Game 1 – Renegades open the season with a fresh lineup and beat Rochester 10-1
|Werner||4||0||2||1||Dias – RS||2||2||0||1|
|Smith||3||0||2||5||– J. Proctor – LS/3B||3||0||2||1|
|Jedynack||2||0||2||0||Sanchez – DH||2||1||1||—|
|– Riggins||1||0||1||0||– Yee – PH||1||1||0||—|
|O’Biren – DH||3||0||2||—||– Sajjad – DH||1||1||0||—|
|Bell – DF||—||—||—||1||Zuccarello – DF/LS||—||—||—||1|
|Jones||3||0||3||0||– McCormick – DF/RS||—||—||—||0|
|Kolbuc||3||1||1||0||Soto – R||4||2||2||0|
|Sajjad – MF||2||1||0||0|
|– Hoyt – MF||2||1||1||1|
|Thayer – 3B/LS||4||1||1||1|
|Pitcher- J. Redmond||Pitcher- Connolly||25||10||8|
|RS Caller – A. Proctor|
To open the 2018 season, the Renegades played its first ever evening game. This contest was supposed to be an exhibition game but with rain in the forecast, we switched this to an official Beast of the East match. Most of the team arrived about 2 hours before game time and it was a rushed pace to get ready for opening pitch.
Rochester’s, Leah Werner led off the season and hit a looper to the 40 foot arc. Rob Dias struggled a bit to find the ball but retired her for the only action of the top half of the inning. In the bottom of the first, Peter Connolly toed the rubber and his first two pitches were drilled. Rob Dias slugged a shot into deep left for the first run. Rookie David Sanchez then became the first player to score on the first pitch thrown to him and only the 2nd Renegade in team history to score in his first at bat. After a Luis Soto strike out and a missed base by Aqil Sajjad, Hot Tub Thayer scored on a grounder to the right side to give Boston a 3-0 lead. Moving to the second, Guy Zuccarello corralled a ball off the bat of O’Brien for the only defensive stop of the frame. Rob Dias led off the 2nd with another hard hit ball that went by the defense as he ran by the base, fell on his rear and still recovered to score. Aqil Sajjad would plate a run on a line drive up the middle of the field to make it 5-0, Boston. With one down in the 3rd inning, Kyrstin Smith hit a hard grounder up the middle of the field that eluded Zuccarello and Dias. Melissa Hoyt came up from her spot at midfield and made her 2nd defensive stop of her career to the cheers of her teammates. In the bottom of the third, Joe Yee hit a laser that looked like it would hit Smith in the head at her spot at Right Shortie…but it thankfully did not brain her, but instead hit her in the arm. She felt that stinger but did not give up on the ball, but Yee beat her on a bang-bang play to the base. The next batter, Luis Soto then hit a dribbler to Smith on the right side, but Soto was too quick and Boston lead 7-0. Some action in the top of the 4th almost lead to Rochester’s first run when Zach Kolbuc hit a hard grounder to the left side that got by Proctor and Thayer. Kolbuc took a bad line out of the box and his bench stopped the play before injury. by default, Rob Thayer earned his second career stop on defense. In the bottom of the 4th, Rochester made some noise when their DF, Nikita Bell made her first career stop off the bat of Rob Thayer. Fast forward to the bottom of the 5th Aqil Sajjad re-entered the game after leaving due to a blindfold problem and scored on a ball hit up the middle. Luis Soto then hit a high fly up the middle for his 2nd run of the contest. The real fun was to come. Melissa Hoyt came to the plate and hit a grounder to the left side that got by Leah Werner. Werner had no backside protection and as she crawled backwards looking for the ball, Hoyt raced to first and on a bang-bang play, she scored her first ever career run. Melissa became the first female Renegade to score a run in a game since 200! Rookie, Daisy Russell also hit a ball to the left side that Werner struggled to hear. Knowing that Werner was struggling, Smith slid across the field and while Russell was giving it her all down the bases. It was fun for all to see, but Rochester won that battle.
Boston would eventually win this game 10-1. It was a fun contest to see so many player contribute to a victory and to see 2nd year pitcher, Peter Connolly perform so well as the team hit .400 against him. This would mark the 19th time in Renegade history Boston would hold it’s opponents under one run. It would also mark the first time Rochester had scored against the Renegades defense.
Game 2 – Boston puts out the fire 9-3
|Margist||4||3||1||1||Thaxton – 3B||4||2||1||1|
|Coughlin||4||0||2||4||McCormick – R||4||2||2||1|
|Rhines||4||0||3||0||Dias – RS||4||3||1||3|
|Boucher||3||0||2||0||Haile – DH||3||1||1||—|
|G. Natoli||3||0||2||1||– Sanchez – DH||1||0||1||—|
|Kessler – DH||3||0||1||—||J. Proctor – DF/LS||—||—||—||2|
|Daly – DF||—||—||—||0||Devenish – 1B||3||0||1||0|
|– Yee – 1B||1||0||1||0|
|Pitcher – D. Natoli||Pitcher- Cochran||19||9||6|
|Pitcher – Connoly||5||0||3|
|RS Caller – A. Proctor|
On a morning that rained during warm-ups, all the teams wondered if the games would be played to completion. With rain in the forecast, coach Rob put on his bright yellow rain pants and the games would start on-time as the rain stopped about 15 minutes before first pitch. Ron Cochran would make his season debut in this game toeing the mound. Philly is looking to get to their first World Series since 2008 and had a revamped line up with three rookies in it.John Margist and Mike Coughlin (who played on the Colorado team which beat Boston in the 2017 World Series) struck out to start the game. Rookie Justin Rhines in his duct taped goggles, bright green cleats and shorts launched a fly ball up the middle of the field to test the Boston defense. Joe McCormick was there to steal this rookie’s first hit of Beast of the East play. The Boston bats would get hot out of the gate….but there was some rust to be found. Christian Thaxton led off the game and on the 4th pitch he blasted it into left field. Thaxton flew down the 3rd base line but missed the base. By the time he could correct himself, Gina Natoli picked up the ball for the first out. On the 6th pitch to Joe McCormick, he lofted a fly into left for a run. This run moved McCormick into 2nd place all time in Renegade history ahead of Joe Quintanilla. Rob Dias smacked his second pitch into left for the second run. Larry Haile hit a grounder that eluded the Fire’s defense and Guy Zuccarello also scored to give Boston a 4 run lead as Thaxton made two outs to end the inning. Zucarello’s run was the 1,500th allowed by Ron Cochran in his career. The strike out for Thaxton would mark Cochran’s 4,000th batter faced in his career. Fast forward to the third inning and lead off hitter, John Margist got on the board with a ball hit to the right side that Rob Dias could not pick up in time. Boston answered with their lead off man, Thaxton scoring on a high fly ball up the middle to make the score 5-1. Boston would keep a commanding lead in this game as only John Margist would score for Philly and his teammates would strike out 10 times in their 17 trips to the plate. For Boston, Rob Dias would pace the offense with three runs and lead the defense with three stops. Joe McCormick and Christian Thaxton would each have two runs and a stop on defense as well. Thaxton’s second run of the game pushed him into 5th place all time in Gade history in runs scored with 124 as he passed Wrong Way Buizon. Thaxton accomplished this in just about three seasons of play! With the rain pants on their coach, the Renegades would play a rain free game. Though Boston won, their bats were a bit rusty and the inconsistencies in the swings lead to 9 strikeouts.
Game 3 – Boston wins 15th straight vs Long Island
|Thaxton – 3B||5||4||1||0||J. Dejesus||3||0||1||1|
|McCormick – R||5||3||0||2||– Erickson||1||0||0||—|
|Dias – RS||5||2||1||2||C. Dejesus||3||1||1||2|
|Haile – DH||3||1||1||—||– Slatin||1||0||1||—|
|– Sanchez – DH||2||1||0||—||Barrera||3||1||1||2|
|J. Proctor DF/LS||—||—||—||5||– Zampella||1||1||0||—|
|Yee – 1B||3||2||0||0||Gilroy||4||1||1||0|
|– Devenish – 1B||1||0||1||2||Agnone – DH||3||1||1||—|
|Zuccarello – MF||3||2||0||0||Hughes – DF/DH||1||0||0||0|
|– Quintanilla – PH||1||1||0||—||Fink||2||1||0||2|
|– Sajjad – MF||0||0||0||0||– Thorne||2||1||0||1|
|Pitcher- Cochran||22||13||3||J. Sciortino|
|Pitcher – Connoly||6||3||1|
|RS Caller – A. Proctor|
Since the inception of the Beast of the Eat, the top two teams have been Boston and Long Island. These games are always some of the best games to test the Renegades defense. After, the inconsistent swings in the philly game, it would be a test to see if the focus would improve for Boston.
Ron Cochran would throw a total of 7 pitches in the first inning to four batters. Christian Thaxton would score on a line shot directly over the head of Megan Fink. McCormick, Dias and Haile would then be stopped by Alex Barrera on the right side, Chris Dejesus on the right side and Megan Fink on the left side. Long Island would tie the game at one when Alex Barerea hit a lazy pop fly to the right side where Joe Yee and Justen Proctor would have a miscommunication allowing the run to score. In the second, Peter Connolly would step in to face his cousin, Joe Yee and on a 45 foot dribbler to the left side, Yee would leg out a tough run. Guy Zuccarello then hit a line drive to the right side for a run. Thaxton scored on a pop fly off the end of his bat and McCormick would also score on a high fly ball to put Boston ahead 5-1.Aas the bottom of the second started, Long Island’s pitcher, James Sciortino questioned the distance of the line for the pitchers mound. He found out for the first inning, he was throwing from 30 feet and from the wrong line. Moving up ten feet made an immediate impact as every hitter in the lineup in the second inning would put the ball into play. Pasquale Agnone lined a shot off his pitchers hip that sent him sprawling to the ground. Sciortino dusted himslef off and Pasquale hit a ball down the 3rd baseline for a run. Fink would score on a ball hit up the middle where the Boston defense struggled with communication. Chris Dejesus would plate the 4th run of the game before Joe McCormick and Justen Proctor would make stops to end the inning. Boston would lead 5-4 heading into the third. Cochran would get on a good run in the 3rd as Zuccarello, Thaxton and Haile would score. Joe Yee would also score on a ball hit into no mans land up the middle of the Long Island defense. Boston lead 9-4. The bottom of the third was a goose egg for the Bombers as it was all Justen Proctor making all the defensive stops of the inning. Boston was alive now and the swings were looking more polished. The Renegades sent 10 hitters to the plate and plated 7 runs in the frame. McCormick and Dias plated a pair in the inning. Thaxton scored on a high fly ball while David Sanchez and Joe Quintanilla came off the bench for base hits. If Boston could hold Long Island, the 12 run rule would be invoked in just the 4th inning. Joe McCormick made a nice play deep in the middle of the defense off the bat of Chris Dejesus on a ball that went under Zucarrello for the first out. After an Alex Barrera strikeout, John Gilroy laced a grounder down the first base line. Newly inserted, Shawn Devenish ranged to his left and made the stop. That put the game into the 12 run rule. Long Island would scratch a few runs off the board once the mercy rule came into play but Boston was too much on this afternoon, winning 16-7 with Boston only hitting for 4 innings. A highlite in the 12 run rule was the evolvement of Shawn Devenish who would make another stop, giving him 2 for the game and 3 for his career.
