Game 1 – Fire snap 7 game losing streak to the Renegades winning 13-12
|Margist||6||3||2||1||Thaxton – DH||5||5||0||—|
|Coughlin||5||4||0||9||J. Proctor – DF/LS||—||—||—||5|
|M. Tawam – DH||5||1||2||—||McCormick -1B/MF-3B||5||2||2||2|
|G. Natoli – DF||—||—||—||0||Zuccarello – RS/MF||0||0||0||1|
|Boucher||5||3||0||2||– Haile – PH||3||1||1||—|
|Kirchner||5||0||2||0||– Yee – 3B/1B||1||0||0||0|
|Buizon – RS/1B/3B||1||1||0||2|
|Devenish – R||5||2||1||0|
|Buizon – RS/1B/3B||2||1||0||0|
|– Sanchez – PH||1||0||1||—|
|– Yee – 3B/1B||2||0||0||0|
|Pitcher- D. Natoli||Pitcher – Cochran||27||12||5|
|Pitcher – Connolly||3||0||0|
|RS Caller – A. Proctor|
Weissman warned the team that these Fire were hungry. They opened against the Renegades in Rochester last year and Boston struggled to put them away. The Fire went on to take 10th in the World Series last year, their best showing since 2008. They had already played 4 games on the season and were geared up for this game. Boston is always ready but the rust would show for sure.
The game was played on a thick grass but a very hard surface that would cause balls to bounce all over the place. The bases were very hard to hear and this would throw the Renegades off their game. The Fire struck first blood scoring three times in the 1st inning, with the killer being a hit off the bat of Paul Boucher. Thaxton plated a run on a bomb to left to lead off for the Renegades but then Dias was put out by Mike Coughlin in which he took a step to the wrong base and Joe McCormick and Larry Haile struck out on 8 straight swings and misses.
The Fire pushed a Mike Coughlin run across in the second on a ball he hit to the vacated third base line. Boston came roaring back in the bottom of the second with a 5 run inning with Shawn Devenish scoring on a pop up down the 3rd base line. Joe Buizon lofted a fly ball up the middle and Thaxton hit a hard grounder into left for 3 straight runs. Joe McCormick would get a knock and Shawn Devenish would finish off the inning with a laser into left center. Boston had taken a 6-4 lead!
The third inning looked like the Boston defense was waking up as Proctor stopped Boucher, McCormick stopped Kirchner on a grounder up the middle and after John Margist beat Buizon on a pop up, Proctor stopped Coughlin. Boston led off the third with Thaxton plating his third run before both Rob Dias and Joe McCormick were stopped up front by Mike Coughlin. Larry Haile fouled off three straight pitches before hitting a liner up the middle to give Boston a crooked number for the frame. Philly found some luck when Shawn Devenish lined a ball off John Margist which bounced to Mike Coughlin for a stop and an all Coughlin inning. Boston led 8-5.
In the 4th inning, Justin Rhines led off with a pop up to Dias that was a bang-bang play and Rhines speed was awarded the run. The Boston defense clamped down as McCormick stopped Tawam in the 2nd layer up the middle of the field. Buizon stopped Boucher at third base in the 2nd layer and Dias stopped Kirchner. It was 8-6. Boston went to it’s bench and at first glance this looked like a great move. David Sanchez came in for Buizon and on the first pitch blasted a ball into deep left for a run. It was called back because the ball was dead Sanchez fouled off two more and then went down swinging to kick off his 2019 season. Thaxton plated his 4th run of the game on a ball that bounced off the hands of John Margist at third base. Rob Dias grounded out to Coughlin on another ball in which he ran to the wrong base at first and lost by a step. Joe McCormick lost his mechanics and went down swinging on 4 pitches. Boston had a 9-6 lead. The complacency would set it soon.
Things would soon take a turn for the worst for the Renegades. John Margist would hit a line drive down the right side. Guy Zucarello had a small chance and it got by him as the right shortie, Joe McCormick ranged over and missed the ball in right field. Next, Coughlin hit a laser into center field that bounced off Rob Dias’s leg and got away from him as Coughlin scored. Rhines (4 swings and missed) and Muneer Tawam would strike out on 8 pitches which brought Paul Boucher to the plate. Boston knew he was going to go down the third base line and moved Joe McCormick over to third for this hitter. Boucher hit the ball at McCormick but Joe lost track of where the line was and over ran it into foul territory and Boucher scored a huge game tying run as the Fire bench exploded with excitement. Zuccarello would put an end to it as he stopped Cody Kirchner to stop the bleeding down the first base line. The score was tied at nine. Boston would then do something they would not do in any other inning of the day, they would put up a gigantic bagel for the inning.
Larry Haile led off the inning with a grounder that went about 55 feet up the middle of the field and was stopped by Mike Coughlin and then controversy started because someone in the Philly defense called time in the middle of the pitch. Time was not awarded. There was a lot of debate and in the end, the out was awarded. Devenish whiffed on 4 pitches and Joe Yee would face his cousin, Peter Connolly and be stopped by Coughlin on a weak grounder to the right side. The score would be tied heading into the last frame.
John Margist would lead off the 6th inning and after two strikes asked to change his bat. After he took a pitch, he lofted a fly ball into left by the diving Joe Yee at third and Shawn Devenish in deep left. Coughlin would then hit a dribbler up the middle that went into the Bermuda triangle between Proctor (LS), Buizon (RS) and Dias (MF) for a run. Rhines then grounded a ball up the left middle and Proctor laid out to make the stop. Tawam would step up 0-4 on the day. Tawam and Boucher were two guys the Renegades needed to get out to help them walk off in the 6th. With the Renegades top of the order up in the bottom of the 6th, these would be huge hitters. Tawam would hit a ball up the middle of the field and be stopped by Joe McCormick and a late base would be awarded after Tawam fell down. the Renegade bench did not hear Tawam call for this late base, but it was awarded. Tawam would return to the plate. He would then hit a 50 foot dribbler that fooled the Boston callers as Dias and Proctor thought it was hit harder than it was. Proctor crawled forward looking for it and Tawam scored a HUGE run to make it 12-9 and his first run of the game. Boucher then hit a weak ball to the left side and on a bang bang play Proctor appeared to make the play before Boucher reached first. Because there was not enough umpires, there was little to review and the game was 13-9 Fire. Kirchner would go down on swings. Margist would then get stopped on a line drive off the chest of Buizon playing the right short position. Boston was down big going into their last at bat of the day. It was the top of the order which at this point had Thaxton with 4 runs, Dias 0-4 and McCormick 1-4. The bats needed to wake up.
Thaxton would swing and miss on the first two pitches and foul off the third before lacing a hard grounder into left center. 13-10. Rob Dias who had been stopped by Coughlin three times and had run two bad bases would hit the first pitch he saw…to Coughlin again for an out, his 8th stop of the game. Joe McCormick who was battling his swing demons in this game needed to dig deep and focus on his mechanics. With two strikes, he laced a line drive into left for a loud run making it 13-11. As the live feed cut out (Hunter’s Phone over heated) the Facebook live crowd was left wondering what was going on. Joe Buizon came back into the game, re-entering the game in which he had exited early to rest his legs. With two strikes, he hit a grounder down the first base line and scored his 2nd run of the game and a 13-12 game. Boston was down one with just one out. Shawn Devenish would be up next and the entire Boston bench was unsure who Weissman would have hit in the last spot as both Joe Yee and David Sanchez were swinging the bat. Devenish took a mighty cut and on the 2nd pitch hit a grounder to the left side that was gobbled up by Coughlin for his 9th stop of the game. Down to the last out and down a run, Weissman turned to Joe Yee which also brought Peter Connolly to the mound. A tough spot for Connolly for sure. Weissman just felt more confident with Yee because he had more experience running bases. On the 2nd pitch, Yee got one he liked and laced a hard grounder to the right side past the 2nd layer. Yee raced to first base and missed it. As he slammed on the brakes with his aching shins, Justin Rhines pricked up the ball to end the rally and the game. Philly had defeated the Renegades 13-12. they had broken a 7 game losing streak to the Renegades. A huge win in a season where the World Series seeds are awarded on merit of the 2019 season…not just the 2018 finish. the Fire were fired up for sure and the Renegades awaited the Titans
Game 2 – Renegades walk off in a slug fest and beat Titans 22-21
|Turner||7||5||2||0||Thaxton – DH||7||5||2||—|
|Harrell||7||2||2||0||Proctor – DF/LS||—||—||—||2|
|George||7||4||1||4||McCormick – 3B/MF||7||3||2||0|
|Hogwood||6||3||2||0||Dias – MF/RS||6||2||1||3|
|Bordley||6||5||0||3||Zuccarello – RS/3B||1||1||0||1|
|Morgan DH||6||2||3||—||– Haile – PH/3B||4||4||0||0|
|Koppenjan – DF||—||—||—||0||– Yee – 3B||1||0||0||0|
|Buizon – 1B||6||5||1||2|
|Pitcher – G. Rutz||Pitcher- Cochran||37||22||9|
|Pitcher – Connoly||1||0||0|
|RS Caller – A. Proctor|
After a gut wrenching loss, the Titans came into this game with something to prove to the league. The Renegades came in with a target on their back. Boston had one game played in 2019 and the Titans had played nine. Their pitcher, Greg Rutz was much improved.
Lead off hitter, Zack Turner has seen a lot of improvement from his rookie year and gives the Titans a fast powerful lead off hitter. He struck out to start this contest. Alfonso Harrell hit a grounder down the right side which eluded Guy Zuccarello and Joe Buizon over ran for the first run of the game. Randy George scored on a grounder to the right side. Scott Hogwood then launched a bomb into deep left that Shawn Devenish almost stopped but it was hit too far. Lamont Bordley hit a line drive up the middle that bounced off Rob Dias’ shins and he could not recover to beat the speedy Bordley. Guy Zuccarello would get the defense going by making a stop on a short grounder down the first base line off the bat of a former NFL prospect, Marvin Morgan. This brought the top of the lineup back up and Turner hit a grounder to third that bounced over a laid out Joe McCcormick. Alfonso Harrell stopped the bleeding for the Renegades when he whiffed on 6 pitches. Boston would start this game down 5-0.
The Boston bats started to come alive at the end of the Philly game which was a good sign. Christian Thaxton was coming off his 7th career 5+ run game. He lead off by blasting a line drive into left field by three fielders for his 6th straight run. Joe McCormick still searching for his swing would take his third pitch down the third base line to make it 5-2. Rob Dias coming off an O-fer in the last game took the second pitch into deep left for three straight runs. Larry Haile came into hit for Zuccarello and hit a high short fly to the right side and hustled down the first base line, 5-4. Devenish grounded out to the left shorty, Randy George. Buizon hit a hard bouncing grounder down the first base line that eluded two fielders and tied the game 5-5. The top of the order would end the rally as Thaxton whiffed and McCormick grounded out to George who made a nice diving stop. Ten combined runs in the first inning.
Randy George hit a line drive to the right side that got by everyone to lead off the 2nd inning. George has an improved swing and is falling in love with the opposite field. Hogwood would whiff and Lamont Bordley hit a grounder down the first base line, took a shaky line to third and Buizon ranged to make the play near 110 feet near the first base line. Marvin Morgan then hit a dribbler up the middle. Proctor laid out and the ball rolled up and over his body. McCormick, playing up the middle went into a beach whale and was called safe. Replays clearly show him out. Turner hit a ball up the middle and on another controversial call was called safe on a ball Devenish appeared to stop. The titans would lead 8-5 and Rob Dias would stop the bleeding to stop the inning.
Boston did not have much of an answer as Dias whiffed, Joe Yee (facing his cousin, peter) grounded out weekly, Deveinish scored on a well hit ball and Buizon whiffed. The Renegades were down 8-6 after two.
In the third, this Defensive mojo continued. Proctor stopped George, Hogwood whiffed and Bordley scored on a play that Dias and Proctor could not come up with and Morgan whiffed. 9-6 Titans heading into the bottom of the third. Thaxton led off the bottom of the frame and scored on a baseline hugger down third base line. Mac whiffed, Dias grounded out to George. Larry Haile re-entered for Yee and hit a bouncer down the third base line which George hit the ground to early on to make it 9-8.
The fourth would be the best defensive inning for Boston. After a Turner whiff, Alfonso Harrell hit a high fly that traveled about 50 feet to the right side, Dias over ran it, proctor over ran it for what would be the only run of the inning. Dias and Proctor would stop The former Philly Fire transplants, George and Hogwood. Titans led 10-8.
This turn of events fired up the bats. Buizon would lead off this inning with a bomb up the middle but this would be followed by a whiff by Thaxton and a stop off the bat of Mccormick by Lamont Bordley. Rob Dias would the score on a short pop fly to tie the game. Weissman had a decision to make, he decided to go to Guy Zuccarello over Joe Yee who had some great batting practices. It would be his first at-bat of the year. On his second pitch, he hit a pop fly 40 feet and beat out a hit as the team erupted. Devenish, Buizon would score on well hit balls and Thaxton would hit a ball that landed and took a right turn that is near impossible to field for a combined total of 4 pitches. That six run inning gave Boston a 14-8 lead, its first lead of the game.
The fifth inning was a nightmare for Boston. In fact, it was one of the worst innings ever. Only 30 innings since 2003, the team had allowed 7 or more runs. It would be a bumpy ride for sure. Buizon missed a shot to get Bordley. McCormick had a ball bounce off his body and Morgan scored. Dias missed an easy ball off Turner’s bat because he did not lay out. Harrell would then hit a slow grounder down the first base line, Dias would not lay out again, but this time Buizon was waiting for it for a stop. 14-11 Renegades. George then hit a dribbler up the middle, proctor missed it and Dias ran into the umpire which prevented him from making the stop. 14-12. The bleeding would impact the umpires as well. The Renegade defense looked like crap, or as we teased rookie, Drew Crook, a pile of Doo-Doo. Hogwood would hit a ball up the middle (for a change) and McCormick could not come up with it. Bordley hit one of the best shots for the Titans on the day. 14-13. Morgan whiffed and Turner hit a bomb to center that was tough to play. Harrell would whiff to represent two of the three outs in the inning. The Titans took back the lead 17-14.
