence for later in the tournament. Dino Vasile, Joe Quintanilla and Evan Silver all scored a pair of runs while Guy Zuccarello scored his first run of the year. For Austin they were paced by Craig Cotton who score 4 runs. Axel Cox was the star defensive player leading the way with 6 defensive stops. Austin would go on to finish 4th in the World Series
Game #9 Dawgs Crush Boston (18-1), Renegades Get Experience
Game 2 of the Round Robin Bracket would again be a tough match-up. As predicted by Weissman, The Dawgs proved to be the top team of the World Series as they would go on to an undefeated World Series. In heat approaching 100 degrees, the goal for Boston in this game was to have some fun, get people some playing time and try to keep people rested so they could play three games in the heat. It was a very long first inning. In fact, it was one of the worst innings in team history as the Dawgs scored 9 times and 4 players scored twice in the inning. This All-star team did not let up on the Renegades but they did struggle to score runs in the 2nd and third as the Boston Defense started to show some spunk. Much needed spunk after their defensive problems they faced in game #1. For the Renegades their focus was to get some experience. Rookie Chris Genikos got his first ever start and hit a high fly into the middle of the field in his first at-bat. Third string pitcher, Justin Manjourides also made his first ever appearance as he faced 5 batters and he connected with Evan Silver for his first ball in play for his career. Defensive Coach Matt Nippins had his debut game as a caller helping the defense make 36% of their defensive stops. Tony Flinn, Steve Houston and Joe O’Neill would all get valuable playing time on defense. Statistically for Boston, Sengil Inkiala would lead the team in runs with one and defensive stops with 5. This would be the second game in a row they would be 12 runned. The 17 run defect would also be the biggest loss in team history while this would be the first time since early 2006 they would only score one run. The eventual World Champ Dawgs were paced on offense by Lupe Perez and Eric Mazariegos (4 runs a piece) on offense and Mazariegos (5) and Mike Finn (4) would make 9 of the Dawgs 12 stops on defense. Despite the lop sided score, the Renegades achieved what it wanted to do which was keep players rested, get people experience and set themselves up for the third game of the day.
Game #10 Boston Shows Some Pride Downing North Carolina 18-14
Both teams limped into this game after getting mercy ruled by Austin and the West Coast Dawgs. It appeared both teams had different approaches to the game. Boston was somewhat rested and put out their starters. North Carolina decided to start their number two pitcher. If you believe in signs, the sign of the game may have been the first at-bat of the game. Dino Vasile started the game off by fouling off 8 straight pitches before striking out in a marathon at-bat. Boston’s Joe Quintanilla would score the lone run in the first inning. The North Carolina Pride struck out 3 times in a row and 4 of the first 5 hitters of the game. For Boston the story would be offense. Lots of it early in the game. They would post 7 runs in the 2nd inning (their third best ever out-put in a game). This inning was led by Evan Silver who scored twice in the frame as the team sent 10 players to the plate. In the third, Boston would plate 5 more runs as Larry Haile would score twice in the inning. Boston was excited at the chance of getting a 12 run win as they led 13-1 going into the bottom of the third inning. The Carolina Team looked tired after standing in the heat for 2 long innings. Carolina decided to change pitchers and the entire game changed. The Boston defense could not make plays. In fact from the 3rd inning on, they only made one stop on defense. It was a slug fest. Carolina cut the lead in half as Thomas Todd and Marlon Stover would each score a pair of runs in the 3rd as they batted around on the Boston Defense. The North Carolina defense regained life with this comeback as Barney Flemming started to rack up the defensive stops (making 5 of his 7) in the last 3 innings of the game. Boston would get a spark off the bench in the 5th inning as Tony Flinn would score the first two runs of his career. Both he and Larry Haile plated a pair of runs in the 5th and 6th innings to provide the insurance the Renegades needed to hold off the Pride. The teams would be on the field till just past 5:00PM making this game near a 3 hour long marathon. The Dino Vasile first inning at-bat was a sign that this game would be a long struggle. Offense was the game for Boston. Larry Haile became just the third Renegade to score 5 runs in a game while Evan Silver scored three times as well. Steve Houston got his second start of the World Series and had his first 2 run game of his career. Dino Vasile, Quintanilla, Sengil Inkiala and Flinn also each scored a pair of runs. For the team the 18 runs scored was the 2nd highest output ever. The teams .500 average was its third best per game stat in team history, the 13.6% strike out rate was the 5th lowest in team history. Defensively the game was equally as ugly as the offense was good. The team only made three stops on defense and was saved by the 14 strike-outs of the Pride. This tied the Austin game for the 2nd least stops in history and resulted in the team stopping only 17% of the balls put into play (its third worst in history). For North Carolina they were paced by Marlon Stover with 4 runs and Barney Flemming with 7 defensive stops. Boston would clinch the 3 seed in their bracket and would face the Long Island Bombers in the first round of double elimination.