Game 4 – Boston Prevails in an Exhibition match vs Rochester 6-0
|Harrington||3||0||1||0||Devenish – 3B||3||1||2||0|
|Werner||3||0||1||3||– Haile – 3B||1||0||1||0|
|Smith||3||0||3||3||Thayer – DH||4||0||3||—|
|Riggins||3||0||3||1||Thaxton – DF/RS||—||—||—||1|
|O’Brien – DH||1||0||1||—||– Hoyt – DF/MF||—||—||—||0|
|– Kolbuc – DH||2||0||1||—||Sajjad – MR/RS||4||1||1||2|
|Bell – DF||—||—||—||0||Soto – R||3||2||0||0|
|Jones||1||0||1||0||J. Proctor – LS||2||1||0||1|
|– Jedynak||2||0||2||0||– Quintanilla – PH||1||1||0||—|
|– McCormick – RS||0||0||0||1|
|Russell – 1B||3||0||1||0|
|Pitcher- J. Redmond||Pitcher- Connolly||17||4||7|
|Pitcher – Cochran||4||2||1|
|RS Caller – A. Proctor|
The weather had held out and we had no rain, but the team was suffering looking at Coach Rob’s rain pants. Those magical pants helped keep the fields dry for the day! This game would not count against the Beast of the East standings as it was previously agreed to make the Friday night game the game of record as both teams thought this game was in jeopardy of not getting played. The game would take after a short lunch break and Peter Connolly would get the call to start the game. Rochester chose to be the visiting team with hopes of scoring first. In this game they would have their lead-off hitter, Brian Harrington in the line up. Harrington would get things started with a grounder that Justen Proctor would eat up. That would be the only ball out into play for the first 8 hitters of the game. Rochester and Boston would strike out 7 straight times as both teams suffered the lunch break coma and struggled with the odd field that had home plate much lower than the pitcher’s mound. As the media sat near the Renegades on-deck circle, Coach Weissman asked them to have patience and that it would get better. That promise deleivered in the bottom of the second as Luis Soto would score on a fly ball to left center and Justen Proctor would hit a wrist rolling grounder to third base for a run. The funny thing is both of those hits made the video from the news who was watching. In the top of the 3rd inning, Christian Thaxton would record a defensive stop while playing right shorty, a Position he has been working on and learning. In the bottom of the 3rd inning Aqil Sajjad, Luis Soto and Shawn Devenish plated runs which would give Boston a commanding 5-0 lead. In the 4th we had a scare as Zach Kolbuc hit a high fly to the right side and raced off toward third base. The Boston bench got nervous as his path was so far out of the base line and he was heading on to the pavement and toward the bathrooms. A yell of stop killed the play. After a talk about safety, the Rochester coaches agreed it was the best thing to have done and Aqil Sajjad was credited with a defensive stop. Joe Quintanilla would score the only other run of this game as Boston would cruise to a 6-0 victory in a game that had 21 strike outs. It would mark just the 7th time the Renegades would shut out an opponent in team history.
Game 5: Renegades put quick hurt on titans 13-6 in just 3 innings!
|Thaxton – 1B/MF||4||3||0||3||Bordley||4||2||1||1|
|McCormick – R/1B||4||1||2||0||Hogwood||4||1||1||0|
|Dias – RS/LS||4||2||1||2||Morgan – DH||4||1||1||—|
|Haile – DH||3||2||1||—||Koppenjan – DF||—||—||—||0|
|– Sanchez – DH||1||0||0||—||Harrell||4||0||4||1|
|J. Proctor -DF LS/RS||—||—||—||1||Turner||4||2||1||0|
|Zuccarello – MF||3||2||0||0||George||4||0||3||3|
|– Buizon – R||—||—||—||1|
|Yee – 3B||3||3||0||0|
|Pitcher- Dickerson||15||8||4||Pitcher- G. Rutz|
|Pitcher – Connolly||7||5||0|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller -A. Proctor|
The New Jersey Titans were coming into this game with a lot of momentum and a lot of confidence with a big win in Chicago over the Chicago Comets. Much of the league thought the Titans may be better than the Renegades. Haddonfield, NJ would the the site of the second leg of the Beast of the East. The field conditions would be much less than optimal with fast low cut grass, giant bald spots and a gulley in deep left field that led to a fence.
The Titans would win the coin toss and elect to be the home team. Jamie Dickerson and Peter Connolly would split time with Dickerson taking the first 4 hitters in the line up and Connolly pitching to Yee and Zucarello. Boston would strike fast and the Titans would struggle with the combination of the Boston speed and the field conditions. Thaxton would score on a pop up off the top of his bat, McCormick would score on a grounder to third, Dias would blast a grounder to the left side on his 2nd pitch and Larry Haile would score on a fly ball up the middle. Eight pitches by Dickerson produced 4 runs. Connolly trotted out and kept the mojo alive as Zuccarello hit the first pitch up the middle for a run and then Joe Yee lined a shot down the ride side. Six up, six in and the top of the order turned over. Thaxton would ground a ball to the left side but he took 2 steps to first as he thought first base rang before he corrected and ran to third but Randy George made the stop with the extra time. McCormick and Dias would end the inning with strike outs, Dias on 7 pitches. Bad base running would be a trend in the first as Titan, Lamont Bordley would miss third to lead off the game and Rob Dias would stop him deep behind first base. Boston would put its Hogwood shift into place and leave Thaxton on an island on the right side. Hogwood would hit a shot down the right side and Thaxton would make an amazing diving stop angling back to the first baseline. After one, Boston had the momentum on both sides of the ball.
In the 2nd, Larry Haile and Joe Yee would score on pop flies up the middle and Thaxton would go opposite field to push the score to 9-0. The Titans bottom of the order struggled and struck out twice and the Renegades smelled blood. Keeping the pressure on, Boston would send 7 batters to the plate in the third with Connolly getting a solid opposite field liner from Zuccarello and Joe Yee while Dickerson plated runs with Thaxton and a smash off the bat of Rob Dias. If the Defense could hold, the 12 run rule would be in effect. Lamont Bordley would strike out in the bottom of the third. Hogwood would get a ball through the shift and it was 13-1. Christian Thaxton would stop Marvin Morgan and Boston would have the 12 run rule which meant the defense would have to hold the Titan defense for 9 outs without hitting. The Titans would score one in the 4th. In the 5th, they would plate two but Boston’s Joe Buizon who came in for defense would make his first defensive stop since 2013 off the bat of Scott Hogwood. Thaxton and Justen Proctor would make stops in the 6th and Boston would win 13-6 on a 3 inning 12 run rule win. It would mark just the 20th time in team history the Renegades would 12 run an opponent, but the 11th time since 2016. With tie breakers in play, Boston would have a commanding lead as they let up 1 run per inning to the 4+ runs per inning the Titans allowed.
The Live stream was cut out and is in two parts:
Game 6: Boston kicks dirt on the Lightning 15-4
|Sanchez – 1B/R||4||2||1||0||Bahn||4||1||1||2|
|– Russell – 1B||2||0||1||0||Johnson||4||1||3||1|
|Quintanilla – DH||5||1||2||—||Washington||4||2||1||2|
|– Haile – DH||1||1||0||—||Foster||3||0||2||0|
|Zuccarello – DF/RS||—||—||—||0||– Penera||1||0||1||0|
|– McCormick DF/RS||—||—||—||1||Kirchner||3||0||0||1|
|Buizon – MF||6||2||2||0||Durran||1||0||1||0|
|Devenish – 3B||5||1||3||0||– Winthrop||1||0||1||0|
|– Hoyt – 3B||0||0||0||0||– Orcell||1||0||1||0|
|J. Proctor – LS||5||5||0||6|
|Soto – R||3||1||2||0|
|– Yee -3B||2||2||0||0|
|Pitcher- Dickerson||4||2||0||Pitcher – Hessi||18||3||10|
|Pitcher – Connolly||29||13||9||Pitcher – Bahn||4||1||1|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller -A. Proctor|
Dirt was a theme. Players found dirt in odd places after this game because the field was 80% dirt with almost no grass. Boston would trot out a lineup of 6 batters who did not start in the first game. Peter Connolly would toe the rubber for all 6 hitters to start this game. Rookie, David Sanchez got things started with a hard grounder on the first pitch of the game. Lightning, Dan Johnson hit the dirt and made a brilliant stop. Boston then would begin to struggle. Quintanilla and Buizon would strike out on 8 pitches, 7 of them misses. Justen Proctor would then get Boston on the board with a grounder up the middle in the second frame. Boston continued to struggle at the plate as Connolly couldn’t find the bats of Luis Soto and Sanchez. They struck out on 9 pitches; 7 swings and misses.
At this point in the game, Boston had struck out 4 times and the Lightning 3. A very slow start. Andre Foster and rookie, Cody Kirchner hit weak grounders that Justen Proctor gobbled up in the bottom of the second.. Struggles continued for Boston as Connolly was lost with Quintanilla and Devenish as they each picked up their second whiff of the game in the third. On a slightly positive note, Joe Buizon put his first ball into play since 2013 but Sherlock Washington stopped him in left center. Weissman was looking for ways to kick start the offense and get Connolly his confidence back. Before he could pull the trigger, Lightning lead off hitter, Casey Bahn led off the bottom of the third with a grounder to the right side that eluded Guy Zuccarello. David Sanchez would hit the dirt in his first career defensive play but would come up empty as Casey Bahn scored raising his hands in victory. Game tied at 1-1.
Weissman had Joe McCormick ready to go into the game and removed Zuccarello in case his bat was needed to get Connolly going. Zuccarello would need to wait for six outs before he could enter the lineup. With a tie score in the top of the 4th, Justen Proctor would lead off and score on a grounder to the right side making it 2-1. Looking to get Connolly some mojo, Weissman took Joe Yee off the bench to hit for Luis Soto. Yee scored on the 2nd pitch he saw. Sanchez then scored and the Renegades swagger was back. In between innings, adjustments were being made and Connolly suggested to Quintanilla to switch to hit off Dickerson as he was struggling to find Q’s bat. Without any bp of Jamie, Q put it in play but was put out in center by Washington. Buizon scored on a dribbler for his first run of the season. Proctor, Yee and Sanchez all scored for the 2nd time of the inning and Quintanilla scored off Dickerson. Boston now led 9-1 and the game looked like the tables had turned. The Renegades would end up winning the game easily after a slow start 15-6. Justen Proctor was the hero of the game scoring 5 times in 5 trips to the plate and making 6 of the 7 defensive stops for the Renegades. It was Justen’s first 5 run game of his career. Boston was now 5-0 and would play the 4-1 Titans for a game to determine 1st place.