Boston had an answer. The Renegades don’t quit. With one out, Larry Haile would score on a weak grounder up the middle for his third run of the game in three trips. Devenish would strike out, Buizon would stay hot and score on a big fly ball for the 4th time in the game. Thaxton would go deep into the count and the game would be stopped because the New Jersey Lightning crossed the field after the first pitch to Christian. He would lace a spinning liner to the right to tie the game at 17. Joe McCormick would give the team its second lead of the game with a grounder down the line and Boston would lead 18-17
The Titans matched the energy of the Gades. Again, the Renegade defense would struggle. With three strikes and on the 6th pitch, Randy George scored on a ball where Justen and Joe McCormick struggled to corral it as it landed between them on the left side. Hogwood scored on a ball that bounced off Larry Haile who was in at third base for the first time all day (so his bat would be available in the bottom of the frame if needed). Bordley would score for the 5th time getting it by Joe McCormick at the mid field slot. Turner would score with speed on a fly ball. 21-18. Dias would stop Harrell and George would strike out for the first time all game.
Boston would have it’s 4-5-6 hitters up in the 6th. L-train would lead off and after getting a late base call, would lace a liner into right to go a perfect 4-4 in the game. 21-19. After a third Devenish strike out, Buizon would score his 5th run( and the first time he had a 5 run game since 2006 against columbus) on a high pop that Bordley could not find in time. 21-20 with Thaxton due up. He would hit the first pitch in the air about 70 feet with a ton of English on it to tie the game. Joe McCormick took the first pitch to calm down and then hit the second pitch foul hard down the third base line. With thunder rumbling in the area, he hit a fly ball up the middle, raced down the first base line and Mac had his first ever walk of victory. Boston got its 1st win of the season in walk off fashion
When this game ended, the 22 runs scored set a team record for the most runs scored ever. Also, the Renegade defense had never let up 20 or more runs in a game and won. The 21 runs were the most allowed in a team victory.
Game 3 – Boston beats the lightning before the thunder rolls 12-1
|Bahn||3||0||1||4||Thaxton – DH||1||1||0||—|
|Johnson||3||0||2||0||-Sanchez – DH||3||2||1||—|
|Washington||3||1||1||0||Proctor – DF/LS||—||—||—||5|
|Foster||3||0||2||0||McCormick – MF||1||1||0||0|
|Durran||2||0||1||0||-Soto – 3B||3||3||0||1|
|– Valladares||1||0||1||1||Haile – R||1||0||1||0|
|Matthews||3||0||2||0||– Thayer – R||3||0||1||0|
|Zuccarello – RS||3||2||0||1|
|Yee – 3B/RS||2||1||0||0|
|– Hoyt – MF||1||0||0||0|
|Crook – 1B||3||2||1||0|
|Pitcher -K. Bahn||Pitcher- Cochran||9||6||2|
|Pitcher -B. Hessi||Pitcher – Connoly||12||6||2|
|Pitcher –||Catcher- Weissman|
|RS Caller – A. Proctor|
|RS Caller- Bourque|
After two long games, a start time that was 40 minutes late and a lunch break we were not supposed to take. The NJ lightning took the field. They had a bye for the first two rounds and would be playing their first game. Boston was 1-1 on the day. At the start if the game, we were asked to play 4 innings.
The lightning went down 1-2-3 on strike outs in the first. Because of the inning limit, Boston wanted to get some runs early and started Thaxton and McCormick and Haile. Thax and McCormick scored and did their job. That would be the end of their days. Zuccarello made it 3-0 on a one pitch grounder up the middle. With two outs, Rookie Drew Crook came to the plate for his first at bat and faced Peter Connolly. On the very first pitch, Crook would lace a shot into left field and score his first career run. He became just the third Renegade in history to score in his first at-bat and the second (with David Sanchez) to score on the first pitch he saw. Boston celebrated. That would be all the offense needed to win this game.
The Lightning would use three pitchers in this contest and rack up 10 strike outs. Justen proctor would make 5 stops in defense to lead the team. In the third innIng, we had another big highlight. Up 5-0, with one out, Dan Johnson came to the plate and hit a grounder down the third base line. Luis Soto was there and the ball bounced off him. He tracked it and picked it up to nab Johnson on a bang-bang play. Johnson was put and Luis Soto made his first defensive stop in 6 years as a Renegade! In the bottom of the third, Crook would score his second career run on a pop fly.
The Jersey defense was relying on Casey Bahn. He would make 4 of the 5 stops on defense before the Renegades invoked the 12 run rule after three innings. When the Renegade bats were done hitting, Luis Soto would end the game leading the team with 3 runs scored. David Sanchez, Guy Zuccarello and Drew Crook each had a pair. The game would be called due to a thunderstorm with two outs in the 6th inning of the 12 run contest. Boston would head home 2-1 for the first loss in Beast of the East action since 2014 looking up at an undefeated Philly Fire team.
|Thaxton – DH||6||5||1||—||J Dejesus||4||0||1||0|
|Yee – DF/1B||—||—||—||0||C. Dejesus||4||2||0||7|
|Dias – LS||3||2||1||3||Barrera||4||4||0||0|
|– Haile – MF||3||1||0||0||Agnone – DH||4||0||1||—|
|McCormick – RS/LS||5||4||1||5||Fink – DF||—||—||—||1|
|– Thayer – PH||1||0||0||—||Puvogel||1||0||1||0|
|– Hoyt – 3B||—||—||—||0||-Erickson||2||0||2||0|
|Crook – 3B||2||1||1||0||– Hughes||1||0||0||—|
|Haile – MF||1||1||0||0|
|– Crook – PH||1||0||1||—|
|– Soto – R||—||—||—||0|
|– Sanchez – PH/R||3||1||1||0|
|Buizon – MF/RS||5||2||1||1|
|Pitcher -Dickerson||Pitcher – Sciortino|
|RS Caller -Bourque|
Boston Jumps All Over Long Island 17-6
Boston entered this game needing a win to keep it’s hope for a 9th straight title alive. The team had been talking about increased focus and keeping their heads in the game. The Renegades would play this game without starting pitcher, Ron Cochran and two of its best defensive players, Justen Proctor and Guy Zuccarello. Focus would be the key.
Long Island was not ready at all, literally. As the Renegades warmed up, Long Island made it known they were going to be late. Only 4 players were at their bench for opening ceremonies. The rest of the team was in transit and would be late. Beast of the East rules state that innings would be forfeited and awarded to the Renegades if they were too late. As soon as the stragglers got there, they ran on to the field to start the game, without any warm ups. Jamie Dickerson took the mound against a frazzled Bomber defense. Despite all this, Boston was focused.
Hit after hit after hit. Boston would have an historic first inning as the Bombers were challenged before they even had a chance to break a sweat. Boston would plate 8 runs out of the gate. It marked only the 18th inning in team history they scored this many runs in an inning and it was the 6th time they had done it in the first inning (the last time was against the Bombers in the 2018 world Series). Thaxton, Dias, McCormick would each highlight the inning with a pair of runs while Shawn Devenish became a footnote making two of the three outs for the Renegade offense. During the inning, Boston actually turned to the bench quickly to avoid putting the game into a 12 run rule in the early frames to make sure the bats would not go on ice for 3-4 innings of the contest.
Long Island would surprise. Their pitcher, who helped start the Bombers before moving to the retirement communities of North Carolina had pitched limited batting practice to the squad all year. The players had no BP before the game and were cold. That did not stop them as they sent 6 batters to the plate and everyone of them made contact. It was a good test for the Renegade defense as McCormick, Buizon and Dias all made stops. But after one frame, Boston lead 8-2. That would be as close as the game would get.
Boston would plate runs in every inning building their lead and would finally get the game into the 12-run rule in the 5th inning. Most of the Bomber offense was supplied by Alex Barrera who plated 4 of the Long Island runs. The highlights for the Renegades included Christian Thaxton scoring 5 times (A feat only accomplished 16 times in Renegade history but 10 of them by Thaxton). Joe McCormick would also get his swing mechanics in shape as he plated 4 runs of his own. Joey Buizon kept a hot bat for the 2019 season plating two runs and Rookie Drew Crook laced a bomb for his 3rd run of his career. Jamie Dickerson pitched great and led this squad to victory. It was the best game he had ever pitched in his career as the team hit .531 against him with a low 21.9% K rate. Joe Bourque also came up big calling just his 4th game of his career on the right side along side of Bryan Grillo.
On the down side, Rob Dias was taken out of the game in the 3rd inning when he tweaked his back at the plate. He would not return and would spend the whole game stretching, massaging and trying to stay loose for a chance to play against Philly later in the day. McCormick and Buizon filled in admirably for Dias. McCormick led the defense with 5 stops on defense, most of which came after Dias exited the game.
This win would guarantee the Renegades a chance to get back at Philly to win the title! Boston was now 3-1 in Beast of the East play while Philly was 3-0.
|Thaxton – DH/RS||3||1||2||0||Prevost||4||1||1||3|
|-Sanchez – DH||2||1||0||—||Provan||3||0||3||0|
|Buizon – DF/RS||—||—||—||1||Ho Lung||3||0||3||0|
|McCormick – LS||5||4||0||3||Cabral||3||0||2||1|
|Haile – MF||2||2||0||0||Mischler||3||0||2||0|
|– Thayer – PH||2||0||1||—||Gon Bea||3||0||3||0|
|– Hoyt – MF||1||0||1||0|
|Devenish – -3B||5||4||1||0|
|Crook – R||4||0||4||0|
|Pitcher- Dickerson||28||13||11||Pitcher- A. Pressick|
|RS Caller -Bourque|
Blind Jays are blinded by the Renegade bats 13-1
For the first time ever, the Toronto Blind Jays made a trip to play in Beast of the East play. Due to finances, they were only able to compete in one leg of the tournament which meant they could not play for the title. That was far from their concern as their team showed up with just 5 players and borrowed a player from the Titans to complete their roster. The last time these two teams faced was in the 2018 World Series and Toronto impressed with some flashy defense. but as teams try to find themself in this league, it can be hard to recruit players, raise funds and keep a team afloat. Coach, Arthur Pressick was doing everything he could to keep the Beep dream alive. Sadly, The Blind Jays only 2019 Tourney play would be in Jersey as they can’t return to the series this season.
With memories of how good the Blind Jay defense was in 2018, Weissman decided to start some of the bigger bats to start the game because the Renegades were the visiting team. Thaxton was a little amped up and struck out to start the contest. McCormick and Larry Haile would plate runs while Shawn Devenish would hit a bomb to put the Renegades up 3-0 to start the contest. Sometimes you an get a feel of your opponent by watching the top of their line up, Their lead off hitter would be stopped by Joe McCormick and their 2-3 hitters each whiffed. Like sharks in the water, Boston knew at this point they just needed to stay focused and the contest was theirs. Focus never comes easy after a lunch break..and the opponent was a combination of the team in front of them and the dreaded lunch comma!
The second inning would put this contest away. McCormick (2), Haile, Devenish, Yee and Thaxton would plate runs in this frame to push the score to 9-0. Weissman would bring in many subs at this point to get playing time for the team and get rest for others. Toronto was no match on this day. They struck out 14 times in the contest. McCormick and Buizon made all the stops in the first layer of the defense. Only lead off hitter Aaron Prevost could plate the lone run for Toronto in the 3rd inning on a ball Buizon could not pick up in time…but he got style points for the failure and a lot of laughs from anyone watching him struggle with a smile.
Experience is critical in this sport. Boston got a chance to get some teachings to to Renegade sluggers with limited experience. David Sanchez and Drew Crook each got lessons on paying attention to the cadence and keeping their swings consistent. For Sanchez, a second year player, he worked at adjusting his timing so he could go to the opposite field. He was able to do that twice in two trips to the plate. For Crook, he struck out 4 times while making contact on just 5 of the 18 pitches he saw. They were all mighty swings but his timing was off. This was a great teaching moment for a rookie who was 3-4 coming into this game in his career. The last player to strike out 4 times in 4 trips to the plate was Joey Buizon in 2015 against the New Jersey Lightning. Prior to that it was Shayne Cantan in his inaugural game vs the Indy thunder in 2010 when he went down on swings 5 times in 5 trips. This was the 6th time in team history a player had struck out at least 4 times and in every at bat of their day. On this day, it was not a big deal, it was going to be just the thing to get Drew focused to set him up for success at the World Series! Some of the biggest bats in Renegade lore have had big K games like this including Joe McCormick who once struck out 6 times in 7 trips to the plate in Philly. Sometimes a day like this can be a great teaching moment!
|Thaxton – DH||6||5||0||—||Margist||4||2||2||0|
|Dias – DF/LS||—||—||—||6||Coughlin||3||0||3||4|
|McCormick – Mf/RS||6||4||2||0||-Gontaryk||1||0||0||—|
|Haile – R/MF||5||3||2||0||Rhines||3||0||2||1|
|Devenish – 3B||5||2||3||1||– G. Natoli||1||0||0||—|
|Yee – 1B||5||0||2||0||Boucher||3||0||1||0|
|Buizon – RS||4||0||2||2||Kirchner||3||1||1||1|
|– Soto – R||—||—||—||0||M. Tawam – DH||3||0||0||—|
|– Sanchez – PH||1||0||1||—||G. Natoli – DF||—||—||—||0|
|-Crook – R||—||—||—||0|
|Pitcher- Dickerson||32||14||12||Pitcher – D. Natoli|
|RS Caller -Bourque|
Boston Clinches 9th straight title in a no-doubter over Philly 14-3
To say there was energy in this game is an understatement. For Philly, they were looking for their first ever Beast of the East title and had already clinched their best record in Beast of the East play. They wanted to show the league they had arrived. For Boston, the Renegades wanted to show Philly that the first game in June was not who they are. They wanted to shake off the rust. They wanted to make a statement and they were going to do it without their top pitcher and two of their best defensive players. They were also going to do it with Rob Dias back in the lineup …but unable to hit due to his back strain suffered in game one earlier that day. Boston would lose the coin toss for the 3rd straight time and be the visitor. No worries the team said, they had won all of their games on this day as the visiting team. In each contest they were able to grab the lead and never look back!