Game #11 Long Island Sends Boston to Loser Bracket 6-3
Boston had a team meeting after day one and was determined to put a better defensive effort on the field in day #2 of the World Series. A game plan was created and the Bombers and Renegades faced off for the 2nd time in 2008. Boston would go silent in the top of the first and Long Island would jump out to a two run lead as Jim Hughes and Steve Guerra each plated runs in the bottom of the frame. Boston would tie it up in the 2nd as Rookie Tony Flinn would stay hot scoring his third run in his last three at-bats and Dino Vasile also plated a run. Nick Esposito scored to lead off the bottom of the 2nd for the Bombers. The back story for the Renegades here was defense and things were looking up at this point. Boston made 5 stops in the first two innings by three diferent players. This was already more than they had against Austin or North Carolina. The highlite stop was made by Evan Silver on a ball that he stopped in deep right field. The fun thing about this stop was that the ball actually found a way inside his game shirt and he was caught on film ripping his shirt away from his body holding the ball in his hands. The other good news for Boston was at this point Frank Guerra had only made two stops for the Bombers. Sengil Inkiala scored on a bang bang play on a grounder down the 3rd baseline to tie the game in the 3rd. Long Island would lead off the bottom of the third with runs by Steve Guerra and Braulio Thorne. Jim Hughes pitched in some insurance for the Bombers in the 5th and that would be all the scoring in the game. On Defense Frank Guerra would turn it on late in the game as he made 10 put-outs and his twin brother Steve would make 3 of the Bomber 14 stops. For Boston Dino Vasile paced the way with 4 stops as Quintanilla, Zuccarello and Evan silver also had a pair. This game was one of the lowest scoring games of the entire 14 team World Series. Boston was still looking to put together a game where they played solid on both sides of the ball. Long Island was off to face the Kansas All-Stars in the 2nd round.
Game #12 Boston Storms back on Thunder in Extra innings (16-12)
In the first two days of the World Series Boston had been unable to put together a game where they played well on both sides of the ball. The team showed up early to take batting practice to help work out some of the kinks. At first it appeared to pay off as Dino Vasile and Joe Quintanilla led of the game with back-to-back runs. Then they went down on a dribbler and two strike-outs. Indianapolis came out hot. They sent 10 hitters to the plate in the first frame and scored seven times. The defense struggled again and it looked like it could be a long day for Boston. Boston had been through some tough battles in recent past and was not ready to give up easily. Again in the 2nd Dino and Joe Q went back to back. However in this inning Sengil Inkiala and Evan Silver also got on the board to bring the game within 1 run. The Boston Renegades had some regained energy and after three innings the two teams were all knotted up at 8 a peice. The difference here was that Boston was scoring in every inning and its defense was making stops as Joe Quintanilla had 4 stops and Vasile had 2 for the Renegades. The fourth inning would swing to Indianapolis as Boston would go down 1-2-3 with 2 strike outs and the Thunder scored 4 consecutive runs with 2 outs to take a 12 to 8 lead. In the 5th inning Indianapolis was forced to make some changes to their line-up as Demielle Wright and Jerry Wendell (Their top two hitters in the line-up) were both hurting due to injuries. The teams would later discover that Wendell was hurt while pitching to Darnell Booker earlier in the game as Booker hit a line drive off Wendell who was pitching to him. That line drive cracked some of Wendell’s ribs.
Boston continued to chip away in the top half of the 5th as Larry Haile, Evan Silver and Vasile each scored to pull with one run. A defensive shift in the 4th inning would prove to be helpful as Guy Zuccarello would become a big factor in this game. Zuccarello and Inkiala made big outs in the bottom of the 5th inning. Down by a run in the 6th inning Larry Haile would eliminate the suspense and tie it up with a grounder up the middle that Dave Benney could not handle. However Inkiala would stike out, Silver would be put out on a defensive stop by Michael Lweis at 3rd base and Tony Flinn would also whiff. Boston headed to the bottom of the 6th in a tie game. The Thunder would have to face two guys who represented 5 of the Thunders 12 runs. Darnell Booker who was 2 for 4 at this time led off the inning and struck out. James Michaels who has long killed the Renegades came up next after scoring three times in 4 at-bats. He grounded out weakly to Guy Zuccarello. With two outs, the Thunder re-entered Demeille Wright who may be the best all around offensive player for Indianapolis. He Struck out. Boston jumped for joy and ran off the field knowing they had the top of their line-up up. Vasile scored for the 4th time of the day to lead off the inning with a line drive up the middle. Quintanilla then hit a grounder up the left side for his 4th run of the game. Larry Haile then hit a pop fly up the middle and beat it out for his 5th run of the game and Sengil Inkiala poped up a fly ball down the 3rd base line as he scored his second run. The Damage was done. Zucarello would make the final two stops on defense and the Renegades held on to win! This win clinched Boston’s best ever finish in the World Series as they were told they could finish no worse than 8th place. For boston Larry Haile became only the 3rd player to score 5 runs in a game. Defensively Boston was led by Joe Quintanilla with 5 stops and Zucarello with 4 stops while Vasile (2) and Silver (1) and Inkiala (1) each made stops. This game went down as one of the most exciting games in Renegades history. It ranked as the 3rd best offensive out-put ever (16 runs), 8th best batting average (.432) and third most defensive stops (13). It also improved the Renegades record in extra inning games to 3-0 in its 8 year history. For the Thunder they were led by Ron Brown and James Michales who scored three runs a piece and Dave Benney made 6 stops on defense.