Game 7: Boston is the Beast of the East for the 8th time downing the Titans 21-13
|Thaxton – 1B/MF||7||7||0||2||Bordley||6||3||1||1|
|McCormick – R||7||4||2||0||Hogwood||5||3||0||1|
|Dias – RS||7||4||2||1||Morgan – DH||5||0||3||—|
|Haile – DH||6||2||2||—||Rutch – DF||—||—||—||1|
|J. Proctor – DF/LS||—||—||—||5||George||5||2||2||2|
|Yee – 3B||2||1||0||0||Harrell||5||2||2||1|
|– Buizon – MF||2||2||0||0||Turner||5||3||1||2|
|– Sanchez – PH||1||0||1||—|
|– Devenish – 3B||—||—||—||1|
|– Quintanila – PH||1||0||1||—|
|Zuccarello – MF/3B/1B||6||1||2||0|
|Pitcher- Dickerson||28||17||6||Pitcher – G. Rutz|
|Pitcher – Connolly||11||4||4|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller -A. Proctor|
For the 3rd time during the weekend, Boston lost the coin toss would be the visiting team. Weissman smirked and said to Titan Coach, Steve Rutch with a smile “how did that work out for you last game?” Things started similarly as Boston plated 3 straight runs on 5 pitches thrown by Dickerson to Thaxton, McCormick and Dias. Connolly would get a run from Yee and then Dickerson scored with Thaxton, McCormick and Dias again. Boston plated 7 runs in the fist inning, one of their best first innings in team history. The Titans would get a run from Scott Hogwood and some good defense by Christian Thaxton and Justen Proctor would shut down the threat. In the 2nd, Thaxton and McCormick would loft deep shots into left to pull the Gades ahead 9-1. The Titans had no answer as Alfonso Harrell and Zach Turner each whiffed.
The Boston third was a turning point. Haile, Sanchez (in for Joe Yee who needed to get his aching shins a rest) and Zuccarello all struck out. Like a vulture that could taste blood, the Titans caught fire. A combination of a hot pitcher, speed, bad defensive calls, poor mechanics, fast fields and a lapse in concentration resulted in one of the Renegades worst innings in years as the Titans put 10 runs on the board to go ahead 11-1 after three. Through all these plays, the Titans 20+ fans were making things a loud and emotional environment. This was just the 6th time in team history an opponent had scored 10 or more runs in an inning. The Renegades had never won in this situation. Weissman never wavered and even told his team how important this moment was. The key was to see how the team would respond.
Respond they did. In the 4th, Thaxton and McCormick hit shots into left. Dias hit a ball that Zach Turner could not pick up and Larry Haile scored on a grounder up the middle. Thaxton scored his 5th run of the game in the same inning and Boston now lead 14-11 after three and a half. The Titans had no response as they went down 1-2-3 with two strikeouts and a weak hit grounder to Rob Dias to close out the fourth inning. Peddle to the medal in the 5th. Larry Haile got things started with a run when Peter Connolly came to the mound to face Buizon in an important at bat. With a full count, Buizon responded with a fly ball and a run as the Renegades erupted. Zuccarello connected with Connolly for his only run of the game. At the end of the 5th inning Boston had reached 19 offensive runs. The Titans put up back to back scores from Turner and Bordley before Justen Proctor made two nice defensive stops to end the threat in the 5th. Buizon plated his second run of the game on a grounder that hugged the third base line all the way into the gulley in deep left. Thaxton then scored a Renegade record 7th run of the game. Boston had scored 21 runs, its largest output of the year and only the 3rd time it had plated 20 runs in a game in team history. The Renegades would win 21-13.
The Titans would score 10 of their 13 runs in one inning of play. Thaxton paced the offense with 7 runs. McCormick and Dias each plated 4 runs. Proctor led the defense with 5 stops. Boston won its 8th game straight and 8th Beast of the East title and started 2018 with a 7-0 record. A total team effort from the Renegades, its coaches, pitchers and callers (Bryan Grillo and Aaron Proctor). For the first time in team history, Boston weathered a 10 run inning on defense and came back to win. In fact, Boston lost 15 straight games prior to this when letting up 8 or more runs in an inning. That resolve will be something to build on for the upcoming World Series
Game 8 – WS Game #1 Boston beats Philly in world series for the first time ever 10-1
|Margist||3||1||2||2||McCormick – 1B/R||5||1||2||0|
|– Scales||1||0||1||0||Dias – RS/MF/LS||4||3||1||4|
|Coughlin||3||0||1||6||Haile – R||4||2||1||2|
|Rhines – DH||3||0||2||—||– Yee – 3B||0||0||0||0|
|G. Natoli – DF||—||—||—||1||Devenish – 3B||3||0||0||0|
|Kelly||3||0||1||0||– Quintanilla – PH||1||0||0||—|
|Capati||2||0||1||0||– Sajjad – 3B/1B||0||0||0||0|
|– Kessler||1||0||0||0||Sanchez – DH||3||3||0||—|
|A. Greene||2||0||2||0||– Soto – DH||1||0||1||—|
|– M. Tawam||1||0||0||0||j. Proctor – DF/LS||—||—||—||1|
|– Buizon – DF/RS||—||—||—||0|
|Zuccarello – MF/RS/LS||4||1||1||1|
|D. Natoli||Pitcher- Cochran||20||9||4|
|Pitcher – Connolly||5||1||2|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller – Proctor|
East Coast beep baseball is growing and for the first time ever, 5 teams from the northeast made the trip to the World Series. The Philly Fire had never been to a World Series under this brand. They last went under a different name, the PA Wolfpack in 2008. The Fire’s lineup had three starters who were not available when these two teams faced off in Rochester. Also notably missing from the Renegade lineup was 2018 MVP, Christian Thaxton. He was out of the match recovering from a concussion he received in practice 2 weeks earlier.
Boston would come out with a new defensive alignment for the first two hitters in the Philly line up. Justen Proctor would make a stop in this shift to get the defense going. In the bottom of the first, Boston would start slowly as Rob Dias scored the lone run on a shot into left for the Gades. Mike Coughlin would make two stops in the frame to keep Boston at bay.
Boston would flash some defense in the 2nd when Guy Zuccarello made a nice stop off the bat of Dan Kelly. Larry Haile also made a fine stop in deep left off the bat of Jeremy Capoti.
In the second, Rookie, David Sanchez got things started. Facing Cochran, he hit a high pop up down the third base line on the first pitch. Peter Connolly came to the mound making his World Series debut in just his 2nd year pitching. With three strikes, Guy Zuccarello, laced a line drive up the middle. Back to Cochran, Joe McCormick struck out on 4 swings and misses. Rob Dias hit the first pitch he saw into deep left and then Larry Haile laced a liner to left as well for a run. This brought Sanchez up for the 2nd time in the inning. After hitting Cochran with a bouncer for a no pitch, he laced a line drive up the gut on a 3 strike count. Boston sent 8 hitters to the dish in the 2nd and the score was 6-0.
John Margist got Philly got on the board in the 3rd when Shawn Devenish over ran a ball at third base. That would be all for Philly as Larry Haile made his second stop of the game and the season to end the inning on a play in left field. A break through game for Haile, who had lengthy discussions about his need to relax on defense with his team on the ride to Wisconsin.
From here, Boston was in control. the good news was Joe McCormick would find his groove and get his swing into place. Rob Dias would also play some spectacular defense in this game making stops on all 4 balls Philly put in play in the 5th and 6th. David Sanchez would also have his first career three run game. Boston would stop 89% of the balls hit into play in this match, the 5th time in team history it had happened against the Philly team. It was only the 21st time in team history, the Renegades would hold an opponent to one run or less (6th time vs Philly)
The bad news was that both teams suffered injuries. For Philly, they lost rookie speedster, Justin Rhines to a hamstring pull in the 5th inning. For Boston, Sanchez also got hurt on his final run when he banged his knee into the ground hitting the base. This win for Boston would mark its 9th win in a row.
Game 9 – WS Game# 2 Boston blinded by the Toronto Blind Jays but still win 4-1
|Haile – DH||2||0||1||—||St. Denis||4||0||0||0|
|– Dias – DH||2||0||0||—||Ho Lung – DH||3||0||3||—|
|Yee – DF/3B||—||—||—||0||Mohan – DF||—||—||—||0|
|Quintanilla – 1B/R||3||0||1||0||Gon Bae||3||0||2||0|
|– Haile – R||1||1||0||0||Cabral||3||0||1||2|
|Buizon – RS||3||3||0||3||Orgeles||3||0||0||3|
|– Devenish -1B||1||0||1||1||Prevost||3||1||1||2|
|Sajjad – MF||2||0||2||1|
|– McCormick – RS||2||0||1||0|
|J. Proctor – LS||3||0||1||4|
|Soto – R||2||0||2||0|
|– Zuccarello – MF||1||0||0||0|
|Pitcher- Cochran||16||4||6||Pitcher – A. Pressick|
|Pitcher – Connolly||6||0||3|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller – Proctor|
In the first ever match up against Toronto, Weissman decided to rest most of the starters to start this game. The Renegade coaches did not expect to see such a great Toronto defense. The constant on this day would be the strong defense of Boston, regardless of who was on the field. Justen Proctor stopped two Blind Jays in the first inning.
Larry Haile led off this game with a hard grounder to the right side that looked like a sure run. Sun Gun Bae looked like he was going to let this ball get by him. However, he hit the ground at the last second making a spectacular play to take it away from the Train. That would not be the case later in the inning. He would not stop Joey Buizon who laced the first pitch he saw from Cochran into right, for his first World Series run since 2009.
The top of the second was time for Buizon to shine on defense. He made two stops of his own while playing the right shorty position for the Gades. Justen Proctor hoped to have a big day at the plate after his 5 run performance against the Lightning in Haddonfield, two weeks earlier. He got off to a good start when he hit a hard grounder to the right side but was stopped. When asked later, he admitted, he had not run 100% because it was the first time he had run all day. That was not a good omen.
In the bottom of the third, Buizon would plate his second run with three strikes on him to give Boston a slim 2-0 lead. Proctor had another chance at offensive glory, but after hitting a nice shot into right, he missed what was possibly, his first missed base since 2011. In the top of the 4th, the Blind Jays got the bats going, but Boston flashed the leather.. Aqil Sajjad got into the action with a nice stop in the middle of the field. Next, Buzion made his third stop of the game. Then Aaron Prevost hit a grounder thru the left side that had eyes. On that bang-bang play. Prevost scored as Luis Soto lifted the ball. Toronto had cut the Renegade lead to 2-1 and they erupted as their 6-hole hitter had scored.