Thaxton scored on a hard grounder into left on the first pith he saw. Hey Christian, Swing that bat! McCormick took the third pitch from his lifelong buddy, Jamie Dickerson and scored on another grounder to the right side. Larry Haile hit the 3rd pitch up the middle and the L-Train made it 3-0. Nobody out and Devenish laced a bomb into left. When the ball landed that marked 10 pitches, 4 runs and No outs. Philly looked tired. Mike Coughlin was able to stop Joe Yee. Joey Buizon whiffed but that brought up one of the hardest outs in the game. Could he swing that bat? YES, Thaxton hit a laser into left, Mccormick scored his 2nd run of the inning and Haile also scored his second run of the inning on a line drive. When the dust settled, Boston was up 7-0 and the energy was on the Renegade side. Had they shut up the doubters that Boston had lost it?
John Margist would lead off for Philly in the bottom of the first inning and score on a bomb of his own. Mike Coughlin (who lives to beat the Renegades struck out) Buizon then stopped Rhines and Kirchner….or did he? Philly had made a mistake and had batted out of order. The last out of the inning was actually Paul Boucher but he accidentally hit in Kirchner’s spot in the line up. After working this out, Kirchner was forced to hit in Boucher’s spot and the out was awarded.
Did Boston still have it? In the second, Yee and Buizon each saw 6 pitches before striking out. Thaxton would stay hot and lace a liner into right center t make it 8-1. In the bottom of the frame, Kirchner would get his chance to hit after the snafu and would score which fired up the Philly team despite the 8-2 score. After a gimpy Rob Dias stopped Muneer Tawam, John Margist plated is second run of the game and it was now 8-3 with Mike Coughlin coming to the plate. Could Coughlin deliver to a team that had beaten him so many times since he was a teenager? It would not be his day as he whiffed for the second time. Former baseball player and speedster, Justin Rhines also went down on swings. It just felt like water was poured on the Fire.
Boston had a chance to put the foot on the throat of the Philly squad in the third. Larry Haile would hit a laser to make it 9-3. With one out, Joe Yee stepped to the plate and hit one of his best shots of his career into left field. Justin Rhines made a diving stop at the 170 foot line and the ball rolled up his body into the air and into his hands right before Yee hit the base. An amazing play and the best defensive play of the tournament for sure! Philly would have a moment of mojo. They had the bottom of their order up…could their mojo keep going? Boucher whiffed. Kirchner whiffed and Muneer Tawam was stopped by Shawn Devenish. Boston had made a bagel. The score stood at 9-3 after three frames.
More great defense for the fire in the 4th as they showed what makes them tough. All of their goal ball experience makes them a good defensive team. This time, Cody Kirchner would make an amazing stop in Right center off the bat of Christian Thaxton. In fact, at this point of the season Thaxton had come to the plate 26 times, scored 20 and had struck out five times. This marked the first time a defense had stopped Thaxton in the 2019 season. That media guide info was not something Philly knew about and was not enough for them to get their winning ways back. McCormick and Devenish each plated runs to push the lead to 11-3. This would be a big moment for Philly and they had their top three hitters up to start the inning. K-K-K was the result and this game was all but over.
Boston would keep the pressure on scoring two more times in the 5th but it would come at a cost. Leading off the inning, Buizon collapsed on the third baseline with a leg injury. He had worked so hard during the entire off season to resolve chronic hamstring problems but today it was his calf. His day was over as he went to the bench and his teammates cringed. Doc Marciello would now have his work cut out for him. A crushing blow to the Renegades for sure. Rob Dias made three stops on defense in the bottom of the fifth to mark three straight innings of bagels for the Renegade defense. Despite the back injury in game one, he looked limber.
Thaxton would have another 5 run performance in this game as he plated a run in the 6th. Rob Dias would lead the defense with 6 stops with his gimpy back feeling better. Boston had won it’s 9th Beast of the East title in a row and in convincing fashion. The key now was to see if the Seeding committee had seen enough from the Renegades. 2019 marked the first time teams would be seeded by results of the current season and not the previous World Series finish. The votes were due in 48 hours. Were people tuning in? Did people see what the Renegades accomplished without key players? would it be enough? For now, the Renegades could relax. They played well. A lot of learning, experience and improvement had happened in two weeks since Long Island. The Renegades would head home a little banged up but would have two weeks to get ready for the series.
Game 7 –
|Thaxton – 3B||4||3||1||0||Barrera – DH||4||1||3||1|
|– Soto – 3B||1||0||1||0||Teal – DF||—||—||—||0|
|Haile – 1B||3||3||0||0||Holland||4||1||3||3|
|– Yee – 1B||0||0||0||0||Bahn||4||1||2||2|
|– Crook- 1B||2||1||0||—||Jeffares||4||1||3||0|
|Devenish – MF||5||1||4||0||Erickson||3||0||1||0|
|Sanchez – DH||5||2||2||—||Still||2||0||1||0|
|McCormick – DF/RS||—||—||—||2||– Hale||1||0||1||0|
|Proctor – LS||4||0||2||1|
|– Dias – LS||0||0||0||1|
|– Thayer – PH||1||0||1||—|
|Quintanilla – R||4||1||1||0|
|Pitcher – Cochran||27||11||10||Pitcher – Buhr|
|Pitcher – Dickerson||2||0||2|
|RS Caller -A. Proctor|
Boston sleep walks over Athens 11-4
A 6:15 am flight with an additional three hour delay got us into Dallas where a 4 hour ride awaited us on Monday. One of our vans had a flat tire. We rolled into Tulsa around 6:00 on Monday night with three games starting at 8:30am on Tuesday morning. Excited and tired and out of our normal pre game routine we had to go to be as rested as possible.
We had never played Athens. They had finished in the bottom of the league every year they had participated but this roster was different. They sported four players from Long Island and New jersey. They had a very good looking rookie in Cody Jeffares. Most impressively, Justin Holland won the longest ball hitter competition the night before as a second year player.
The Renegades were a little short handed. Rob Dias could not get his back to respond to the long trip and could not get loose. He was sitting this out. Joe Buizon who tore a calf muscle in his last game, two weeks back would also sit this out. Only 11 of the players were eligible for the game.
Boston lost the coin toss and Boston would limp through the first inning as Ron Cochran struggled to find bats. Only Larry Haile and David Sanchez would score as Thaxton, Devenish and Proctor would strike out. That would be a theme. For Athens they also struck out three times but Casey Bahn was able to pull Athens within a run.
More of the same as Thaxton and Haile would plate runs in the second. But Quintanilla, Devenish and Sanchez would whiff to give the Gades 6 strike outs in two innings. Joe McCormick was able to stop John Still at the right shorty spot in the bottom of the second but the K’s kept coming.
Boston would score a pair of runs in the third and fourth as well with Thaxton, Haile and Sanchez representing the offense. After 4 innings Boston would lead 8-2 and this game felt over. To this point Athens had 10 strike outs and Boston 8.
The 5th was a terrible inning for Boston for a few reasons. First, Rob Dias accidentally mistook an inquiry for his health and put himself into the defense in the 4th, which meant Hot Tub had to hit for him in the 5th. 12 pitches to Devenish, Sanchez and Thayer and Boston had the KKK for the frame.
The 6th was a momentum builder as the team started to wake up. Joe Quintanilla scored his first run of the season to lead off. Rookie, Andrew Crook laced a grounder to the right side for his first World Series run. Most importantly, Shawn Devenish and Cochran found the spot as Devenish hit a bomb into left for the best struck ball from the Renegade offense. This would boost Shawn’s confidence that the work he put in all year was paying off.
In the end, Athens whiffed 14 times and Boston a dirty dozen. It was an ugly start to the day but Boston won handily 11-4. Thaxton and Haile each scored a tri-fecta while David Sanchez also scored a pair to pace the offense. The Boston defense only made 4 stops as Joe McCormick led the way with a pair. This win marked the 150th in team history with Rob Weissman as the coach!
Game 8 –
|Abreau||5||2||1||0||– Thayer – R||1||0||0||0|
|Santana||5||2||2||4||McCormick – RS||5||3||0||1|
|Almanzar – DH||5||3||1||—||Haile – DH||5||4||0||—|
|Valera – DF||—||—||—||0||Proctor – DF/LS||—||—||—||5|
|– Ramirez – DF||—||—||—||0||– Dias – DF/LS||—||—||—||2|
|Sanchez||4||0||2||0||Devenish – MF||5||3||0||0|
|Ferrera||2||0||0||2||– Quintanilla – MF||0||0||0||0|
|– Payano||2||1||1||0||Soto- R/1B||2||1||1||0|
|– Sanchez – PH||2||1||0||—|
|– Buizon – 3B||0||0||0||1|
|– Quintanilla – PH||1||0||0||0|
|Yee – 1B/3B||5||3||1||0|
|Pitcher – Perez||Pitcher- Cochran||28||18||1|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller – Proctor|
Renegades win first ever match against team from Dominican in 4 inning 12 run rule 19-10
A team we had only seen play through the eyes of Jason Lenicheck who scouted them in the morning contest came to field 14 and right out of the gate we
jumped in to help them. David Sanchez (Puerto Rico) and Luis Soto (Venezuela) greeted them at home plate in Spanish. Sanchez would play the role of interpreter the entire game helping the umpire communicate with the Dominican squad in Spanish.
They came out of the gate with some nice looking swings and plated two runs on the two balls they put into play. When Boston came to the plate in this game, things looked very different. Cochran had worked on the spots and some of the kinks were starting to get worked out. Thaxton scored on a line drive into left in the first pitch. McCormick hit his second pitch up the middle for a run. Haile went deep into the count and scored on a line drive into center. This would be a milestone run for Haile as he would become the first ever Renegade to plate 300 runs! Devenish laced a rocket up the middle in the first pitch and just like that Boston had 4 straight runs to start the contest. The quick pitch counts would continue but Sanchez would be stopped up the middle by Riky Santana and Joe Yee would lace a rocket to left that sent Michael Vargas into a dive to make an amazing stop as the ball hit him in the chest as he was diving to the ground and he quickly corralled it. Thaxton and McCormick would score again with two outs and Boston had taken a 6-2 lead.
The Hurricanes showed spunk. After Justen Proctor stopped the six hitter, Ferrero and lead-off man, Michael Vargas whiffed, they scored three straight runs to make the game 6-5 after one and a half innings. In the Bottom of the second, the Designated Fielder, Valero made a diving stop on a Shawn Devenish blast into center field for another Web Gem. Quintanilla and Yee would go down and Boston had a bagel for the inning and the Hurricanes seemed to come to life on their bench.
In the top of the third, Justen Proctor took over. The 6-1-2 hitters were each stopped in succession by the body and ears of Justen who was starting to get a feel for the fields. In a one run game, this was a huge moment. It started the momentum shift back to Boston for sure. Boston would soon have a big inning. Thaxton lofted a towering fly ball with three strikes and was almost at the base by the time the ball came to rest. McCormick hit a bomb to left but Michael Vargas made a great web gem stop. That did not deter Boston as Haile, Devenish, Sanchez and Yee plated runs. The hurricanes stopped the bleeding getting Thaxton out in center field and Vargas made another spectacular play against McCormick. A 5 run inning left the game 11-5. That seemed to take the energy out of the small team from the Dominican. They looked tired.
In the 4th, Proctor would make his 4th stop in a row off the bat of Riky Santana. With two out, Christian Thaxton would make his first atop of the 2019 season in left field off the bat of Christian Sanchez. That was two shut out innings for the Boston defense. The bottom of the fourth was the hammer. Larry Haile got the party started with a line drive into right center. Devenish scored on a grounder. Luis Soto came off the bench to hit with Jamie Dickerson taking the mound and he scored on a pop fly as the team erupted. It was Jamie’s first World Series run and a confidence booster for Soto. Joe Yee checked in with a two pitch at bat and a line drive into left. Thaxton tagged a bomb into left. McCormick used his speed to beat out a ball up the middle (staying away from Vargas). Larry Haile then hit a grounder down the first base line. The damage was done. That was 7 up and 7 in and the 12 run rule was in effect as Boston led 18-5 and there was still nobody out! Joe Yee would tack a run on after the barrage of scoring. After four Boston led 19-5. These 19 runs would mark the 11th time in team history the Renegades would score 19 or more runs in a game. It was also the 9th best team batting average in a game at .613. Most impressively, Cochran and Dickerson only struck out 6.5% (2 of the 31 hitters) which is 3rd best of any game in history!
The Renegades would empty the bench to get people rest for the Austin game. In the 6th inning. Rob Dias took over on defense helping to make two stops. Soto (fist base), Joe Yee (third base) Joe Quintanilla ( mid field), Rob Thayer (rover) all had chances to make stops in the sixth but came up empty. In fact, in this inning, Quintanilla would sprain a toe and be done for the day and eventually the rest of the season. The last put out of the game was awarded to Joe Buizon because the Dominican team was cheering in the middle of the play. Boston had won the two games it needed to win. Drew Crook (hamstring) and Joe Quintanilla (toe) were both lost for the day with injuries and Boston awaited Austin.