Game #13 Storm Rains on Renegades 14-9
For the second year in a row, Boston faced the Colorado Storm with one loss in the double elimination bracket. This time the teams looked completely different. Denver had only two players from their starting line-up who played in the previous match-up while Boston had only 4 players who played in last years contest. Colorado was stocked with a bunch of new players from the Arizona area and this team was making noise through the World Series. In the First inning, Boston got a look at some of these big swings as Tanner Gers led off with a base hit to put the Storm up by a run and that would be followed up by 2 whiffs and a play at third base by Sengil Inkiala. Boston came out hitting as their first three batters put balls in play but only Larry Haile was able to plate a run tying it up. With two outs in the second, Gers and Ethan Johnston went back-to-back but Boston was playing some good defense as Guy Zucarello and Evan Silver made stops in the field for the renegades. Boston would pay it back as they would also score a bunch of runs with two outs as Dino Vasile hit a grounder to the right side, Joe Quintanilla hit a line drive up the right side, Haile hit a grounder down the third base line and Inkiala hit a pop fly up the middle to give the Renegades a 5-3 lead. In the third, Demitris Morrow scored a run for Colorado and Tanner Gers was put out on a bomb into deep left field by Larry Haile. Boston would get that run back as Rookie Tony Flinn scored on a grounder to the right side. Both teams were battling and at this point it was anyones game. Johnny Walker, The coach and pitcher caught fire for the Storm and he was laying the ball on the sweet spot of the big Storm swings. Colorado plated 7 runs in the top of the 4th inning highlighted by Johnston scoring twice in the inning as the big bats and quick legs of the Storm rained all over the Renegades. The bottom half of the Boston line-up could not produce any offense and in an inning where they desperately needed an answer they put a dougnut up on the score board. Joe Quintanilla and Zucarello gave the Renegades some hope as they helped produce the only 1-2-3 inning of the game for Boston making 2 outs on grounders hit to the right side in the top half of the fifth. Boston was fired up with the top of their line-up coming up in the fifth however Vasile led off with a strike out and Quintanilla was put out on a line drive up the middle. With two outs Larry Haile and Inkiala went back-to-back to spark the team and draw within three runs. The Boston Defense could not hold the Storm. The last three batters in the line-up plated runs in consecutive at-bats to give the Storm a cushion and the win. For the Storm, Tanner Gers, Ethan Johnston and Demitris Morrow each scored three time (Gers would later be named to the all-offense team hitting .676 as a rookie) while Johnston made 7 stops on defense on weak dribblers to the right side. Boston was led on offense with three runs by Larry Haile while Vasile and Inkiala each had a pair. Quintanilla and Tony Flinn also scored once. Defensively for the Renegades everyone made a stop who played in the field Vasile, Silver and Zucarello each had a pair of stops. Boston was eliminated from the double elimination bracket. The Storm would go to play the Chicago Comets and would eventually finish in 6th place. Boston was headed to play their rival’s, the Long Island Bombers for the third time in the 2008 season.
Game #14 Long Island hands Boston their Worst Beating Ever 23-5
Boston was excited at the chance to play Long Island again. After losing the first contest in a low scoring affair, they had found their offense in the previous day’s game against Indianapolis and Colorado. This game could be summed up in two words…Frank Guerra. Dino Vasile would score a run to lead off the game. Tony Flinn would score a run in the second inning. Larry Haile would score once in the 3rd inning and Joe Quintanilla and Sengil Inkiala would each score a run in the 4th. Frank Guerra would make every single defensive stop as he 11 put-outs through 4 innings. The only out he could not make was a strike out by Dino Vasile to lead off the 4th. Guerra would finish the game with 13 defensive stops. The only other Long Island player who made a stop on defense was Nick Esposito on a freaky play in which Rookie Chris Genikos was called out for running 125 feet into right field as third base went off. This game was all Long Island. Matt Puvogel was 3 for 6. Jim Hughes was 3 for 6. Frank Guerra was 6 for 6. Steve Guerra was 3 for 6. Braulio Thorne was 3 for 6. Alex Barrera was 3 for 3 and Nick Esposito was 2 for 2. It was an abysmal game for Boston as they were 12 runned in the 4th inning.
This game was the biggest beating Boston had ever taken. The 23 runs was the most ever let up by the Renegades in team history. The 18 run differential was also the biggest run differential for the Renegades in history. Frank Guerra would go on to win the tournament defensive MVP. Coach Rob Weissman asked Frank to speak kindly of Boston who gave him 23 of his 64 stops in the tournament in just 2 of the Bomber’s 8 games. Despite the beating, Boston took 8th place. This was the highest finish ever at a World Series for the Boston Renegades. It also marked their second consecutive winning season.