Toronto was showing they could hang with the Boston bench. In the 4th, Weissman brought Rob Dias into hit for Haile and Dias lofted a high fly to center. Three steps before he reached the bag, Cassie Orgeles picked the ball clean off the ground while standing up. Cochran and Weissman were wowed. It would get better. Quintanilla hit a 65 foot dribbler where only a lace was in fair territory on the first base line. Aaron Prevost would range to his left and nail Q before Joe was near the base.
In the top of the 5th, bad news would hit Boston. Joey Buizon hit a shot into right and took off toward third. In Buizon fashion, he talked to the ball as it left his bat saying “thats gone” and before he could finish his sentence, he was clutching his hamstring. He limped toward third for a run, but his day was over. Buizon represented more runs than all other 11 players in the lineup for both teams combined. Weissman was nervous. Toronto was hanging around and they were the home team. Joe McCormick entered the game, hitting for a struggling, Aqil Sajjad. He hit the 2nd pitch he saw on a line drive up the middle that looked like a sure run. Orgeles made one of the best defensive plays ever in beepball. She fielded the ball off a line drive on one hop and caught it in her hands chest high without bringing the ball to her body. It was if she could see it.
Larry Haile would reenter the game in the top of the 6th and get an insurance run for Boston. The Renegades would hang on to win 4-1 in a game that was too close. Boston did pull of the victory while playing the second string team for most of the game, but the win was not easy and it cost the team the service of Joey Buizon.
Game 10 – WS Game #3, Long Island Limps in and Loses 14-3
|C. Dejesus||4||0||1||4||McCormick – R/RS||4||4||0||1|
|J. Dejesus||4||1||2||0||Dias – RS||3||2||0||0|
|Barrera – DH||4||2||2||—||– Quintanilla – R||1||0||1||0|
|Hughes – DF||—||—||—||1||Haile – DH||4||3||0||—|
|Gilroy||2||0||1||0||j. Proctor – DF/LS||—||—||—||6|
|– Thorne||1||0||0||0||Devenish – 1B||4||3||0||2|
|Erickson||2||0||0||0||Yee – 3B||3||2||0||0|
|– Zampella||1||0||1||0||– Sajjad – MF||1||0||0||1|
|Fink||3||0||0||1||Zuccarello – MF||3||0||2||1|
|– Soto – 3B||—||—||—||0|
|D. Mazza||Pitcher- Cochran||17||12||1|
|Pitcher – Connolly||6||2||2|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller – Lenicheck|
As Boston was finishing it’s game with Toronto, there was a lot of cheering coming from the adjacent field. The Philly Fire were locked in a battle with the Long Island Bombers. They would mount a come from behind victory to walk off on the Bombers by the score of 10-9. Even though this Fire team was not the same as the team in Haddonfield, it still took a toll on the Bombers. Combine that loss with the loss of one of their long Time volunteers and pitchers, James Sciortino who could not make the trip due to vertigo, the Bombers were dizzy. Their next opponent owned a 14 game winning streak against them.
What once was a huge challenge for the Renegades, after losing 7 straight games to Long Island from 2002-2007 now looked impossible for Long Island. Things got no easier in this match when the coin toss went to Boston. Long Island did manage to plate a run off the bat of Alex Barrera (who fares very well against Boston) but it was all Justen Proctor from there. He made 3 stops in the first inning. In the bottom of the 1st, Boston did something it had only done 5 times in 238 tries. Boston opened the first inning plating eight runs to put the hammer on the Bombers. Joe McCormick, Rob Dias and Shawn Devenish all plated a pair of runs to lead the squad as they also got contributions from Larry Haile and Joe Yee. The hurt was on.
The pain got worse for Long Island when Edgar Erickson was stopped by Guy Zuccarello to start the 2nd. Meghan Fink was stopped by Proctor and then lead-off hitter, Joe DeJesus struck out. McCormick, Haile, Devenish and Yee all scored again for Boston to push the lead to 12-1 after one and a half. It looked like a 12 run game was in the works for Boston. Again in the 3rd, Alex Barrera got a bite out of the Renegades with his 2nd run of the contest but that run was sandwiched by strike outs and another weak out to Justen Proctor on the left side.
The hope was gone from the Bomber bench. Joe McCormick would plate his 4th run of the contest to lead off the bottom of the 3rd inning. Larry Haile would plate his third run of the game in the same frame and the damage was done. It was 14-2 and the 12 run rule was invoked for the 4th straight time between these two teams.
For the rest of the game, Long Island stayed at the plate while the Boston defense made plays. Boston needed to record 9 outs to end the game. Boston’s defense made five stops led by Proctor who made 2 more to lead the team with 6 on the game. Shawn Devenish would also make two nice stops as he continued to grow as a defender. Aqil Sajjad came off the Boston bench to contribute with a stop of his own late in this match.
When the dust settled, this contest was all Boston. Shawn Devenish proved to himself, his defensive work was paying off. He made 2 stops in this game compared to the 3 stops he had in his career at this point. Joe McCormick shook off a 1-7 start to the series by fixing his mechanics and getting on a roll. All in all, Boston got their mojo back hitting .609 in the contest (8th best all-time). They struck out just 3 times (13%) which was the best rate of the 2018 season to date. Boston finished round robin 3-0. It entered double elimination as the one seed for the 4th straight year and only the 5th time in history.
Game 11 – WS Game #4, Boston holds on to beat BCS 4-2
|Romack||4||0||0||0||Thaxton – DH||4||1||1||—|
|H. House||3||1||0||0||McCormick – 3B/R||3||1||1||0|
|Walters||3||1||0||2||Dias – RS||3||1||0||3|
|Stevens – DH||2||0||1||—||Devenish – 1B||3||0||1||0|
|– Fredrick – DH||1||0||1||—||Quintanilla- R||1||0||0||0|
|Junek- DF||—||—||—||2||– Yee – 3B||2||0||1||0|
|Newhouse||3||0||0||0||J. Proctor – LS||3||1||0||12|
|Pitcher – J. House||Pitcher- Cochran||14||3||3|
|Pitcher – Connolly||5||1||1|
|LS Caller- Grillo/Lenicheck|
|RS Caller – Lenicheck/A. Proctor|
Day two of the World Series would have the number 4 seed, Renegades play the 13 seed BCS (Bryant College Station, Texas) Outlaws. BCS came i to this match with a 1-2 record with their win coming about 30 minutes prior to this game over the Seattle South King Sluggers by the score if 8-1.
This game would take place across the street from the main complex in the outfield if a baseball field with our home plate being placed in dead center field. The grass on this field was much thicker and would make this a defensive game for sure. The Renegades would be heavy favorites here over a young Outlaw team. Christian Thaxton would make his World Series debut after getting medical clearance to play and he would try to get the rust off after not swinging off live BP for almost two weeks.
BCS would strike first as their first 4 hitters put the ball into play. Justen Proctor gobbled the first two up but then Hillary House hit a fly ball which Joe McCormick could not find in the tall grass. Jason Walters then hit a ball that Joe Quintanilla could not grab. A confident Outlaw team drew first blood and led 2-0. The Renegades started slow as Thaxton went down on 4 pitches and Joe McCormick whiffed in 4 pitches as well. Rob Dias scored on a line shot to left and then Shawn Devenish went down swinging on 6 pitches.
Justen Proctor asserted himself in the 2nd making all three stops on defense. Joe Quintanilla hit a line drive to the right side on the first pitch of the bottom of the second, but he lacked enough speed and was put out. Proctor started this game in the line up and hit the first pitch he saw but came up empty. Thaxton managed to get this ball into play but the tall grass and good BCS defense ate it up and the GADES went down 1-2-3 and were behind after 2 innings 2-1.
BCS was making more consistent contact but the shorty combination of Justen Proctor and Rob Dias would send them down 1-2-3 in the third. Joe McCormick would tie the game in a deep ball into left to lead of the bottom of the third. Weissman knew this game was going to be close and pulled Quintanilla in favor of Joe Yee. Yee was having a monster year with his cousin, Peter Connolly pitching. The result of this at bat ended in a strike out.
In the 4th, the trend was Proctor and Yee as they tallied all the outs. Till this point in the game, Proctor had 9 stops. Dias had made a pair and BCS only struck out once. This young team was holding their own. Justen Proctor would then get his biggest hit of the year scoring on a line drive to start the 4th inning off Peter Connolly, for Connolly’s only run in this contest. Thaxton then scored his first run if the series on a deep fly to right center. Boston led 4-2.
Both teams would continue to put the ball in play, but neither would score for the remainder of the game. Boston would hold on to a tight 4-2 victory. Justen Proctor would tally a total of 12 stops and would end the game making a crazy stop on a line drive off his leg off the bat of Drew Bernet. Those 12 stops tied a Renegade record that stood since 2004 from Darren Black. In those days Black would play in a different defense which allowed him more chances. So in reality, this effort was more impressive. In addition to this, the Gades set a team record making 16 defensive stops in a 6 inning game with Dias picking up a hat trick and Zuccarello adding one of his own.
After the game, Peter Connolly would see the end of his World Series. Many of the Renegades took bp off Ron to work on their timing. Thaxton took a lot of BP to help him get his groove back after a 1-4 performance. The team played well enough to win but really lacked energy. This would be concerning heading up against the Indy Edge in its next match. For now though, the win sent the Renegades to the next round of double elimination and allowed them to take the afternoon off. That proved very big as huge thunder storms would postpone all games to start at 7:00am the next day. Boston was able to rest and reload.
Game 12 – WS Game #5, Boston taken to the Edge and mercy ruled for first time in 2018: 23-8
|Perez||5||3||1||0||Thaxton – DH||4||2||0||—|
|– Gers||1||0||1||0||Buizon – DF/3B/RS||—||—||—||2|
|– Christian||—||—||—||0||– Quintanilla – DH||1||0||0||—|
|Mulherin||6||4||0||3||McCormick – R||4||0||2||0|
|Morris||6||5||0||3||– Zuccarello – PH||1||0||0||—|
|Foppiano||6||5||0||3||Dias – MF||3||3||0||1|
|Gregory – DH||6||4||1||—||– Sajjad – PH||1||0||0||—|
|Mazeriegos – DF||—||—||—||4||Haile – 1B||3||1||0||0|
|J. Michaels||5||2||0||– Yee – PH||1||0||0||—|
|– Dobbs||0||0||0||1||Zuccarello – RS||0||0||0||0|
|– Sanchez – PH||1||1||0||—|
|– Devenish 3B||—||—||—||0|
|– Yee – PH||1||0||0||—|
|– Zuccarello – RS||—||—||—||2|
|– Sanchez – PH||1||0||0||—|
|– Soto – PH||1||0||1||—|
|j. Proctor – LS||3||0||1||4|
|– Devenish – PH||1||1||0||—|
|Pitcher – K. Kennedy||Pitcher- Cochran||25||8||4|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller -Lenicheck|
A lot of league wide hot stove debates included the potential World Series fortune of these two franchises. Their stories are very different. On one hand, there is the Renegades where every single player and coach has grown up in the Renegade system. A team with a former MVP on both sides of the ball (Guy Zuccarello and Christian Thaxton) One of the all time top home-grown programs with a team that seems to improve every year. A team who only played on the East Coast this year where the league always underestimates the level of ball in this region.