Part one of the broadcast
Part 2 of the broadcast
Game 9 –
|Thaxton – R||6||1||3||0||B. Chesser||6||4||0||3|
|McCormick – 1B/RS||6||5||0||1||Finn||6||3||1||0|
|Haile – DH||6||4||0||—||Puryear – DH||6||3||3||—|
|Buizon – DF/RS/1B||—||—||—||0||J. Sibson – DF||—||—||—||1|
|Devenish – MF||6||4||0||3||Roberts||6||3||1||3|
|Yee – 3B||6||2||0||0||Manning||5||2||1||1|
|– Proctor – LS||3||0||1||5|
|– Dias – LS||0||0||0||0|
|Pitcher- Cochran||35||17||5||Pitcher – Hibner|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller – Lenicheck|
Austin walks off on Boston 18-17
Round robin play and most of the league felt this was going to be one of the best games of the day as the five and six seeds were facing off. Both teams entered the game 2-0 and only one team would finish the day undefeated. Boston had a 7 game winning streak on the line.
Boston was not at full strength in this game with Buizon settled in as a designated fielder, Rob Dias on the bench resting a bad back and Justen Proctor would have to be forced into action in the lineup as his defense is too important to the team. Austin was at full strength as they would be all week without the injured Mariano Reynoso who was lost for the year in the spring due to a shoulder injury. Both teams knew each other pretty well as they faced off in the last game of the 2018 World Series with the Renegades putting the game into the 12 run rule with an offensive breakout! Going into this game both teams expected lots of runs from Christian Thaxton, Brandon Chesser and Mike Finn. That prediction would not hold true.
On the second pitch of the game, Christian Thaxton hit a blast into left field but on contact, he appeared to kill the ball. It was confirmed by umpire, Mike Woodard. The ball was dead and by rule, Thaxton returned to the batters box with an 0-1 count. He fouled off two more pitches and then struck out as Austin cheered a big out. That would start a surprising trend for this game. McCormick and Haile would pick him up scoring on just three pitches. McCormick hit a dribbler that just cleared the 40 foot arc and Larry hit a laser down the first base line. That brought Shawn Devenish to the plate. He fouled off 4 straight pitches and then hit a ground ball but took two steps to first before reversing direction and was put out by a few steps for the second out of the inning. Joe Yee kept his hot bat alive with a grounder to the left side to make it 3-0. This brought David Sanchez to the plate who was a last minute add to the lineup when Boston lost the coin toss. He lofted a fly ball up the middle to make it 4-0. Thaxton strode to the plate looking to extend things and would strike out again. This would be the first time in his career he would strike out twice in the same inning as he struggled a bit with his timing and comfort.
Boston would take the field and struggle out of the gate to adjust to the field…but they would be close. Brandon Chesser hit a grounder right off Joe Buizon’s hands on the right side for a run. Mike Finn hit the very next pitch that bounced over Joe Yee and then bounced of Thaxton’s shoulder and as expected the top two guys scored. After two strike outs (a rare thing for Austin) Ed Manning came up. After being late on two pitches, Tim Hibner caught him and he went oppo getting a ball past Buizon and Joe McCormick who over ran it. Sterling then hit a first pitch dribbler up the middle. Proctor hit the ground early and Buizon slid over. It got by both of them. Devenish came up from the mid field spot and the ball went off his shins to tie the score at four all. Weissman called time out to talk to the defense about adjusting to the grass. After the talk, Chesser hit a bomb into right center that Shawn Devenish and McCormick converged on. Devenish made the play of the game ranging to his left to stop the bleeding on a bang bang play.
The second inning would not be kind to Boston. Three grounders to the left side and three outs by Austin in the second layer of their defense as they were better prepared for the fields. Some great defense by Brandon Chesser and Greg Roberts.
Leading off for Austin was Mike Finn who hit a grounder up the middle that Shawn Devenish stopped after the ball bounced off him. Keep in mind, Shawn just started playing this mid field position less than 2 weeks before this series in preparation of Buizon’s injury in Jersey. After Steve Puryear whiffed for the second time in the match, Greg Roberts stepped up and on the 6th pitch he saw, lofted a ball into center that eluded Devenish and Thaxton as Devenish hit the ground too early on a fly ball. Justen proctor would end the inning with a defensive stop on a weak hit. After two Austin led 5-4.
In the third, Joe Yee hit a line drive into left to tie the game on the first pitch he saw, tying it up. This brought Justen Proctor to the plate and he hit a grounder up the middle that was in between all the defenders. He ran by first base and by the time he put on the brakes and came back, Ed Manning picked up the ball. The second run of the game lost to bad base running for the Renegades. Thaxton laughed when he came to the plate and said it was ironic that the player with the best ears on the team missed a base. Thaxton would get a ball into play but Sterling was able to stop it and get it off the ground on a bang bang play. Joe McCormick would plate another run as Boston would take a 6-5 lead heading into the bottom of the third.
Austin would start the inning with a whiff by their number six hitter, Darius Sterling but then would get hot and have their best inning of the game. Brandon Chesser on a full count hit a hard grounder to the right side, but the ball bounced off McCormick in right field for the tying run. Finn hit a grounder to the left side that bounced over Justen and bounced off Joe Yee. Two grounders that could have ended the inning but instead extended the inning. Steve Puryear got off the schneid by hitting a ball that bounced of Joe Buizon’s head. The original call was out but it was over turned and he was called safe to give Austin an 8-6 lead. Greg Roberts hit a fly ball down the third base line but Joe Yee took a bad step on it and then it bounced off his hands as 4 guys scored in a row. Joe McCormick made a nice stop off one of the best hits in the inning on a line drive up the middle off the bat of Ed Manning. Sterling then hit a weak ball to the right side which Buizon just missed but Sterlings speed was too quick for Justen who picked the ball up on a bang bang play. Lead off hitter, Chesser then hit a hard grounder right off Justen and the ball bounced off him all the way to the line. Proctor gave chase but Brandon beat it out for a run. Every run scored this inning had bounced off a Renegade defender. Proctor would stop the bleeding off the bat of Finn. Austin led 11-6. It was a six run inning for the Austin offense. Every hit was contested by the Renegade defense. It was a matter of adjusting to the field. The Renegade lacked energy and it showed. The good news was there was no quit!
The top of the 4th started off well as Shawn Devenish would get things going. He hit a line hugger down third base that was too far for Sterling to get to and too shallow for Chesser. Yee would be stopped with a weak hit up the middle. Proctor would get an at bat and go down on 4 swings and misses. Thaxton would hit a hard grounder into left. Chesser would make a play as the ball hit him in the hands in a play that made it look easy and lucky. Austin was fired up to stop Thaxton. Boston was down 11-7. The Austin defense was out playing Boston.
The bottom of the 4th started off promising. Puryear had 4 swings and missed and for the third time in four trips he struck out. Proctor would stop Greg Roberts next laying out on a ball before the ball got to him, the ball bounced off his shins and rolled up to his hands. Perfect mechanics! Ed manning hit a nice line drive down the third base line, Yee had a chance but missed it and by the time Thaxton corralled it, Manning was safe. Sterling hit a ball to the right side. Buizon, McCormick and Thaxton laid out for it but Sterling is too quick and beat it out for a bang bang run. Brandon Chesser, hit his pitcher and then hit another ball up the middle that Shawn Devenish made a nice stop on. The Renegade defense was slowly adjusting but Austin tacked 2 more runs on with two outs. After 4, Austin led 13-7 but the Renegade defense looked better and nobody on the team thought this game was over. It was not!
The 5th would be a big inning for the Renegades. Joe McCormick led off the inning with a line drive up the middle past diving Blackhawks to get the party started as Ron was able to find his bat deep in the count. Ron also took Larry Haile down the first base line with a full count and it was 13-9. Shawn Devenish broke the trend and lofted a pop fly to short right field that took a big bounce on the first pitch he saw to make it three straight scores. Joe Yee hit a hard low line drive up the middle but was stopped for the first out of the frame. Proctor was up next and would have an interesting trip. The first pitch he saw was bounced up the middle and he had a chance to score but no base went off. The second pitch was hit with a little less authority in a similar place and he was stopped on a bang bang play. The Boston bench thought there was a double call by the spotters. Umpire, Mike Woodard had no field umpire help and there was nobody to ask. The austin spotters claimed they called the same number which is legal. Christian Thaxton and Cochran would work the count to three strikes and Thaxton would hit a line drive up the middle for a run. Joe McCormick then laced a fly ball into center and the score was now 13-12. Austin called time out to regroup. Larry Haile would hit a bounding ball to the right side and race to first as the ball bounced away from the Designated fielder, Jamie Sibson and the L-train had tied it up. Shawn Devenish would hit a similar ball on the next play but the Austin defense could not find the handle and Boston had taken a 14-13 lead. Joe Yee was put out on a short ball to the right side on a very close play by Jamie Sibson to end the frame. A seven run inning for Boston with McCormick, Haile and Devenish each plating a pair. Seven run innings are not common but Boston believes they can do it for sure!
It was predicted to be one of the best day one games. It did not disappoint. Leading off for Austin was NBBA great, Mike Finn who promptly lofted a fly ball to the right side that Buizon could not find and McCormick over ran. The game was tied. Puryear who had trouble putting the ball in play (3 strikeouts in 4 previous trips to the plate) then hit a grounder that alluded Buizon. Devenish missed it and McCormick also missed. Three layers laid out and three layers came up empty, Austin was back on top 15-14. Greg Roberts then hit a pretty hard grounder to the left side. Proctor was able to adjust, hit the ground early and was able to pick up the ball with plenty of time to spare for the first out of the inning. Manning would whiff and Proctor would also stop Sterling on a weak hit ball down the line which he laid out nicely for. After 5 innings, Austin clung to a one run lead.
Down a run, Sanchez would be called upon to hit for Proctor. Normally, Proctor is not in the lineup for big games like this, but with Dias hurt, we were forced to have Justen hit. Down to the last three outs, offense was needed and Dias was now ready and able to contribute if called upon for defense. Confusion was about to take over.
As David Sanchez swung and fouled off the first pitch, umpire Mike Woodard called strike two on Sanchez because Boston has nobody on the on Deck circle. Thaxton was in the bathroom and was late to get back to the bench. This miscommunication cost the Renegades a strike and messed with Sanchez who took an awful swing for strike three. Sanchez would whiff. That confusion may have impacted Thaxton as well…but he was struggling timing wise all game with just one run in 4 trips and his two strike out performance in the first. Even the best hitters struggle. This would be no exception as he went down on 4 pitches and just like that the Gades were down to their last out. But must like the previous inning, Boston would catch some mojo with two outs. They scored 4 runs with two outs in the 5th. With 2 strikes, Mac hit a weak grounder to the left shorty, Sterling who was leading the Austin defense with 5 stops…but he misplayed it and McCormick’s speed was too much. Tie game. Larry Haile lofted the first pitch he saw up the middle and it bounced off the defenses hands for a Renegade 16-15 lead. Devenish then hit a hard grounder down the third baseline that actually rolled slightly foul when it went by the base and rolled past the 170 line for a 17-15 lead. Joe Yee hit a nice shot into left but Brandon Chesser made a nice play on him in left to end the rally. Could Boston hold Austin in the bottom of the inning?
Rob Dias entered the game to play defense. The winner of this game would leave the bracket as the 5 seed, the loser, the 6 seed. Before the inning got started, Thaxton received a warning for touching his blindfold, when he tried to adjust the face mask he wears due to the concussion he had in the 2018 season. The top of the order would be up. The top two hitters represented 6 of the 15 Blackhawk runs to this point. Drama continued as Chesser worked Hibner to a full count on 5 pitches. He would blast a shot into right field. McCormick gave chase, but had little chance as Weissman screamed stop just before McCormick would feel the turf change near a paved path. 17-16 with Mike Finn up. Finn and Hibner struggled and in 5 pitches, Finn whiffed for the first time all game. A huge out. Puryear was leading Austin in strikeouts on the day and if that trend would continue, Boston had a chance. With two strikes, Puryear tied it up on a grounder into right field which McCormick over ran. This brought Greg Roberts to the plate. As Roberts stepped into the box, Weissman gave Dias a heads up the last two times, he had hit the ball to Proctor. On queue, he hit a grounder on the first pitch to the right of Dias. Dias moved over, was late to the ground and as he dove pushed the ball away from him. Roberts raced down the first base line for an Austin walk off victory. Austin would win 18-17. Boston battled and if they could get Buizon and Dias into the lineup and adjust to the speed of the grass defensively..this team would contend.
Game 10 –
|Van Duyne||5||3||0||5||Thaxton -R||6||6||0||1|
|Xiong||5||3||2||0||McCormick – 1B||6||3||2||2|
|Paulson – DH||5||3||1||—||Haile – DH||5||3||0||—|
|Peterson – DF||—||—||—||0||– Soto – DH||1||0||0||—|
|– Guerra – DF||—||—||—||1||Buizon – DF/3B||—||—||—||0|
|Schmitz||5||1||0||1||Devenish – MF||5||5||0||2|
|McCoy||5||1||1||0||Dias – RS||0||0||0||3|
|Lemke||5||1||4||0||– Yee – 3B/1B||1||0||1||0|
|– Sanchez- PH||3||1||0||—|
|– Crook – PH||1||0||0||—|
|Proctor – LS||5||3||2||2|
|Pitcher – Elliason||Pitcher- Cochran||32||21||5|
|Pitcher – Dickerson||1||0||0|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller – Lenicheck|
Let the double elimination begin as Boston knocks off Millers in a route 21-12
The Millers of Minnesota strutted in very close to game time without much warm ups in their Minnesota Gopher colors after dropping games to the Indy Thunder and Chicago Comets. They had never beaten the Renegades.
Pre game, the Renegade focus was on getting Thaxton his timing and comfort and to see how Rob Dias and Drew Crook’s health was. After extensive BP, Thaxton looked like his old self and both Dias and Drew said they were ready to go. That put Dias straight into the starting lineup to start the game on defense and test his balky back.