On the other hand is the Indy Edge, a new team name, but not many new players. Lots of aging veteran players from Indy trying to get a ring. They surround them-self with one of the most under rated pitchers in the game, a kid who grew up with the sport in Kyle Kennedy. They also recruit from all over the country with players from New Jersey, Florida, Arizona, California and Kansas representing this team. The Edge have three players who have won rings for other teams. They have former MVP’s on both sides of the ball, who won them playing for other teams. The Edge have a hall of fame roster made up of some of the all time greats of the game. The Edge also had a rookie who was burning things up on both sides of the ball. These teams were built very differently.
The Edge were pounding their opponents all week. They were 12 running many of their opponents. They slaughtered Cleveland 14-2, Seattle 12-0 and the Comets 21-7. All of those games were won in a mercy rule fashion. They also beat St Louis 21-13 on the first day of round robin. Many expected the Renegades to be their first test. Few gave the Renegades a chance. The combined scores of the Edge games were 69-22. The combined Renegade scores were 32-7.
After playing on a slow field vs BCS, Boston needed to prepare for a faster track. The Renegade hope involved the management of injuries to Sanchez, Thaxton and Buizon. Were they healthy enough to make a difference in this match. Boston won the coin toss and was confident in its strategy. It knew where Indy was going to attack. It just needed to stop them. Lupe Perez (former MVP for Austin) struck out to start things off. Justen Proctor stopped rookie Sensation, Nick Mulherin. Mark Morris got the team on the board with a run of his own. Proctor would close the inning stopping Danny Foppiano (rings with Kansas and West Coast). A great start for Boston.
Back in the lineup and more confident was Thaxton whom-lofted the first pitch he saw into the air for a run. With one out, Rob Dias crushed a ball into left for the 2nd Gade run. That brought David Sanchez up who was pinch-hitting for Guy Zuccarello in the first inning. Sanchez launched a bomb into deep left to show why he is one of the most exciting 2018 Rookies. The score was 3-1 Boston.
The second inning was not kind to the Renegade defense. Tobey Gregory who owned the Renegades while playing for the Thunder in the 2016 title game scored to lead off the inning. With one out, stopped by Rob Dias, Lupe Perez came to the plate. Drama would soon ensue. Every year since 2015, there is a call that goes against the Renegades.
In 2014, Against Bayou City there was a huge debate on the legality of re-entering Seth Clark into the game. The scorekeeper could not tell us when Clark left the game and we had marked down on our sheets that he was ineligible to return for a few outs. Despite the fact we had it documented and the scorekeeper did not, he was allowed to enter illegally, and scored. The Renegades lost this game by a few runs.
In 2015, Colorado entered a player into the game illegally and when Coach Weissman called them on it, there was no penalty. Colorado won that game by one run. In 2016, Weissman’s issues with Colorado continued in the semi-final game. On this play, Larry Haile scored a run and Colorado complained. At the start of the inning, Weissman told the scorekeeper Haile would pinch hit. the scorekeeper confirmed this knowledge. After the run scored Weissman was told he had not followed the right protocol. The run was taken off the board after a long debate. Boston won that game by one run in extra innings. In 2017, against Colorado, the umpire called Joe McCormick out of the batters box as soon as he made contact killing a Renegade Rally. boston lost that game 4-2. Boston had not faced Colorado in 2018, but the Drama would be vs the Edge.
Lupe Perez lofted a bomb down the third base line that landed about 150 feet down the line and one foot foul. The umpire called a fair ball. Ron Cochran was convinced the umpire did not know the rule and challenged Weissman to ask. Coach Rob approached the ump and asked if the ball had landed in fair or foul territory. The answer given was the ball landed in foul territory, but it passed the bag in fair territory. An argument was just beginning as the Renegade defensive players all took a knee. The ump was defiant that he knew the rules and that was a fair ball. Boston protested on the spot verbally but nobody collected the money. Cochran went to the rule book with the umpire and the two conferred for a few minutes. After a conference, Cochran walked past Weissman and stated, “the ump read the rule book to me, and the rule says its fair. I don’t believe it…but i don’t have my reading glasses.” He sauntered back to the bench. Weissman went to the rule book and asked where the rule was and started to read it as play resumed. As Mulherin was swinging the bat, Weissman found the rule was read incorrectly. Mulherin scored and the argument continued. Weissman underlined a key word that said “NOT” to the umpire who had missed that word. He had made the wrong call. It was a foul ball. Boston was adamant this needed to be corrected and stated they had protested it before.
It was not the Edge’s turn to gripe. Another play had occurred after the one in question and this was what the Edge argued. They did not want to turn back the play despite acknowledging the umpire made a mistake. The Edge additionally complained about how the “rules” of handling a protest were not followed because the money was not collected at the time of the initial protest. A call was made to the head umpire. Play was stalled for nearly 15 minutes. The edge knew the rule, they knew the umpire ruled incorrectly and they were willing to protest the game if the game was rolled back to that point in time. The head umpire tried to reason and look for sportsmanship. No compliance from the Edge. Boston would be screwed for the 5th year in a row on a bad call where everyone on the field knew the wrong thing happened. The umpire felt awful and even stated he did not want this pressure and would not ump again. No volunteer should ever be put into that situation. This was the travesty of the situation. The Edge lack of sportsmanship and thirst for rings was clearly shown here. Weissman was heard saying, he was done being a nice guy for future games. The team works too hard to get screwed like this every year.
The Edge would score three more times in this inning and after one and a half , the score was 7-3. In the bottom of the second, Boston showed little quit. Thaxton, Dias and Haile all scored on well struck balls to bring the score back to a one run game. At this time, it felt like that one run awarded on the foul ball would really hurt.
The third inning was a nightmare for Boston. Even though the defense knew the ball was going to the left side, they could not stop it. McCormick had 5 chances at balls on defense and came up empty. Buizon had 4 chances and came up empty. Proctor even had a pair and came up empty. Mulherin and Foppiano each plated a pair in the inning to lead the Edge to an 8 run inning. Boston had a whimper for an answer as only Rob Dias would score. It was 15-7.
The Edge put the hammer down in the 4th as Foppiano and Morris each plated a pair, leading the Edge to another 8 run inning. Dias and Proctor led the Renegades in failed chances on defense this inning. Larry Haile, Joe McCormick and Joey Buizon also struggled. The 12 run rule would soon be in effect as the score was 23-7. David Sanchez re-entered the game to lead off the 4th for Boston. He came up limping after hitting third base and that was going to be the beginning of the end of his World Series. Proctor and Thaxton were stopped in deep left by the rookie sensation, Nick Mulherin. Boston had been mercy ruled. This was the 4th time the team had been 12-runned since 2014, and the 2nd time against the Edge.
Boston would empty the bench and prepare to reload. This loss was not the end of their week. However, this loss would force the team to play three games on this day. The final score was 23-8. It was the 3rd worst loss in run differential in team history behind the 17 runs it lost to the 2008 West Coast Dawgs (which featured Mazareigos, Foppiano and Perez). It was also the third most runs ever allowed by the Renegades behind the 27 runs scored by the Bayou City Heat (which featured Tanner Gers who played a tiny role in this 2018 blow out. For just the 2nd time in our history a team scored 8 or more runs in an inning twice in the game.
Bottom line here was the Renegades were not ready. The coaching staff knew where the defense needed to play. The defense could not make plays. The defense struggled to adapt to the speed of this field. The offense was not clicking. Even though there was a huge delay for a bad call, that play had nothing to do with the outcome of this game. Eventually, the Edge would meet their match. Their injuries built up over the week and they would lose to the San Antonio Jets 19-17 to take 4th place. Their rookie sensation would make the league forget about Christian Thaxton. Mulherin would lead the league in 2018 hitting .706 in his rookie year. The home-grown team would have to pick up their heads. The Minnesota Millers were waiting, and they were hungry to knock off the limping Renegades. Boston packed up the gear and trekked across the soccer complex.
Game 13 – WS Game #6, It’s not miller time, Renegades wake up and win 17-9
|Thaxton – DH||6||4||1||—||Van Duyne||5||2||2||7|
|J. Proctor – DF/LS||—||—||—||6||Xiong||5||3||0||2|
|Dias – RS/MF||6||3||1||2||Paulson – DH||5||1||1||—|
|McCormick – R||6||4||1||2||Guerra – DF||—||—||—||1|
|Haile – 1B/3B||6||2||2||1||Schmitz||4||1||0||0|
|– Sajjad – 3B||—||—||—||0||McCoy||4||2||1||0|
|Devenish – 3B/1B||6||4||1||0||Peterson||2||0||0||0|
|Buizon – MF||0||0||0||1||Lemke||2||0||0||0|
|– Sanchez – PH||1||0||0||—|
|– Zuccarello – RS||0||0||0||—|
|– Yee – PH||2||0||2|
|– Buizon – MF||0||0||0||1|
|– Zuccarello – MF||2||0||0||1|
|Pitcher- Cochran||35||17||8||Pitcher- Elliason|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller – Lenicheck|
Both teams came into this game facing elimination. While Minnesota was working its way through the losers bracket. They had just eliminated the hopes of the East Coast New Jersey Titans. On the other hand, Boston was reeling after getting mauled by the Edge. Boston came into this match with a lifetime 4-0 record vs the Millers, the last time they faced was in 2016.
The Renegades came into this game extremely sluggish. Thaxton struck out on 4 pitches and then Rob Dias was put out easily by Evan Van Duyne. Joe McCormick then got things started with a run scoring pop fly up the middle of the field. Larry Haile hit a laser up the middle and Boston was up 2-0. It could have been more if not for a nice play made by Steve Guerra off the bat of Shawn Devenish in deep right field. The Millers got one back in the bottom of the first when speedster, Josh Xiong scored the Millers lone run. Joe McCormick made a play in deep left and Joe Buizon made a play up the middle. This would begin to set the tone. Boston would just start to prove it had more defensive depth beyond their former all-star, Justen Proctor.
Boston got some bad news in the 2nd inning when they sent up David Sanchez to hit for the injured Joe Buizon. The plan entering this game was to play a platoon in the 6 hole of the lineup because Buizon was nursing a hamstring injury. Sanchez hit the first pitch but his running looked awful and slow. Weissman wanted to know why he looked slower than his own grandmother. Sanchez was hurt and tried to play through it without being upfront about his injury. Dr. Marciello would soon deem Sanchez to be out for the World Series with a potential back injury. A crushing blow to the team and the Rookie for the Renegades. The next time through the order, Thaxton and Dias would plate runs on well struck balls. Evan Van Duyne would then make his second stop of the inning. Boston would lead 4-1. Van Duyne had 3 stops in 2 innings.
For the Millers, Matt McCoy would lead off the second with a run that eluded the right side. Larry Haile would check in with a stop on Chris Peterson at first base. Evan Van Duyne then scored to make it 4-3. Justen Proctor then checked in with his first stop of the game at left shorty and McCormick made his second stop in left field off the bat of Todd Paulson. Through 2 innings, Boston had stops by 4 different players on defense.
In the third, Boston would continue to put up crooked numbers. Shawn Devenish scored on a pop up to the right side. Joe Yee would strike out. Thaxton would score on a grounder up the middle. Dias would strike out for the second out. McCormick hit a line drive into left and Haile would strike out. Though Boston plated three runs, it also whiffed three times. The team was getting contributions, but just could not find momentum. Boston led 7-3 but the Millers felt they were in this game.
In the bottom of the third, Minnesota continued to pressure the Boston defense. Justen Proctor made his 2nd stop of the game off the bat of Riley Schmitz. Matt McCoy would score another run on the right side of the Boston defense. Joey Buizon stopped Chris Peterson for an out. Lead off hitter, Evan Van Duyne then struck out for the 2nd time in the game, a dagger for the Millers. Boston led 7-4.
Shawn Devenish was the sole offensive highlight for the Renegades in the 4th as he plated a run. Guy Zuccarello, Thaxton and Dias all helped Van Duyne become an All Star to end the inning. Evan Van Duyne had 6 stops through 4 innings. Between him and the Renegades having 4 strike outs, the game was going the way the Millers wanted. Boston clung to an 8-4 lead. The momentum was shifting.
The Millers caught fire as Josh Xiong, Todd Paulson and Riley Schmitz plated runs to start off the 4th. This time, the defense was able to stop McCoy as Zuccarello was cheating toward the line to make the stop. Proctor stopped pinch hitter, Pat Lemke. This brought the top of the order up. They Delivered. Van Duyne plated a run and then Josh Xiong plated his third run of the game. The Millers led 9-8.
Weissman called his team together. He encouraged them to wake up and get their energy level going. Two innings remained and their season was now on the line. They had found energy to come back vs the Titans two weeks earlier. This time, Joe McCormick started things off with a 4 pitch strike out without making contact. The team did not waver or panic. Larry Haile then fouled off 4 pitches before scoring on a line drive up the middle. Shawn Devenish kept up his seeing eye single magic when his hit eluded the Miller right side of the defense again for his third run of the game. Joe Yee then struck out for the second time of the game and the second whiff of the inning. This turned over the order. Good things happened. Thaxton, Dias and McCormick scored as the 1-2-3 punch. Boston had its best inning of the game, plating 5 runs. The score was now 13-8.
It was like the air came out of the Millers. They had the lead but now their team lacked the energy. Boston was playing with spunk it had not shown all week. The bottom half of the miller lineup had no answer as Proctor and Dias made stops. It was the first donut inning of the game. Boston could smell blood in the water. Again, the team came to Weissman who was proud of the turn in energy. A cheer for insurance cried out! “WE ARE FARMERS!”
That call for Farmers insurance was answered. Devenish led off the 6th with another ball to the right side. It would be the first time in his career, he would score 4 runs in a game! After Zuccarello was put out by Van Duyne again, the order turned over. On just 7 pitches, Cochran hooked up Thaxton, Dias and McCormick with their second 1-2-3 scoring inning. That was the nail in the coffin. Boston had 17 runs.
In the end, Boston had too much depth. Offensively,the Renegades had scored 17 or more times in a game for just the 14th time in team history. Christian Thaxton, Shawn Devenish and Joe McCormick paced the way with 4 runs each. Five Renegade hitters scored a pair or more! That’s a great contribution! Defensively, six different players made stops. Proctor would pace the team with six. however, Rob Dias, Joe McCormick and Joe Buizon all had a pair of stops as well. Comparing this to the millers, Evan Van Duyne had 7 stops but the rest of his team had just 3. It was not enough. Even though Miller pitcher, Dan Elliason pitched his heart out, only striking out 4…the Boston defense was too good. Boston made 14 defensive stops in a six inning game for just the 17th time! The Millers were eliminated and sent to the 9-12 bracket. Boston would then get a surprise as they soon learned the Tyler Tigers had upset the Chicago Comets.
Game 14 – WS Game #7, Renegades take it to Tyler 20-3
|Thaxton – DH||4||2||1||—||Jordan||4||1||3||2|
|– Soto – DH||2||1||1||—||Gainey||4||1||3||0|
|J. Proctor – DF/LS||—||—||—||1||L. Reed||3||1||0||1|
|– Buizon – LS||—||—||—||0||R. Reed||1||0||1||1|
|Dias – RS||4||2||1||0||Loyd – DH||3||0||2||—|
|– Sajjad – 1B||2||2||0||0||J. Smolka – DF||—||—||—||3|
|McCormick – 1B/RS||6||4||1||2||Jackson||2||0||0||1|
|Haile – R||3||1||1||0||– Black||1||0||0||0|
|– Yee – 3B||3||3||0||0||Artis||3||0||2||0|
|Devenish – 3B||4||1||1||1|
|– Quintanilla – R||2||1||0||0|
|Buizon – MF||0||0||0||0|
|– Yee – PH||1||1||0||—|
|– Zuccarello – MF||4||2||1||2|
|Pitcher- Cochran||35||20||7||Pitcher- Haskett||6||1||4|
|Catcher- Weissman||Pitcher- L. Woodard||14||2||6|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller -Lenicheck|
There was a lot of noise in the adjacent field as the Tyler Tigers upset the Chicago Comets. Tyler was assured their best ever World Series finish. In a weird and awful schedule move…Boston, Tyler and Chicago were forced to move fields, despite Boston being the highest seed. During this time, Coach Weissman grabbed his mentor, JT Herzog and asked what had happened and what to expect. The mentor shared some info with the mentee and the Gades were off to play Tyler for the first time since 2015. A Team they had not lost to since 2003. Weissman kept saying he felt like a student taking a test without a lot of preparation, as this Tyler team did not have a lot of history against the renegades. Boston owned a 7-1 lifetime record vs the Tigers.
Weissman would hope the energy of the Miller game would carry over. Thaxton led off the game with a run scoring ground ball. Rob Dias would strike out on 4 pitches, Joe McCormick struck out on 5 pitches and then Larry Haile finished the trifecta with a whiff of his own on 4 pitches. Not what Weissman wanted as he went to the bench cursing under his breath. Things were not much better fo Tyler as their first two hitters struck out. With two outs, Larry Reed came to the plate. He had worked a lot with the Renegades early in Weissman’s career as the two teams started around the same time. He hit a ball into the middle of the Renegade defense and Buizon, Dias and Proctor came up empty. Game tied 1-1
In the second with one out, Weissman went to the bench to hit for Buizon and brought in Joe Yee. Yee who was in the midst of his best season ever did not have a ton of success off Cochran. He had been hitting against his cousin, Peter Connolly who had departed the team the day before. In this at-bat, Cochran and Yee were in synch with a line drive up the gut of the Tigers defense. This Tiger defense was set up to take away the lines. That strategy worked against the Comets, but would soon be an issue against Boston. Soon is the key word, but at this time, Boston limped into the bottom of the second with a 2-1 lead. The bottom of the second started off with a nice stop at third base by Shawn Devenish who was gaining confidence in his defense. Julius Artis struck out. Lead off hitter, Ron Jordan (who was later honored for homering in 2017) struck out for the 2nd time of the game and the inning ended in a whimper.
Boston was aching to explode. The party started when McCormick scored on a grounder up the middle. The L-Train hammered a line drive into left for his first run of the game. After a Devenish strike out (in which he hit Cochran with a bouncer that resulted in a “no pitch”). Guy Zuccarello got his first at bat in the rotational 6 spot as Yee and Buizon were unable to hit. He hit the first pitch up the middle by Larry Reed for the 3rd run of the frame. Thaxton then scored on a pop fly down the 3rd base line and beat it out. Rob Dias joined the fun with a line drive by everyone into right field. Joe McCormick then scored his 2nd run of the game with a bomb into left field. When the dust settled, Boston put up 6 runs in the frame and now led 8-1.
Tyler had no answer in the bottom of the third as Jason Gainey joined Ron Jordan atop of the order with two whiffs in two attempts. Guy Zuccarello made a play on Larry Reed on a ball hit up the middle taking away a ball similar to the one he scored on in the first when Buizon was manning this position. Derrick Loyd, the tallest player in the league at 6-8 struck out to end things for Tyler.
Like sharks sensing blood, the Renegades were ready to pounce on their prey. Joe Smolka stopped both Zuccarello and Thaxton on grounders to the left side. Rob Dias kept his cool and got one by Smolka to begin a rally. McCormick hit a laser into right field. At this time, Weissman chose to re-enter Joe Yee into the game to get some defense on the field and get Haile some rest. Yee grounded a ball up the middle and scored. Shawn Devenish got on the board with a grounder to right field. Zuccarello then played his second run of the inning. Boston had now scored 11 runs in the past two innings and led 13-1.
Weissman had a quandary as Christian Thaxton was due up. The game was now at a 12 run differential and if Tyler did not score, the Renegades would not hit for the rest of the game. After playing three games in one day, it would be great to get the team back to the hotel. Unsure of what the team wanted, Weissman looked to the bench for guidance. Both Joe McCormick and Christian Thaxton quickly said….”Get everyone in, now!” Off the bench popped Luis Soto who fouled off 4 straight pitches before striking out. Aqil Sajjad also entered the game on defense.
Facing a 12-run deficit, Tyler would bring Carlos Black off the bench and Zuccarello stopped him cold. Julius Artis then got a ball into play to the right side but Joe McCormick, playing at right shorty stopped him. Ron Jordan and Jason Gainey, sitting at the top of the order finally got going helping prevent a 12 run mercy rule. It was 13-3.
The Renegades would now cut loose. Entering the game for Rob Dias would be Aqil Sajjad. He scored on a line drive up the middle for his first run since day one of the Series. Despite a 14-3 lead, The Renegade noise level could make one think it was a close game. This is Renegade culture. We root for our teammates hard so that everyone succee
McCormick then scored his 4th run of the match as he had stayed in the lineup, but moved to Dias’ Right shorty spot in the previous inning. Joe Yee scored on a grounder to the left side for his third run of the contest. Joe Quintanilla came into hit for Devenish. On the third pitch he saw, he tagged a line drive into right and scored his only run of the 2018 World Series. After a Zuccarello strike out, Luis Soto got a second chance to contribute. He hit a grounder up the middle and plated his first 2018 World Series run and the team energy was at an all week high. Aqil Sajjad then scored his second run of the inning. After Rosie Reed stopped Joe McCormick, Joe Yee plated his second run of the inning and 4th run of the game. It would be his first career 4-run game! Boston had plated twenty runs. In team history the Renegades had scored 20 or more in a game for just the 7th time.