Leading off for the Millers was the coaches son, Evan Van Duyne. He started the game with a weak hit ball that Justen corralled…but it rolled away from him toward home after it hit his body. Proctor went right into a beached whale as he thought it was closer than it was for a run. Josh Xiong scored and Todd Paulson launched a bomb into left as the Millers were firing on all cylinders without warm ups! Rob Dias stopped them cold making the next two stops with excitement as his health was improving. Heading to the bottom of the first, the Millers led 3-0.
In an unimpressive fashion, the Gades scored six times in the bottom of the frame on a bunch of short pop flies and grounders that found their way through the defense. Thaxton and McCormick each plated a pair in the frame while Devenish and Proctor rounded out the scoring. It was Proctor’s first run of the year!
The defense had a better inning in the second as Proctor stopped Van Duyne this time. Shawn Devenish also made a heck of a play at mid field off the bat of Riley Schmitz. Minnesota got a run on a ball hit down the third base line which Joe Yee could not gather in time off the bat of Todd Paulson. The score was now 6-4.
Devenish would lead off the second on a fly ball run. Sanchez would hit for Yee and ground out weakly and Proctor struck out on 6 pitches as he battled to find his swing. With two outs, Thaxton launched a bomb into left and the ball went dead on contact taking away a sure run. Coming back to the plate with a 0-0 count he then sliced a ball to the right side that landed with wicked spin and he scored easily. McCormick hit the second pitch he saw into left for his best hit of the series as Weissman asked him to teach Thaxton how to hit a ball hard without breaking it. Haile scored on a grounder through the right side. Devenish plated his second run of the frame on a line drive up the middle. Boston led 11-4 after two and plated 4 runs with two outs. The Millers were pissed and were yelling at each other on the bench as their pitcher tried to calm them down.
Weissman hoped they would implode…his hopes were dashed. They actually exploded. McCoy, Van Duyne, Xiong and Schmitz plated runs and got the score to 11-8 as the Renegade defense could not make a stop in the inning. Devenish, Thaxton and Buizon each had multiple shots at making stops and came up empty during the inning. For Boston, Proctor would lead off the bottom of the inning with three ugly swings and misses. He then connected on a grounder to the left side where two defenders collided for a big insurance run. Thaxton scored on a line drive to the right side over Ron’s shoulder. Then trouble would hit for McCormick who lost his swing and struck out for the first time in the series. Haile would stay hot with another ball to the right side and Devenish did his thing with a blast into left. They had matched the Miller output and the score after three was 15-8.
The 4th was ugly on both sides for the Millers. They went down 1-2-3 with 2 whiffs and a Devenish stop up the middle. And now 5 of their last 6 outs were of the strike out variety. Boston would put this game away in the 4th as they would plate 6 runs in the inning. Thaxton plated a pair, Haile, Devenish, Sanchez and Proctor pitched in a run each. McCormick had two at bats in the inning. He struggled with his swing demons but then regained it in his lat at- bat of the day. The 12 run rule was invoked and the score was 21-8. This marked only the 5th time in team history, Boston had plated 20+ runs and it was done in just 4 innings. They hit .636 on the day, the 4th best game in team history. They were led by Christian Thaxton who had his 4th career 6+ run game and Shawn Devenish who collected his first ever 5 run game!
The Millers pushed 4 runs across in their last 2 innings of hitting. The highlight play of the day in the field came off the bat of Riley Schmitz who hit a high fly to the right side. On one big bounce, Joe McCormick caught the ball with his hands and that fired him up. Boston would move on to the next round and be one of 8 teams to move into double elimination without a loss (in double elimination). Their next opponent would be the San Antonio Jets, the 3rd seeded team in the league and a match up of their great game in 2018. Dias, Buizon and Crook said they would be ready to go healthwise!
Game 11 –
|Arambula||6||5||0||1||Thaxton – 3B||5||2||3||1|
|W. Lopez||6||3||2||1||– Yee – PH||1||0||1||—|
|– R.Almanza||0||0||0||0||McCormick – R||4||3||1||0|
|Smith – DH||3||2||0||—||– Crook – PH||1||0||1||—|
|– Perez – DH||3||2||0||—||Haile – DH||4||0||0||—|
|Wilcox – DF||—||—||—||4||– Soto – DH||1||0||0||—|
|Cox||6||4||1||0||Proctor – DF/LS||—||—||—||4|
|A. Almanza||6||4||0||0||Devenish – MF||4||3||0||1|
|– Flores||0||0||0||1||– Thayer – PH||1||0||1||—|
|Ruzika||5||3||1||1||Dias – RS||5||3||2||2|
|– Litzler||0||0||0||0||Buizon – 1B||0||0||0||0|
|– Sanchez – PH||4||2||0||—|
|– Yee – 1B||1||0||1||0|
|Pitcher -K. Sibson||Pitcher- Cochran||25||11||9|
|Pitcher – Dickerson||6||2||1|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller – Lenicheck|
Jets fly over Renegades 23-13 sending them to the losers Bracket
The Jets came into the game against the Renegades 4-0 on the week. Their schedule was easy and familiar up till now. They started against Palm Beach in the Bandit’s first game ever and won easily 18-0. They then played two familiar local opponents downing BCS 24-9 and Tyler 13-5. On Double Elimination, their win was against another Texas team as they knocked out Lone Star 15-5. This would be their first true test of the tournament.
For the Renegades, the training wheels would be taken off Rob Dias as he would play both ways in his first start of the Series as his back felt better. Joey Buizon was still being managed with his injury to his calf less than 3 weeks old. The plan was for him to play defense and rotate David Sanchez and Joe Yee in the six hole of the line up.
On the first pitch of the game, Zach Arambula hit a shot into deep left and Thaxton felt the ball was dead. After umpire review, Thaxton’s belief was confirmed. Jet pitcher, Kevin Sibson worked the count to three strikes before Zach hit a bomb into right field where nobody was. Arambula would set the tone for the Jets offense with this opposite field blast. After a rare, Sibson strike out, David Smith hit a grounder up the middle which got over Justen Proctor, rolled by Shawn Devenish and Thaxton picked it up for the out due to a missed base by Smith. Proctor would stop Axel Cox and the Renegades got off the field without allowing a crooked number.
The Gades did not start well on offense either. Thaxton saw 7 pitches, fouled off 5 of them and struck out as he appeared to struggle with his timing and comfort. Joe McCormick would see the minimum of 4 pitches and make no contact for the second out as he struggled to be consistent with his swing plane. Larry Haile would hit a line drive to the right side but Ricky Ruzika would stop him on a close play and after one inning in slight drizzle the Jets led 1-0.
Aaron Almanza led off the second with a blast into right field to start the second. Ricky Ruzika hit a ball up the middle that Devenish just missed and bounced of McCormick’s chest for a score on a close play. Arambula hit a bomb into left field McCormick had little time to make the play and it was 4-0. Will Lopez then hit a dribbler to the 40 foot line and missed first base as Proctor made the play. Two outs in the first two innings were awarded to the Gades defense due to poor base running on the Jets. Smith scored on a hard grounder up the gut of the defense and it was 5-0. Axel Cox whiffed to make it two outs. Things would then get real bad.
Aaron Almanza hit a hard grounder up the middle past everyone that the Defense cried dead ball on, but the ball came back to life and started beeping, 6-0. Ruzika hit a line drive into left which McCormick had slip put of his hands in deep left, 7-0. Arumbula would score for the second time in the inning on a ball that Proctor could not get to in time and Thaxton had die in front of him. Lopez got on the board with a high pop fly near the 40 foot arc that bounced with a ton of spin and Proctor could not find it in time, 9-0. Smith hit a dribbler to the left side but the call from Grillo froze Proctor and he hit the ground early. The umpire called Smith out. Boston came off the field and huddled and even sent Shawn Devenish to the batters box. After San Antonio contested the call, it was found the volunteer umpire did not know the rectangular part of the base could be touched. Boston had to go back on defense with a 10-0 deficit. Cox would blast a shot down the third base line. Aaron Almanza would score his second run of the inning on a short pop up that Proctor had bounce off his body. At 12-0, Weissman called a defensive time out as San Antonio celebrated on the bench. Ruzika would whiff to end the frame. This was the second worst inning ever in team history as Boston let up 11 runs (the worst was in 2017 vs Indy when the Gades let up 12).
Shawn Devenish prevented the 12 run rule from kicking in in the bottom of the second with a grounder down the third base line that kicked off a defender into foul territory to score the first run for Boston. Rob Dias came to the plate, with his back feeling better, saw 6 pitches but struck out as Ron Cochran had 3 k’s in his first five hitters. David Sanchez would hit for Buizon and Jamie Dickerson trotted in to pitch to Sanchez. Piror to this game, Weissman and Sanchez made the call to change things up. He grounded out to the left shorty, Isiah Wilcox. Thaxton fouled off three straight pitches and then hit a rope by everyone on the line that stopped rolling well beyond the 170 line. McCormick hit a grounder down the third base line for the third run of the inning. Larry Haile who was 11-14 in his first four games came to the plate and with three strikes, hit a grounder up the middle to Arambula. After two, the Jets led 12-3. Joe Yee would sub in for Sanchez in defense as the Renegades continued to play offense/defense in the six hole and rest Buzion.
Zach Arambula led off the third inning with a few foul balls and a hard grounder to Proctor. Justen laid out early and stopped the ball with ease to retire Arambula for the first time in 4 trips. Will Lopez hit a hard grounder to Justen again. The ball ricocheted off his feet up and over his body and far away from him for a “Jet life” run. Lupe Perez subbed in to hit for Smith. He hit a looper to the right side which Dias ranged way back and to his left on near first base and stopped him for a web gem. Cox hit a high fly to Justen that bounced with spin and Proctor could not pick it clean as Cox scored. Aaron Almanza then hit a line drive to the right side and Rob Dias made another web gem near the base for the out. It was the first time in 4 trips Almanza had been stopped. Heading to the bottom of the third, the Jets led 14-3.
Devenish led off the inning with solid contact. First he hit it off Ron’s butt cheek. Then he hit a line drive to the right side but was stopped by Will Lopez. Rob Dias scored on a “grounder with eyes” to pull the Gades within 10. Joe Yee went 6 pitches deep into the count and struck out for the second out of the inning. Thaxton would score on a 40 foot weak pop up to the middle of the field on the first pitch. It was the first one pitch at-bat of the game….till Joe McCormick hit a 90 foot pop up and scored on the first pitch as well. Larry then also hit the first pitch to Wilcox. After three innings, the Jets led 14-6. Cochran was starting to find the bats.
The 4th inning would be another train wreck for the Renegades on defense. The Jets would plate 9 runs in this inning and put this game away. In fact, this would be the first game in team history it had allowed two innings of 9 or more runs in a game. The 23 runs allowed would represent the 3rd worst amount of runs allowed all-time. Zach Arambula would pace the Jets with 5 runs and go on to join Devenish and Thaxton as league All-Stars.
Boston would show some fight, trying to avoid the 12 run rule. The Renegades plated 5 runs in the bottom of the 4th but 23-11 was not enough as it was 12 runs exactly. In the end, this was one of the worst games of the year for Boston. The team struck out 10 times and faced its only 12 run rule loss of the year. The biggest highlight was the fact Rob Dias plated three runs and made some great stops on defense in his first start of the series.
Boston would now head to the losers bracket and would face the winner of the match up between Tyler and St. Luis. San Antonio would get to play another game against a Texan opponent in the Bayou City Heat.
Game 12 –
|McCormick – R/3B/MF/RS||4||3||1||2||Black||5||2||1||0|
|Haile – DH||3||2||0||—||Lloyd||5||1||3||0|
|– Crook – R/1B||1||0||0||0||Chappel||5||4||0||2|
|Proctor – DF/LS||—||—||—||0||Ingram||5||1||0||1|
|– Soto – R||—||—||—||0||Artis||4||0||3||1|
|Devenish – MF||3||2||0||0|
|– Yee – 3B/RS||—||—||—||0|
|Dias – RS/MF||3||3||0||6|
|Quintanilla – Ghost||—||—||—||—|
|– Buizon – 1B/MF||2||1||1||0|
|Pitcher- Cochran||19||14||2||Pitcher – Haskett|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller -Lenicheck|
Boston 12 runs Tyler too quickly and wins 15-11 and staying alive!
Elimination time as both squads had a loss. Tyler lost to the Indy Edge in the first round of the double elimination round. They then defeated the St. Louis Firing Squad in the morning game in a contest full of controversy. In that game, the Firing Squad had multiple people ejected for fighting amongst their own team. The rumors had been flying around the fields about this all morning and it would impact the Renegades as they had plenty of history against the Tigers from Tyler, but very little against St. Louis. Boston had an 8-1 lifetime record vs Tyler with their last two wins in 2015 & 2018 occurring in 12 run win fashion.
Tyler won the coin toss and the Renegades would bat first. Boston was full of confidence and right out of the gate pounced on the Tigers. Christian Thaxton hit the first pitch of the contest down the third base line for a run. Joe McCormick hit a bomb into left for a second score. After Larry Haile was stopped because of a base running miscue, Shawn Devenish laced a shot into left. Rob Dias then launched his best hit of the week into left field as well. The last player to score in the inning was David Sanchez, who entered the game for the ghost player, Joe Quintanilla. Boston invented a new position, the Ghost, Joe was injured and would be unavailable. Since Weissman wanted to split time in the six spot between Buizon, Sanchez and Yee…he was unsure when the spot in the lineup would come up. So a Ghost spot was created as a way to burn Quintanilla and use Sanchez if the spot got up and Buizon if the spot did not come up. Sanchez scored and Boston would have a 5 run lead heading into the bottom of the first.