Tyler was exhausted. You could see it in their body language, on their bench and in their faces. Five of their next six hitter struck out. A team that had just defeated Chicago had nothing in the tank for the Renegades. Tyler was off to the 7/8 seed game, and would eventually take 8th place. That would be their best ever finish in a World Series.
For the Renegades, this game would be record-setting. It broke a team record that stood since 2012. This 17 run win differential eclipsed a 16 run differential over a team who played in one tournament from York, PA. For Weissman, he praised his teams selflessness and was so excited to see his starting lineup rally to get their teammates into the game. Seeing Sajjad, Quintanilla, Soto and Sajjad score in that 5th inning was a highlite of the year for sure. The team chemistry makes the Renegades special. everyone pulls for each other.
Game 15 WS Game #8, A bid for a top 4 finish falls short to the Jets 11-8
|Arumbula||5||2||2||7||Thaxton – DH||5||3||0||—|
|Cox||5||2||1||0||J Proctor – DF/LS||—||—||—||2|
|Smith – DH||5||3||0||—||Dias – RS/MF||5||1||1||4|
|Wilcox – DF||—||—||—||3||McCormick – 1B/3B||4||1||4||1|
|A. Almanza||5||3||1||0||Yee – 3B||2||0||1||0|
|R. Almanza||5||0||1||1||– Haile – 1B/3B||2||0||0||0|
|Ruzicka||3||0||2||2||Devenish – R||4||1||1||3|
|– Lopez||1||1||0||0||Buizon – MF||0||0||0||0|
|– Flores||0||0||0||0||– Haile – PH||1||1||0||0|
|– Zuccarello- MF/RS||0||0||0||0|
|– Buizon – MF||2||0||1||1|
|– Yee – PH||1||1||0||0|
|Pitcher- K. Sibson||24||6||4||Pitcher- Cochran||26||8||8|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller -Lenicheck|
Friday morning and the Renegades were just one of six teams still alive with hopes of a World Series title. This was only the 5th year in team history this had ever happened, but it was the 5th consecutive time. The Renegades opponent would be the San Antonio Jets. The Jets entered this tournament as a team many felt would be in the finals. They came in as the three seed but were knocked off during the week by the Bayou City Heat. These teams had only played once historically as the Jets started their franchise in 2016. Boston won that contest by a big margin. Make no mistake, this jets team is run by a bunch of guys who have rings while playing for the Austin Blackhawks. Boston would need to be on their game to face this big challenge
To lead off the game for the Jets, Zach Arambula hit a grounder down the third base line. Bryan Grillo groaned out the call giving Joe Yee a hint the ball was down the line. Yee laid out too soon and did not track the ball well. San Antonio was on the board and Boston was off to a tough start. Axel Cox brought his rings from Austin to the plate and whiffed for the first out. David Crystal Smith worked the count to three strikes and then lofted a high fly ball which bounced of Shawn Devenish’s chest in left field. Devenish could not corral it and San Antonio led 2-0. Aaron Almanza then lofted a high fly ball down the third base line bouncing right near Joe Yee, but Yee hit the ground to early and the ball got away from him for a run. The Almanza connection brought Rene to the plate and he lofted a deep fly into left field where Shawn Devenish made a nice play for the second out. A great play for Shawn who had worked so hard on his defense since his rookie campaign in 2016. Ricky Ruzika then hit a line drive to the right side off the chest of Rob Dias who was playing on the Right Shorty position, Dias kept cool and picked up the ball in plenty of time for the out. A rocky start to the inning ended with two great plays. The Jets led 3-0.
For Boston, Christian Thaxton led off the inning with a hard ground ball bouncing of the left front man, Isaiah Wilcox. As Thaxton raced toward first, Zach Arambula crept up from his left center position to pick up the ball in time for a big Jets out. Rob Dias then lined the 2nd pitch he saw to the right side and raced toward first base. Axel Cox ranged to his right but Dias was too quick and put the Gades on the board. Looking to the tie the game, McCormick laced the second pitch he saw into left center. Zach Arambula ranged over and made a great play to nail Joe for a big out. Joe Yee would then strike out to end the Renegade’s inning. The defense of Arambula and Joe Yee would be a difference in this first inning. The Jets led 3-1 after a full frame.
In the second inning, the Jets would be back at the top of the order. Zach Arambula could not get going here and led off with a rare strike out, a gift for the Renegades. Number two hitter, Axel Cox hit a hard grounder up the left side that eluded Justen Proctor and rolled out to the rover spot where Shawn Devenish laid out for his 2nd stop of the game. Boston had a chance to get out of the inning unscathed. Smith came up and hit another deep ball to left field right at Devenish. Shawn had it lined up but when he hit the ground, his arms got pinned under his body like T-Rex, and these little arms could not grab the ball in time. He made a great play to line it up, but he used poor mechanics and that would hurt. The pain continued. On a fly ball down the third baseline off the bat of Aaron Almanza, Joe Yee hit the ground too early and could not pick the ball cleanly. Rene Almanza would hit another line drive that would bounce of Rob dias’ hulking chest. That “chest” made the stop. The Jets were now up 5-1. Boston had lined up 4 of the 5 plays but was playing too tight on defense.
Shawn Devenish led of the 2nd inning and with two strikes hit a weak grounder to Ricky Ruzika at the right shorty spot for a room service out. Larry Haile came off the bench to pinch hit for Joe Buizon and hit the first pitch he saw down the third base line. Haile raced down the third base line as Wilcox raced back to the line Wilcox gave way to Almanza and that hesitation would be enough for this perfectly placed tweener to plate a Renegade run. Back to the top of the order and Christian Thaxton dug in at the plate. Down to his last strike, Thaxton laced a bomb into left to bring the Renegades back to a 2 run deficit. Next, Rob Dias smoked a line drive up the middle, but Zach Arambula was in the right place at the right time and the ball kicked off his shin. He was able to recover and put Rob out for the second out of the inning. Isiah Wilcox would end the inning by making a nice play on a weak pop up to the left side off the bat of Joe McCormick. The Jet’s defense was making more plays than the Renegades.
Leading of the third inning would be the six-hole hitter, Ricky Ruzika. Ruzika who blasted on to the beepball scene in 2016 had not been practicing as often in 2018 and was not hitting during the series. He led off the inning with a strike out. Zach Arambula then hit a worm bunrer down the third base line. Justen Proctor made a great play running back toward the line and gobbled it up for his first stop of the game. Again, the Renegades had a chance for a 1-2-3 inning. Axel Cox stood in the way of this goal. With two strikes he hit a 40 foot dribbler to the 40 foot arc. Justen Proctor raced in to the line and could not hear it. Cox plated a gifted run. On the very next pitch, Bryan Grillo called a short ball and Proctor raced in as the ball rolled past him. He had to put on the brakes and run backwards. The bad call cost the team a run and Smith had his 3rd run of the game. Aaron Alamanza decided to pick on Justen Proctor again and hit a weak grounder to him. The ball kicked off Proctor’s body. He made a nice play to get to his feet and chase it down, but he could not hear it in the grass and the Jets had 3 straight runs off one of the best defenders in the game. For the 3rd straight inning, Rob Dias would stop the bleeding and make a nice stop on a fly ball to the right side. The Jets were up 8-3 against a shaky Renegade effort.
The bottom of the third inning would start with Joe Yee. In a comic moment, Yee fouled the ball to the Renegade bench and coach, Jason Lenicheck caught it on the fly. He then fired it over the head of Ron Cochran into the San Antonio bench, much like he did as a third baseman for Acton Boxboro High School. Joe Yee then grounded a ball up the middle where Zach Arambula stopped him for the first out. Shawn Devenish had no answer as he struck out. Weissman gambled next. Joe Buizon had hurt his hamstring against the Blind Jays on day one of the Series after scoring three times. Buizon had told him he was ready to go and Weissman rolled the dice looking to get something going down by 5 runs. That gamble failed. Buizon went down on 4 straight pitches. Boston had a donut for the inning.
The Jets had a chance to put some distance between them and Boston and extend their five run lead. They would start the inning by pinch-hitting for struggling Ricky Ruzika. Will Lopez would get his first at-bat against the Renegades in his career. Lopez, a rookie in 2017 was hurt much of that campaign. He wasted little time and on the second pitch hit a weak ball up the middle of the field. Proctor ranged to his left and stopped it but could not pick it up. A disturbing trend. Zach Arambula delivered on the first pitch he saw. Cox then hit a grounder up the left side that alluded both Proctor and Devenish. At the start of the inning, Weissman had moved Joe McCormick over to third base. David Smith hit a grounder past Proctor’s left. McCormick ranged way to his left and made a big stop for the Renegades to pick up Justen. Aaron Almanza then hit the first pitch he saw down the third base line. Proctor raced to the line and as he went to the ground, the ball got tangled up in his legs and he pinned it and made the play. Proctor was all smiles and never lost his cool. Rene Alamnza then lofted the first pitch he saw to the right side. Rob Dias tried to line it up and as he was making the play, Almanza missed first base. Dias had the last out of the inning for the 4th inning in a row.
Weissman asked the team if they were done. Haile led the team in a big cheer and Thaxton stepped to the plate. On the third pitch, Thaxton hit a grounder down the third base line and scored for the second time. The ball hugged the baseline and the defense could not pick the ball cleanly. Rob Dias hit a shot into left center. Zach Arambula was there again for a big stop taking the ball away from the Renegades. Joe McCormick laced a weak line drive off the back of Ron Cochran on the first pitch that was headed to Arambula. On the next pitch, he hit a weak grounder up the middle of the field and Wilcox made the play easily. Larry Haile was looking to extend the inning as he was entering the game as a pinch hitter for Joe Yee. Haile hit a line drive to the right side and on a bang-bang play, the umpire ruled in favor of Rene Almanza who ranged to make this play near the line. Boston hit the ball well, but had just one run to show for it. After four innings, the Jets held a commanding 11-4 lead.
In the 5th inning, The Jet’s brought back Ricky Ruzika who had been pinch hit for. He would lead off the inning with a strike out. That trend followed when Zach Arambula also struck out. For the first time all game, Boston would get a 1-2-3 inning when Shawn Devenish made a nice play deep in the defense off the bat of Axel Cox. For the first time, Boston had some momentum. As things sometimes work in baseball, if you make a nice play on defense, you lead off the inning.
Lead off the inning is exactly what Shawn Devenish did. The Renegades were down to their final 6 outs and down 7 runs. That is scary math for sure. Devenish would work the count deep as he would miss the first two pitches and then foul off three straight before lofting a pop fly about 60 feet to the left side. His new-found speed beat out the play. This brought the experiment, Joe Buizon back to the plate. Could he run was the question. On the 2nd pitch, he hit a pop fly that traveled about 42 feet with back spin. Ruzika raced in and struggled to find it. Buizon was not running well and then resorted to poor base running technique when he flopped before the base. Weissman was regretting letting him hit as he had not seen him run before the game. Buizon was gutting it out, but his leg was just to injured. He was playing with all heart at this time. Thaxton then rolled his wrists over and hit a grounder to the left side and beat it out for his third run of the contest. It was just the 2nd time in the game they had put up a crooked number in an inning. Rob Dias was on fire. He had three at bats leading up to this one and had seen just 4 pitches that resulted in three quality hits. He stayed hot and hit a bouncer to the left side. It got by Wilcox in the front but Arambula dove in head first on this ball and stopped Dias. The Jets ran off the field..but there were only two outs. The Jets influenced the Renegade battery and Weissman and Cochran limped to the bench. When the confusion resolved, McCormick crushed the ball by the entire defense in right center. Haile would get close as he crushed a ball down the third base line which would have been a run but it rolled foul by just a few inches. He then struck out to end the inning. Boston had pulled the game to a 4 run deficit and trailed 11-7. They really needed a solid 6th inning of defense.
The Renegades were playing looser and more confident. David Smith would leadoff the inning with three runs on the game. Smith and Aron Almanza would represent 6 of the 11 Jet runs, Smith hit the first pitch up the gut of the defense. This time Joe Buizon (who re-entered for defense in this inning) made a tremendous stop on a bouncer for a big out. Aaron Almanza and Rene Almanza would strike out giving Kevin Sibson seven strike outs in the game as the Jets went down on their second donut inning of the game. They left the door open for the Renegades to come back.
The winner of this game would advance to the next round. The loser would be eliminated. Boston would have their 5-6-1 spots in the line up to start the inning and would need 4 runs to tie. It was do-able for sure. Boston had been hitting the ball better than the Jets. The key difference in this game was the play of Zach Arambula on defense who had six stops on defense in left center at this point of the game. On Boston’s side, Justen Proctor was just 2-10 while playing defense at Left Shorty.
It would be an uphill battle for sure. The 5/6 spots in the order were just 2-6 on the day. Could Devenish light a fire for the Renegade offense as he did on defense all day? He hit a hard bouncer up the left side that bounced over Wilcox. Zach Arambula stole the show in this game with his defensive play. Arambula who had his best game of the tourney in this match ranged way to his right to make a nice stop. Joe Yee re-entered the game for the hobbled Buizon and hit a dribbler to Wilcox. Isiah misplayed it as it slowly rolled away from him as he was on the ground. Yee took a perfect line down the third baseline and scored. Christian Thaxton was next up and gave the Renegade bench a ton of hope. On the first pitch, he hit a grounder right to Wilconx. Isiah made the play like a hockey goalie on his knees. A dangerous attempt for sure, but the out as made. It was a huge out for the Jets. Rob Dias was on fire and was next up. He stayed hot and fouled off the first pitch he saw. That was 6 pitches from Cochran in his 5 trips to the plate. He made contact on every one of them. Something happened, Maybe San Antonio Voodoo? Cochran and Dias would suddenly lose it. Three straight pitches and no contact. A strike out, the game was over. Boston was eliminated.
It was not a good defensive effort for the Renegades. Boston actually may have hit better than the Jets, but the Jets defense was much improved, especially in left center. The Jets would go on to play the Indy Edge next, and beat them. They would eventually lose to the Bayou City Heat and finish 3rd in the World Series. Boston would walk across the field to play the Austin Blackhawks. An Austin team with many ties to the Jets as pitcher Kevin Sibson’s brother, Wayne was still playing with Austin.
Game 16 – WS Game #9, Boston vs Austin for 5th place and Boston makes a statement 13-1
|Thaxton – DH||4||4||0||—||B. Chesser||3||1||1||1|
|J. Proctor – DF/LS||—||—||—||7||– Hernandez||1||0||0||—|
|Dias – RS||4||3||1||3||Puryear – DH||3||0||0||—|
|McCormick – 1B||4||2||0||3||J. Sibson – DF||—||—||—||2|
|Haile – 3B||1||0||0||—||Finn||3||0||0||1|
|– Zuccarello – 3B/MF||1||1||0||0||Roberts||1||0||0||0|
|– Quintanilla – PH||2||0||1||0||– Manning||2||0||1||—|
|– Buizon – MF||0||0||0||0||Reynoso||2||0||0||0|
|Devenish – R||3||1||0||0||– Perez||1||0||0||—|
|– Soto – R||0||0||0||0||Sterling||2||0||1||2|
|Buizon – MF||0||0||0||0||– Dawson||1||0||1||—|
|– Yee – 3B||1||1||0||1|
|– Haile – 3B||2||1||1||0|
|Pitcher- Cochran||22||13||3||Pitcher- T. Hibner|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller -Lenicheck|
Austin has more rings than any team in league history. Boston is the only team that has ever risen from the doormat of the league to the top by using only players from their region. Ron Cochran expressed his distaste for consolation games, which in some way, this game represented. Joe Quintanilla was quick to state, the season is so short, every game counts. Tornado sirens tore through the complex just before the Renegades found the field. When the hour delay was over without damage, both teams would trot out their starting line ups and the battle was on.
Austin won the coin toss and chose home team. Before the game, Christian Thaxton and Weissman decided to have Thaxton switch back to a metal bat. Combine that with the fact, he felt the best had felt since his concussion 2 weeks prior and you could see Christian was almost back to himself. On the second pitch of the game, Thaxton hit a bomb into left and scored. Time was called. The ball was dead and Thaxton had to return to the plate. It was the first dead ball the Renegades hit all week. On the very next pitch, Thaxton hit a rainbow into deep left for a score. After a Dias strike out and a McCormick dribbler to the Austin left shorty, Darius Sterling, Larry Haile came to the plate. He hit a line drive into left that looked like a run, but deep man Brandon Chesser stopped him. This had a similar feeling to the previous game when Zach Arambula of the San Antonio Jets killed Boston making grabs in left center.
In the Bottom of the first, Boston would catch a break as the Blackhawks lead off hitter struck out to start the game. Boston was loose and that may have contributed to some of their best defense of the week, a sweet feeling after the stinker they played just an hour earlier. Austin pitcher, Tim Hibner tried to test the right side of the defense in this inning and came up empty as Rob Dias stopped Steve Puryear at the right shorty spot. Mike Finn then went to the right side and was stopped by first basemen, Joe McCormick. boston led 1-0 and won the first inning.
Shawn Devenish led off the second with a line drive up the middle, but Like Haile in the previous inning was stopped on a nice play deep in the defense by Mike Finn. Joe Yee came into the game to hit for Joe Buizon and scored on a grounder up the middle that Finn could not find. Thaxton then waving his metal bat hit a pop fly to the right side and flew down the line for his second run of the game, Rob Dias then tagged a laser into right for his first run of the game. The ball seemed to be jumping off the Renegade bats! Joe McCormick was stopped on a weak fly to the right side by Jamie Sibson. Guy Zuccarello was up next, he had entered for defense when Haile made the last out of the 1st inning. On the 5th pitch he saw he hit a pop fly to the third base line and he beat out the defense. Boston was up 5-0
Austin had their 4-5-6 hitters up. Justen Proctor stopped Greg Roberts. Next, Joe Yee, playing third base, made a nice grab to stop Mariano Reynoso. Darius Sterling struck out. Boston had the momentum for sure!
The third inning would be a statement inning for Boston. Larry Haile re-entered the game as Weissman was looking for some offense, and on 6 pitches, he struck out. Back to the top as Thaxton was feeling hot. He hit a bomb into left field which Chesser could not coral in time. Rob Dias then scored on a grounder up the middle after hitting Cochran on the first pitch. Joe McCormick lofted a fly ball to the right side for his first run and the top of the order went 1-2-3 with runs, something these guys pay attention to and celebrate. Joe Quintanilla was brought off the bench on a hunch by Weissman to attack the right side. Attack it he did, but the wheels fell off when he was running and he was stopped by Jamie Sibson on a play he would have scored on in previous years when he was younger and quicker and lighter. Shawn Devenish joined the fun with a line drive into right, by everyone for the 4th run of the inning to bring the score to 9-1 as Boston was on the brink of something special. Larry Haile then hit his second pitch into right field on a line and a 12 run game was in sight. Thaxton, Dias and McCormick got the ball in the air for their second 1-2-3 run scoring trip through the same inning. Boston led 13-0 and if they could hold Austin would put the game into a 12 run mercy rule.
Brandon Chesser started off the inning with a ball that got by Joe McCormick and Shawn Devenish on the right side. If Austin could score one more run, the mercy rule would be avoided. Justen Proctor had something to say about that as he stopped Puryear and Finn. Ed Manning struck out in a pinch hit appearance for Greg Roberts. Boston had 12-runned Austin for the first time ever in just three innings.
Now Boston had to play defense as Austin had 9 outs to work with. Austin was capable of coming back and Weissman knew it. They are a team that knows how to put the ball into play. The Renegades would need to “flash the leather”!
In the 4th, Proctor would stop Reynoso. Dias would stop the speedy Sterling and Dias would also get Brandon Chesser, their best hitter. Tim Hibner kept aiming for the Renegade right side. He would come up empty. Dias did the damage in the 4th. In the 5th, Hibner got it by Dias, but McCormick was the hero. Joe Mac ate up Puryear and Finn before Proctor stopped Manning. Now the attention turned to getting players playing time as both teams had huge rosters. Soto went on to the field to play defense for Devenish. Austin would go to the bench for the next three hitters. Justen would make two stops in this frame and ball game! Boston would get its 4th straight (and only four) top 5 finishes.
This game marked the 4th win by the Renegades by the 12-run rule in 2018. The Blackhawk coaches stood in shock and amazement at how well the Renegades hit. Mike Maguire of Austin said the team had not hit like that since 2016 and wondered out loud why they were taking it out on Austin. He may have been close in that statement. The exact same thing could be said of the Boston coaches, only their surprise was that it took this long to show it. For the game, Boston hit .591. The Renegades have only hit .571 or higher 16 times ever in a game, but it was the 5th time in 2018. On defense, it marked the 2nd time in the week Boston made 14 stops as the opponent only struck out 4 times. Boston has only accomplished this feat 18 times in a 6 inning game ever! In addition to this, Boston stopped 93.3% of the balls hit into play (14/15), which statistically is only the 9th best percentage. However, it’s the highest percentage with so many balls in play.
The week’s defensive effort would rank the Renegades 2nd in the league in defense for the World Series behind only the Indy Thunder. If that defense had played an average game vs San Antonio, the team could have had a top three finish. The Renegades are an elite team in the NBBA. After the game, the team had a long talk. All the players could taste what had happened. They knew they did not play well vs San Antonio. They know they could have done better. The talk turned to 2019 and the players seemed unified at working harder and getting faster. Time will tell, but this team is a special team for sure.
Three major injuries kept one of their best defenders (Thaxton) off the field. These injuries also kept Thaxton’s bat quiet early in the week and ended the season offensively for Sanchez and Buizon. For a Renegade team to overcome this shows heart, grit and determination. Only one team in this league other than Boston could overcome that, the World Champion Indy Thunder. Be proud of your 2018 Boston Renegades!