Tyler would lead off, Ron Jordan who is the league leader in home runs over the past few years (with 2). He would strike out. Carlos Black would score the lone run for Tyler on a ball hit to Shawn Devenish. Rob Dias would stop Tim Chappel to end the inning with a 5-1 lead for Boston.
The second inning was a memorable inning for the Renegade offense. Boston would send 13 hitters to the plate and score ten times. Thaxton, McCormick, Haile and Dias all scored twice in the inning and every player in the starting lineup scored at least one run. As this was happening, Weissman was worried about twelve running Tyler too early. By rule, the team with the lead has to finish the game playing all remaining innings on defense. This could give Tyler 15 outs to tie the game. By rule, if Tyler tied it, Boston would be given their 15 outs as well. Bottom line, Weissman did not want his players baking in the hot sun.
John Ingram and Ron Jordan would be the only players to score in the bottom of the second forcing the game into a 12 run rule at 15-3. Boston would be forced to play defense. It would get ugly. Weissman tried to sub out guys to get rest as Proctor and Devenish came off the field. With defensive lineups the team had used in practice, Tyler chipped away. Drew Crook was at Rover, Joe Yee saw action at Right shortie. Boston struggled. To make matters worse, a few players left the bench to make the trek to the bathroom, leaving Boston short handed.
Tyler would plate 6 runs in the third inning. Boston shuffled players around on defense. A scary moment happened when Drew Crook collided with Joe Buizon on a ball hit up the middle. The ball laid right next to Buizon as he laid motionless. Buizon thought he was paralyzed but in the end had a jammed finger. Colliding with Drew Crook is no joke and can rattle a player. Buizon was forced to leave the game to collect himself, forcing David Sanchez into the field for some of his first defensive action of the year. Eventually, Boston would right the ship with Joe McCormick and Rob Dias playing up front. Tyler would score just three runs from the 4th inning on. Rob Dias would lead the team with 6 stops on defense while McCormick had a pair. Yee and Thaxton each had one.
Boston hit .714 in this game, the second best batting average in a game in team history, trailing only another match up with Tyler in 2015. This game was only the third contest in team history where a twelve run game was called within two innings (one other time was Tyler in 2015 and another was Stockton in 2007). It was also just the 4th time in history the Renegades had a ten run inning on offense (the last occurrence was in 2015 vs these same Tigers)
Tyler was eliminated and would head to the 9-12 bracket to face Philly. They would eventually finish in 10th place. Boston stayed on the field and prepared to welcome the BCS Outlaws who had just upset the Philly Fire 13-12 and were guaranteed their first ever top 8 finish in their team history.
Game 13 –
|Thaxton – 3B||4||4||1||0||Bernet||1||0||0||2|
|– Yee- 3B||—||—||—||1||– Frederick||3||1||0||0|
|Haile – DH||2||0||0||—||– Deleon||2||0||1||0|
|– Thayer – DH||2||0||1||—||Oswald||4||0||1||1|
|Proctor – DF/LS||—||—||—||6||Perry||4||3||0||0|
|Devenish – MF||2||2||0||2||Junek||4||0||0||0|
|– Soto – 1B||2||0||1||0||Newhouse||3||1||1||0|
|Dias – RS||3||2||0||6|
|Quinatanilla – Ghost||—||—||—||—|
|– Sanchez – PH||1||0||1||—|
|– Buizon – 1B||1||1||0||0|
|– Crook – R||1||1||0||0|
|Pitcher- Cochran||17||14||1||Pitcher- J. House|
|Pitcher – Dickerson||5||0||3|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller – Lenicheck|
Thaxton Hits first ever home Run in team history to lead Boston over BCS 14-5
The BCS Outlaws were riding a high as they had clinched their first ever top 8 finish in team history by beating the Philly Fire in the previous game. the Renegades were on a mission as they had been knocked to the losers bracket and had to fight back. Not a lot of history between these two teams as Boston held a 2-0 lifetime record against BCS with wins in 2016 (8-1) and 2018 (4-2). In both contests, the BCS squad was able to hold the Renegades offense down. Some of that low score in 2018 was due to the very tall grass on the field they played on..at least that was how Boston felt. the Renegades would not take this BCS team lightly as they needed to get their bats back after they only had 2 innings of play against Tyler and had been put on ice for a few hours.
Boston would put the pressure on in the first inning with Joe McCormick, Shawn Devenish and Rob Dias all scoring on grounders and using their speed to beat it out. In one inning, they had almost matched their output from last years match, and that grass was going to play in favor of the Renegades this season,
BCS does not have a lot of power in their lineup, but they can put the ball into play. That was on display in the first inning as Justen Proctor stopped their first two hitters and Shawn Devenish finished of the Donut with three straight defensive stops as the Renegade defense continued to gain confidence.
In the top of the second, Thaxton led off with a towering short pop up and once again, the speed of the Renegades was too much for BCS, 4-0. Joe McCormick hit a bomb into left for the best hit of the game at this point and Boston’s 5 runs were more than they scored in the entire game in the previous year. The damage was only just beginning. Shawn Devenish would beat out a grounder to make it 6-0. With two outs, Joe Buizon would get a chance to hit as the Renegades were trying to ease him in and get his timing down. On the 7th pitch he saw, he laced a line drive into right field for a big run and a big boost of confidence for Buizon and his gimpy calf. Cochran had thrown just 8 pitches to the previous 5 batters in the inning but it took some time for Buizon and Cochran to get their timing down. Cochran would get back to work and throw just two pitches total to Thaxton and McCormick. Thax would hit a rope that would roll forever. McCormick would hit a grounder to the left side and use his speed to beat out a bang-bang play and Boston had scored six runs in the inning to push the game to 9-0. Weissman would call to the bench to get some action for the team. Rob Thayer would come in and go down on strikes for the end of the inning.
The trend would continue for BCS as they would continue to put pressure on the defense. Three players came up and three players would be stopped by the Renegades defense. Shawn Devenish would continue his stellar play at the mid-field position to stop Josh Perry on a fly ball up the middle. Justen Proctor would stop Abigail Junek on a dribbler up the middle of the field and Rob Dias would make his first stop off the bat of Tyler Newhouse on another dribbler where Newhouse ran to the wrong base but would have been stopped either way. This game was looking like it could be another 12 run game. This time, Boston wanted it so they could get off the field and get rest as the team would have to win three games the next day in order to get back to the title game. They would try to do it in Renegade style by trying to get everyone into the game.
Rest would go to Shawn Devenish who had played a ton during the week as Luis Soto got into the game and would play both ways to finish this. Soto would hit the first pitch he saw off Jamie Dickerson to the left side and be stopped. Rob Dias, who continued to feel better with his back wanted to stay in the game and with his new’ish stance, Weissman wanted to see how his swing would be impacted by playing all day in the heat. Dias would score on a grounder to the deep layer on the left side to make it 10-0. Drew Crook came off the bench for Buizon. Crook had been hampered by a tight hamstring earlier in the week and was limited in his playing time. Drew hit a laser and at this time, the best hit of the game. the base was late and it caused Drew to struggle to get out of the box. It did not matter. Drew could score walking on this bomb. As impressive as that was. …Thaxton would soon top it. On the first pitch he saw, Thaxton hit a moon hot into left field and as the ball landed, Bryan Grillo started raising his hands as he and other sighted coaches could see the ball land beyond the home run line. Thaxton cleared the line by about 5 feet. League photographer, John Lykowski saw it. Umpire Jason Price saw it and most impressively, Thaxton had his fiance and family at the game and they got to see this rare beepball feat. In an act of sportsmanship, Coach John stark from BCS suggested the ball be given to Thaxton for this accomplishment. A home run in Beep baseball counts as two runs and it was now 13-0. Joe McCormick would score a big run next on a ground ball to make it 14-0 and that would close out the scoring for Boston.
In the bottom of the 3rd inning, Hunter Fredrick and Josh Perry would each plate runs but it would not be enough to avoid the 12 run rule as Boston led 14-2, the game was exactly 12 runs. BCS would hit for the rest of the game and Boston would need to get 9 outs to get back to the hotel. BCS continued to pressure the Renegade defense. BCS could scratch just three more runs across the rest of the way.
Rob Dias and Justen Proctor each made six stops on defense in this game. Shawn Devenish finished with a pair of stops while Joe Yee also chipped in to make an out. The Boston defense made 15 stops on defense which equaled the most in a game during the 2019 season and only the 7th time in team history they had made this many in a game (but twice against the BCS Outlaws). The difference here was the speed and bats of Boston who hit .636 on the game. It was another big offense week in the team history as it marked the third top 5 batting average in a game in 17 years. Think about that, 17 years of ball and 3 of the biggest offensive outputs were in Tulsa this week! Tulsa was sure good for the offensive stats! This also marked a team record 7th time the Renegades had 12-runned an opponent during the season which set another team record.
In the end, BCS would go on to take 8th place, losing to Austin 8-0. They were very excited about their play and their ability to put the ball in play caused many teams fits. Boston would advance to the top 6 and would be taking on the Indy Edge in the morning. A change from all f the Texas teams the Renegades had faced till this point. The Edge had 12 runned Boston the previous year. The Edge had shown no respect for the Renegades on social media all year. Boston was going to be ready for this game, Their health was getting better, their defense gaining confidence and their bats were consistent. It was time to see what the Renegades were made of and what they learned from the previous beat down when the Edge beat them 23-8.
Part 1– Top of the first inning: Boston at the plate
Part 2– Bottom of the first inning and one batter in the top of the 2nd
Part 3– Top of the 2nd inning (missed two at bats from Joe Mac and Larry Haile)
Game 14 – Renegades Eliminate the Edge 15-10
|Foppiano||5||2||1||1||Thaxton – 3B/R||5||4||0||1|
|Mulherin||5||3||2||1||McCormick – R/3B||5||3||1||1|
|Morris||5||3||2||4||Haile – DH||5||1||0||—|
|Dunleavy – DH||4||2||1||—||Proctor – RS/LS||—||—||—||2|
|– Gregory – DH||1||0||0||—||Devenish – MF||5||5||0||1|
|Mazariegos – DF||—||—||—||1||Dias – LS||5||2||2||4|
|Krussel||4||0||2||1||Buizon – 1B||3||0||3||0|
|Silver||4||0||1||0||– Yee – 1B||2||0||1||0|
|Pitcher- Kennedy||Pitcher- Cochran||30||15||7|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller – Lenicheck|
Rain was in the forecast for this game that was supposed to start at 8:30am. Sadly, the league had no no rain contingency plan. Volunteers, umpires and teams prepared for that scheduled start time. It was a light drizzle during warm-ups but the forecast looked bad.
As the lineups were turned in and the pre game preparation was starting, the Edge did something that has never been done against the Renegades. In fact, they demanded something not even in the rule book. They wanted every Renegade with usable vision to wear a mindfold. This is a foam blindfold with a plastic visor. Other than Joey Buizon, most of the team had never worn one before in a game. The players were all wondering what was going on. Coach Weissman went to the Edge and asked if and why his team was being accused of cheating before the game had even started. This is the same Indy Edge team that had posted many things on Social media that the Renegades were the most over rated team in the league and were undeserving of a top seed. The same Edge team that trounced the Renegades and 12-runned them by a score of 23-8 in 2018. Here they were complaining before the game had even started.
As the umpire relayed to the league to bring more mindfolds to the field, Weissman talked with his team. Thaxton, McCormick, Haile, Buizon, Devenish would all be forced to wear the mindfold and the game would be delayed. As the teams waited for the mindfolds, the alarm sounded at the facility to get all the teams off the fields due to thunder storms. The players would get a chance to talk about the mindfolds and try them on during the 3 hour rain delay. It was not going to be an issue for the players. The team wanted to make a statement. They felt the Edge was playing head games and this added fuel to the fire for sure. The Renegades were working on mental toughness during the season. It was not going to be an issue. In fact, it would act as a catalyst.
Three hours later, the game started, pushing all the other games back to very late in the day. These two teams could not be any different in how they were made. The Renegades an 18-year-old program with every player and coach growing up in its system.. The Edge a team started in 2016 but its players and coaches had a roster of many people from other cities and so much experience playing for other teams. Many of the players had won World Series titles playing for teams from California, Kansas and the Thunder.
Danny Foppiano would lead off for the Edge, this former Long Island Bomber/Pa Wolfpack/West Coast Dawg/Kansas all-star was chasing another ring. After fouling off the first two pitches he hit a slow grounder through the wet grass to a laid out Christian Thaxton at third for the first out. Sophomore, Nick Mulherin, who won the offensive MVP in 2018, fouled off a pitch and then hit a high pop fly to the left side that Rob Dias picked up after a bounce in deep left, just after Mulherin scored. Marc Morris, (one of just three starters who played their whole career in Indy, but for three different teams) then hit a dribbler to the left side at the 40 foot arc. Morris, one of the fastest players in the league raced to first as Dias took an odd angle at the ball. Morris was ruled safe on another Rob Dias bang-bang play. Chris Dunleavy (entire career with the Edge) fouled off the first pitch and then missed on the second. This was the first swing and miss for the Edge. He hit a grounder to the left side. As Dunleavy raced to first, Dias missed it, Thaxton over ran it and McCormick picked it up but a split second late. The Edge led by three and all three runs scored on close plays. Richie Krussel (who has played for St. Luis, Lone Star and Colorado) then hit another dribbler to the 40 foot arc. Dias raced in, bobbled the wet ball and made the stop. Nick Silver (St. Luis, RHI, Chicago) then hit the second pitch up the middle. Shawn Devenish laid out and made a great stop to nail the speedy Silver. Even though the Gades allowed three runs, all were on close plays and the team had confidence.
Leading off for Boston, Christian Thaxton hit a lazy line drive to the left side which eluded two Edge defenders on the first pitch for a run. The second pitch of the inning was hit to almost the same spot and despite a late base, McCormick beat it out as Marc Morris had the ball bounce him for the second Renegade run. Larry Haile needed a moment and took the first pitch. He then hit a grounder up the middle where Morris stopped him. Cochran was matching Kyle Kennedy by getting the bat on the ball. That trend continued as Devenish also hit the first pitch he saw and blasted it into left center by everyone for a tie game! Rob Dias would have the first swing and miss of the inning but would then hit a grounder up the middle of the field which Danny Foppiano had roll just by his feet for a run and a Renegade lead. Buizon would foul off the first two pitches but go down on strikes. Thaxton would then bat for the second time in the inning. With three strikes, Thaxton bounced one up the middle of the field and it rolled off Foppiano for the second time in the inning. Normally Foppiano is lights out, but the Boston speed may have been too much. McCormick would go down on strikes to end the frame but Boston led the Edge 5-3 after one full frame. Both pitchers made a lot of contact but the Renegade defense was better in this frame despite the blindfolds they were forced to wear by their opponent.
Justen Proctor got the defense going to start off the second as he stopped a worm burner up the middle diving to his left while playing in a new defensive shift (devised the night before in the hotel) off the bat of lead-off hitter, Danny Foppiano. Former MVP, Mulherin whiffed for the 2nd out. Marc Morris then lifted a fly ball to the foul line down the third base side that Rob Dias picked up in time. The Renegades felt the ball was touched in fair territory before going foul but the umps did not see the same thing. That would have been a 1-2-3 inning…but as momentum goes, it shifted to the Edge in a controversial call. Morris then hit a high pop up that Dias charged in on and the ball bounced over him for a run. Next, Chris Dunleavy lofted a fly ball to the left side. Grillo’s call shifted the defense all toward the middle of the field but they had to reverse direction. It landed between Dias and Thaxton and they did not have time to pick it up and the Edge tied it up at five. Richie Krussel would strike out to end the inning.
Larry Haile led off the 2nd frame for Boston with a grounder that made it into the second level of the defense, but Haile ran slightly inside the base. When he went to the ground in an ugly knee first body flailing to the ground motion, he missed the base while trying to save his face from hitting the turf and the defense had enough time to make the out. Shawn Devenish stayed hot and roped a hard grounder by the left side to left field for an easy run. Next up, Rob Dias hit a bouncer to the right side and was stopped on a bang-bang play. Buizon would strike out for the second time in the game. After two, Boston clung to a 6-5 lead.
Danny Foppiano would lead off the third and hit a room service grounder to Justen Proctor who was playing up the middle on the front line. As Danny was running to the base, it cut out and malfunctioned. Even though Proctor stopped him 60 feet before the base cut out, the rules allowed him to go back to the plate. He eventually struck out in what some people would call “justice” as the late base had no impact on the play. This marked three straight whiffs for the steady Kyle Kennedy who was struggling a bit for the Edge at this point in the game. That struggle would end when Mulherin lofted a high fly ball that landed in front of Rob Dias playing on the left shorty position right when the speedy Mulherin reached third. Marc Morris then lofted a fly ball down the third base line that Thaxton ranged far to his right on and he scored. Weissman contested if the ball landed fair or foul as the rule says the ball needs to be fair at 100 feet and the Gades felt it may have been foul when it landed. All the calls were going against Boston and the Edge led 7-6. Justen Proctor playing on the right side of the defense would then range to the first base line off the bat of Chris Dunleavy to get the third out of the inning.
Leading off the bottom of the third, Christian Thaxton stepped up and the Edge over shifted their defense to protect the left side. With three strikes, Thaxton absolutely crushed it by all of them and easily scored to tie the game. After two foul balls, McCormick hit a weak grounder down the third base line. Before the at-bat, the Edge shifted a little to give up the line. The call was close and after the umpires conferred a call went Boston’s way. The score went back to a Renegade 8-7 lead. Larry Haile was stopped by Richie Krussel on the right side for the first out. Shawn Devenish would stay red-hot as he laced a shot into deep left for his third run of the game to put the Gades back on top 9-7. Rob Dias would strike out and then Buizon would go down after fouling off 6 straight pitches (4 hot grounders to the right side and 2 tips to the catcher). Buizon was still working on his timing as he had been limited offensively thru the week due to his injury two weeks prior.
Heading to the fourth inning, Kyle Kennedy was working on things. He was throwing a lot of extra pitches behind his teams bench as the Gades were hitting. Based on how the Edge whooped up on the Renegades in 2018, most of them were not happy to be down at this point of the game. Richie Krussel (who has played many tight games against Boston as a member of the Colorado Storm) led off the inning with a few shots down the left side which were foul and would eventually strike out. Nick Silver would then loft the second pitch he saw into deep left field. Silver slipped out of the box and hit a knee on the ground but got up quickly. McCormick was able to make the stop easily in deep left for the second out of the inning. He would have made the out even if Silver had not slipped. Silver did come up gimpy after that play but would stay in the game. Foppiano then lofted a ball into left but it got by Thaxton and died in front of Dias who was shifted to play deep. Foppiano, the lead off hitter was now 1-4. Mulherin, who is close to half of Foppiano’s age then almost repeated what he did prior when he lofted a high fly to the middle of the field that bounced over Justen’s head (Justen was playing the left side for this hitter) and Mulherin scored just as the ball landed. Marc Morris who had scored three straight times came to the plate and hit a lazy fly ball down the third base line. Rob Dias ranged to his right and slid on his knees to pick up the ball. A conference was needed and there was controversy as to when the ball was touched…in fair or foul territory. There was also a “stop” called on the play. The final call was foul. Eventually, Morris would strike out.
Boston had their 1-2-3 hitters to lead off the 4th as the Bayou City Heat walked over to watch the end of this game. The Heat would await the winner of this game as they eliminated the NJ Titans. Thaxton would lead off and hit a line drive up the middle. As he hit the ball, he took a step to the middle of the field as he did not hear the base. He called late base as he ran to third and was put out. After a conference the ump ruled it was not late. Replays from the live feed show it was a late base and it cost the Renegades a run. A terrible call that kept the game in a 9-9 tie and stopped one of the hottest bats in the league. McCormick then hit a weak grounder to the left side which Marc Morris gobbled up for the second out. Up stepped Larry Haile who was “ofer” the day and had a missed base earlier in the game. With three strikes, he hit a fly ball up the middle and ran to first. Larry was running with a little fear in his step of making sure to hit the base and it slowed him down a little. The Gades went down 1-2-3. The Edge were fired up as their defense put up a donut on the Gades. After four innings the score remained tied at nine.
The edge would have the bottom half of their lineup to start off the fifth. Collectively they were 2-9 with 2 strikeouts on the day with Dunleavy scoring both runs. Dunleavy would whiff to start things off for the Edge. Richie Krussel with two strikes lofted a fly ball up the middle of the field. Rob Dias ranged from the left side toward the middle and dove on his knees to pick up the ball for the second out of the inning. Could Nick Silver turn over the lineup? He hit a dribbler off the bottom of his bat that was room service for Rob Dias. The Gades defense got a 1-2-3 as well. The game stay tied at nine and the Renegades were fired up as their 4-5-6 hitters came up.
Boston’s 4-5-6 hitters were 4-9 with 4 whiffs on the day. As the weather started to warm up and the fields dry out, Weissman removed his lucky yellow pants. Shawn Devenish was on fire and would lead off the inning. He had scored on three lasers in this game. After two fouls, Shawn hit a deep fly down the third baseline as he gave the Gades a 10-9 lead diving into first base. Rob Dias hit a short grounder that Marc Morris slid bye and missed. This ball had Renegade eyes and Dias raced to third to score and give the Renegades an 11-9 lead. Weissman turned to the bench. Buizon had seen 15 pitches and fouled off 8 of them. He was still working on his timing and his leg health. That work would be put on pause. Joe Yee entered the game. He fouled the first pitch off down the right side, took the next pitch and then saw 5 more pitches. Yee had a time out for a screaming baby (you never know what constitutes a noise time out) before going down on strikes. His timing was off despite having great BP in the morning. That BP was more than 2 hours earlier. Thaxton had no timing issue. He laced the first pitch into left center for his 4th run of the game and a 12-9 lead. Joe McCormick, who was 2-4 on the day with his speed making the difference hit the third pitch he saw in the air down the left side of the field. Morris ranged backwards and tracked the ball which bounced off him for a Renegade run and a 13-9 lead. Haile who was 0-4 with a missed base, stepped to the plate looking to add some insurance. Weissman had talked to him about running more freely and listening to the base between innings. Haile lofted a ball to the Bermuda triangle in the middle of the field and scored. The play was contested by the Edge but the call stood. 14-9! Shawn Devenish came up for the second time in the inning with four blasts for runs on the day. Devenish had seen 7 pitches coming into this at bat and made contact on all of them. He missed the first one in this at bat then fouled off a ball and swung and missed again. On the 5th pitch, he lofted a short fly to the left side that froze Morris. He backed up at first fooled by the sound of the contact or the call and then struggled to recover the ball as he fumbled it when Devenish hit third base. Shawn Devenish picked an amazing time to have his first ever five run game. Boston led 15-9. that would be all the Gades would get as Dias struck out and Joe Yee was stopped by Morris on a weak grounder to the left side. The Gades needed three outs and if they could hold on they would play the Bayou City Heat next, a team they had never beaten in history.
Danny Foppiano would lead off for the Edge in the 6th. He has been on many teams and may have never lost to the Renegades in his potential hall of fame career. He would keep their dream alive with his best hit in the game, a fly ball into center field. 15-10. Two of the fastest players in the league would be up next in Mulherin and Morris. Neither had hit the ball as they wanted in this game but their speed was killing. Between the two of them they had scored 6 runs. As the rain began to fall, Mulherin would strike out for the second time in the game. Morris would follow suit with a strikeout as well. With one out to get for the Renegade win, the Edge would send up Tobey Gregory to hit for Dunleavy. Gregory who ate Christian Thaxton and Joe Yee for dinner in the 2016 World Series title game found his way into the batter’s box. If he were to score, Krussel and Silver would be due up next and they were 0-8 with 3 strike outs. Boston had only made it this far in a World series once in their long history. Gregory fouled off the first pitch to the right side. On his second offering, he hit a hard grounder to the left side. Bryan Grillo made a quick and perfect call. Rob Dias quickly dove to his right and stopped the ball in the box! The Gades won…the Gades won…the Gades won!
Shawn Devenish paced the offense with 5 runs. Thaxton had four runs, McCormick had three and Dias pitched in a pair. Defensively, Rob Dias paced the Defense with 4 stops but most impressively was five different Renegades had stops. Proctor had a pair while Devenish, McCormick and Thaxton each had one. Both teams struck out at slightly higher rates than they had wanted. Kyle Kennedy struck out 9 batters in 28 at bats while Cochran outpaced him with just 7 in 30 trips. It was a hard-fought game in wet conditions, a slick batters box and long delays due to rain.
All the Facebook chat about how over rated the Edge felt the Renegades were was put to sleep. The mind games and mindfolds that were forced on to the Renegades pulled the team together. In fact, with the cool weather, many of the guys forced to wear them actually liked them better and thanked the Edge for the free equipment. The Renegades would pack up and move to another field to take on the Bayou City Heat. Boston was one of the final four teams with Championship aspirations still alive. The San Antonio Jets and Indy Thunder would also be playing at the same time as the only two teams still alive with no losses. The Edge would be eliminated by a team they publicly said was not a top team in the league. The New Jersey Titans excitedly awaited them. The Titans were a team playing for their best finish ever (the Titans would eventually beat the Edge when the Edge decided to sit many of their starters in the last game). This would rank as one of the best wins in Renegade history and it vaulted them to a top 4 finish for just the second time ever!
Game 15 – The Heat get cooled off and are Eliminated by the Renegades 18-17
|Gers||6||5||0||6||Thaxton – 3B/R||6||5||1||2|
|Malloy||5||1||1||1||McCormick – R/3B||6||3||1||2|
|– Rodriguez||1||1||0||—||Haile – DH||6||1||1||—|
|– Walters||—||—||—||0||Proctor – DF- LS/RS||—||—||—||1|
|Kuo||6||3||0||0||Devenish – MF||6||5||0||2|
|Biggins||2||1||0||0||Dias – LS||5||2||1||5|
|– Fleeks||4||0||2||0||Buizon – 1B||5||2||1||0|
|Sumner – DH||3||1||1||—|
|– Clark – DH||3||1||1||—|
|Boudreaux – DF||—||—||—||1|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller -Lenicheck|
After playing a break from playing Texan teams in a big win over the Edge, (Boston had played 4 games against Texan teams in their first 8 games of the Series), it was back to the heart of Texas with the Renegades moving fields to take on the Bayou City Heat. The Heat are one of the few teams in the league with a history deeper than the Renegades. The Austin Blackhawks, Bayou City Heat and Chicago Comets are the only active teams to make more consecutive World Series appearances than the Renegades.
The Heat entered this game looking to get back to the finals where they took the Thunder to sudden death in 2018. Like the Edge, the Heat’s roster is made up of players from all over the country. Players from Arizona, Kansas, Taiwan and many more places. A team always willing to take on players to try to win a title would take on a home grown team. Goliath vs David! The Renegades were big under dogs for sure, at east in everyone’s eyes but the Renegades. To make matters worse, Boston had never beaten the Heat and owned a 5 game losing streak. They came close to beating the Heat in 2005, but the Heat walked off. They came close again in 2014 and had a huge lead, but the Heat came back. The Heat have a reputation for big bats and big offensive scores. They always put up runs against the best of defenses.
Whomever would win this contest would have to play again, in a night game, under the lights for the right to play for the title on Saturday morning. The game started under contention as Weissman was roaring mad there was only one umpire on the field. There were only two games happening at this time and 4 teams with a title shot, yet there was only one umpire. Weissman asked for an umpire before the game tarted but that request would be denied and Weissman would have to appeal to one of the League reps on a golf cart. The game would start with one umpire and a fuming coach.
The Renegades won the coin toss and elected to be home. An over confident Bayou City team took the field with their lead off hitter and former Offensive MVP, Tanner Gers at the plate. Gers, who left his Heat to play with the Edge in 2018 was back. That’s how the Heat roll, signing new players most years. Gers, worked the count to three strikes with his golf swing before he lofted a short fly ball to the right side. The ball landed with spin toward the right side and Proctor (playing the right side short position) could not get there in time. Mike Malloy (formerly on Colorado) then hit a weak fly to the right similar to where the ball landed for Gers. This Time it did not land with spin but when Proctor got there, he fumbled it and Malloy scored on a close play. Rock Kou from Taiwan (an offensive all star for many years) next hit a lazy short fly ball to the 40 foot arc. It was Proctor again, but this time he made the stop with ease. The Bayou four hitter, from Kansas and a former offensive all star, then hit a line drive into right where Buizon and Devenish could not find it. The Heat had a 3-0 lead with every ball hit to the right side. Chad Sumner (formerly of Kansas and Colorado and another former all-star) stepped up. Sumner teased the Renegades in the early years of their existence with suggestions he would move to Boston. That job opportunity never came to fruition. He hit a grounder that just slid by Dias, Thaxton and McCormick for a run. Daryl Minor, the only player in the Heat lineup that had spent his whole career with Bayou city batted next. This former all star rounded out and explosive offense. Minor would strike out. Gers stepped up for the second time in the inning and laced a line drive into left by a diving Thaxton. At this time, the league had a second umpire finally make it to the field and play stopped to allow John Lykowski Sr to take the outfield and Weissman started to calm down. Next. Mike Malloy hit a hard grounder to the left side. Almost similar to the spot Gers had hit it. This time the defense called for a dead ball. The new umpire was used right away to help with the dead ball call and the ball was dead. By rules, Malloy returned to the box with the same count and then lofted a short fly ball to the left side. Dias dropped to his knees and quickly crawled to the ball to make the out. The Heat led 5-0.
Down five runs, the Renegades needed to find a way to recover. Thaxton would have a rough at bat with 3 misses and a foul tip for the first out. Joe McCormick hit a dribbler to the left side. The Heat defense and Kuo was frozen on the play as it appeared the wrong call may have been made. McCormick scored easily with his speed. Haile would loft a fly ball to the right side. Front man, Tanner Gers waited for it, and was able to get it off the ground before Haile got to third for the second out. Devenish hit one of the best balls of the entire inning up the middle but Mike Malloy dove and made a great stop. Boston was down 5-1 after one frame.
In the second, Rock Kou hit a high fly ball to the left side as Kou raced to first. Dias lined it up and heard it bounce a few times and lined it up for the first out. Doug Biggins with three strikes laced a bomb into left. Rob Dias called for dead ball and he was right. The second time in the game this had happened. Biggins then hit a weak grounder for a room service Rob Dias out. Chad Sumner fouled off two balls and then hit a line drive into left center. Christian Thaxton ranged to his left and made a nice defensive play. Boston’s defense had made a donut. The score remained 5-1.
Rob Dias made two stops in the top of the inning and would lead off the bottom of the second. Dias hit a line drive to the right side to get the team on the board off the first pitch he saw from Cochran. Buizon also hit the first pitch down the first base line. He took his first step to third, but it did not matter as Gers was able to stop him. Good news for the Renegades that Buizon was getting his timing down with Cochran. Thaxton hit a hard grounder that bounced of Rock Kuo’s foot who was playing left shorty. It rolled a long way after that deflection and Thaxton pulled the score to 5-3. The Heat called for a defensive time out. Cochran had thrown just 4 pitches to the first three hitters. The Heat would shift their defense around after this play moving Kuo the third layer and Boudreaux to the second layer and Minor to the front layer on the left side. McCormick hit another slow grounder to the left side. Minor won this race and stopped Mac on a close play. Haile had a rough plate appearance with 4 misses to end the inning. After two, Boston was down 5-3.
Daryl Minor, batting sixth ripped the first pitch up the middle of the field to start the third. Shawn Devenish, who really was playing some great defense ranged a few steps to his left and as he laid out, the ball bounced off his head and rolled away for a run. Devenish was not hurt physically but that made it 6-3. Tanner Gers hit his pitching wedge swing to the right side sending Buizon to his left toward the base line. Gers would score easily on just the second pitch from Fonzie Medrano in the inning. Rob Dias would make a stop off the bat of Mike Malloy for the first out of the inning. Rock Kuo, a Taiwan Home Run legend, playing for the Heat this season laced the second pitch he saw to the left side passed a diving Dias, Thaxton and McCormick who could not pick it up in time as Kuo scored on the third base side. Joseph Fleeks then entered into the game for Doug Biggins with a 8-3 lead. Fleeks swung and missed on four straight pitches. Chad Sumner would also whiffed as Medrano struck out three hitters in the frame. A rare moment for Fonzie Medrano, the long time Heat pitcher.
Red hot, Shawn Devenish would lead off the bottom of the third and once again his consistency would pay off. He hit the first pitch he saw on the ground to the left side. The left shorty, Minor missed it and the ball died between a few defenders as Devenish crashed into first base. Rob Dias, toying with a new swing with the goal of putting less stress on his back battled some inconsistency, fouled off three pitches before striking out. Buizon would also struggle with Cochran again missing on 4 straight swings. Thaxton strode to the plate. He took the first pitch and then took the second pitch as he was not comfortable which was a called strike by rule. A move he preferred over taking a bad swing. On the 4th pitch he hit a line hugger down the third base line that curled foul after it passed the bag and rolled a long way for a big run. Joe McCormick who had seen just two pitches in the game came up as Weissman was asked both Drew Crook and Larry Haile to warm up. While McCormick dug into the box, Weissman was trying to figure out who to go with. Joe hit a weak grounder to the left side on the first pitch he saw and called late base out of the box. He was not awarded the late base (replays show the right call was made). Daryl Minor made the stop for the Heat and Boston lost the inning and was down 8-5. During the half inning, Weissman talked with Haile about his struggles on the day against the Heat and the Edge. He wanted Haile to swing more aggressively and focus on his base running. Haile looked tired and had lost his mechanics. His swing was getting long. He assured Weissman he could fix it. Nobody can adjust their game like Larry Haile when he knows what is wrong.
But before the team would see Haile hit, the Heat would lead off with some golfers. Daryl Minor and his golf swing lofted a fly ball to right center for the first run of the frame. Gers hit his golf club sky-high and would score easily with his speed as Its near impossible to catch a ball with that much air. Gers and Minor had scored 6 of the Heat’s 10 runs to this point. Golf swings are big in beep baseball because its near impossible to catch a fly ball. Players who can swing with these golf like motions often hit fly balls or balls with crazy spin on them. It sounds easy to do, but it can lead to a lot of strike outs. Fonzie Medrano is the best pitcher in the country at hitting these swings. While a base was being replaced, Weissman was sitting on the bench and decided to stick with Haile and Larry would be ready to lead off the 4th after the two talked about tweaks to make. Back to the action and Mike Malloy, with a more traditional upper cut swing took the count to three strikes and then hit a weak dribbler up the middle. Justen Proctor laid out but came up short and Rob Dias backed him up with a nice stop. The Taiwan all-star, Kou lofted a fly ball to Rob Dias. Rock ran to third and just beat the play out as Dias got the ball off the ground a hair after the run was scored. Fleeks took out his golf clubs and hit a grounder up the middle of the field. The defense called a dead ball (3rd one from the Heat) and Shawn Devenish laid out and was able to make the play without a beeping ball. He beat Fleeks who was running to first for a big out. Making plays on dead balls is not easy, but Devenish was in the zone. Seth “bam bam” Clark would be called upon to pinch hit. This big power hitter hit a high fly that landed near Justen Proctor. Justen could not get the ball up in time and another run scored. Minor came up again and hit the first pitch he saw into left center. McCormick was playing too deep and Minor had his third run of the game. Gers hit a 3 iron this time up the middle that froze both callers. McCormick lined up the ball and had it knocked off him. Gers missed first base and that allowed Mac to collect the ball. The Heat had their second 5 run inning and had a commanding 13-5 lead.
Haile would lead off after his talk with Weissman looking for results. Haile would swing three times and come up empty but his balance and swing was better. Weissman encouraged Haile that things looked better. Cochran honed in on Haile’s adjustment and the next pitch was laced into center field. Blake Boudreaux would make a great play for the out in the second layer. Shawn would then hit the first pitch again on a bounce up the left side. A bouncer which made it to the second layer of defense and a run. Dias then hit a grounder to the left side. It kicked off the Minor’s legs and Dias scored easily. Buizon was late on three pitches and lofted a moon shot down the first base line landing on the line beyond the base. Tanner Gers ranged far to his left and backwards and got Buizon by a step. Buizon was gaining confidence. Thaxton hit a hard grounder and it found a way by the defense for his third run of the game on what was likely a bad call by the defensive callers who sent the defense in different directions. Joe Mac next hit a dribbler to the left side, raced to third and beat out the play for the 4th run of the inning. Mac’s weight loss program during the off-season was paying off. Haile then laced another shot up the middle by all three layers as he found his confidence. Weissman had a big hug for Larry and his adjustment. Devenish excitedly and calmly came to the plate and again hit the first pitch. It was a pop up to the right side, had spin and Shawn’s speed beat Gers to the ball which ended up near the 40 foot arc. Dias would hit a weak bouncer up the middle that got by Gers on the right front side, but Minor backed him up for an out. Boston answered with a 6-run inning and pulled within two runs to 13-11. A very excited Renegade team took the field for defense.
Entering the 5th, the Heat did not expect this come back. Mike Malloy would lead off with a strike out and was just 1-5 in this game as the number two hitter. Rock Kuo worked the count to three strikes and laced a shot into left center. Weissman had just switched McCormick and Thaxton right at the start of the inning and it paid off as Thaxton made a tremendous play deep in the outfield for his second stop of the game. Fleeks would strike out for the second time in the game and Boston had made a donut with the help from Medrano and the Heat bats striking out twice. Momentum was changing like a cold front moving into warmer air. The Heat were getting cooled down.
Buizon would lead off the 5th frame for Boston. This long time veteran had waited many years to play in this type of game. He had played for many years but had missed most of the more successful Renegade seasons as he was at home playing the role of Dad. He was excited to play this year and spent countless hours in rehab for his legs during the off-season. It was heart breaking to see him get hurt in Philly just two weeks prior. Buizon hit a high fly ball to the middle of the field. It bounced off Gers and Buizon legged it out to third to pull the Renegades to a 13-12 deficit. A great time for his first score of the day. Thaxton took the first pitch to the right side and found another gear with his speed to score his 4th run of the game and tie it up at 13. Boston was stoked and everyone on the team was in the zone, focused on every pitch. Joe Mac would strike out. Haile would hit a ball off the bottom of his bat, Gers dove to the middle of the field, bobbled the ball but nailed Haile by a split second for the second out in this tie game. Devenish hit a pop up to the left side, raced to first and missed first base. Minor picked up the ball and a conference took place with the umps. Devenish took a line inside the first base line and never gave up, as he struggled to get back to the base. The umps said he made it back in time and that is how Boston took the lead,14-13. Mentak tougness and grit on the part of Devenish to not give up. Rob Dias hit a weak ball to the arc, took a step to first, when third base was ringing. Gers raced to the ball, and bobbled it. Dias missed third base and the out was awarded. After five innings, Boston held a 14-13 lead. The Renegades knew this lead would not hold.
Seth Clark, who entered the game in the 4th, dropped a fly ball to the center of the field to lead off the 6th, where Devenish made a nice play for a big out. Minor then hit his golf swing up the middle again. It bounced by Devenish and McCormick corralled it just after Minor scored his 4th run of the game to tie it at 14. Next, Gers dropped a high-flying bomb on the defense and by the time the ball landed and McCormick could make a play, Gers had scored his 5th run of the game. The Heat went to the bench to look for a new option for a struggling Malloy. They turned to a dead red pull hitting veteran, Lee Rodriguez. Boston knew where he was going to hit it. Right field. On cue, he hit a grounder to the right side, by Proctor, by a diving Buizon and by a diving McCormick for a huge run as the Heat celebrated their move and a 16-14 lead. Weissman called a time out to talk to the defense. That was an out they should have made. The Gades huddled to collect themselves. The team knew they missed an opportunity but everyone was calm and ready. Rock Kou then hit a hard grounder that made it by 4 diving Renegades and scored. Two plays, 7 bodies on the ground and no outs. Frustrating for sure, but the most important play is always the next one and the defense had put it behind them. Fleeks hit a grounder to the left side. McCormick was now at third and was able to make the play with some flare! Seth Clark would then miss the first two lobs from Medrano, foul off a grounder to the left side and then whiff.
Boston needed 4 runs to win the game entering the bottom of the 6th. Boston had been involved in plenty of last-minute dramatic games in 2019 including losing a game to Philly when Joe Yee missed a base in the first contest of the year. Joe McCormick walking off on the NJ titans in New York and having the Austin Blackhawks walk off on day one of the Series. Close games were something the Renegades had a lot of practice with. Defensively, the Heat moved Jason Walters into the game to replace Lee Rodriguez. Boston had never beaten the Heat before and the Heat had come back to beat the Gades twice. Could the Renegades return the favor. The Renegades huddled up and Weissman led them thru a guided breathing exercise to keep everyone cool, including himself. Mental toughness would be at play here for sure. Boston had scored 9 times in the past two innings. Four runs was not out of the question.
Leading off again, was Joey Buizon who fouled off the first pitch. Time was called as the indy Thunder who were playing on the adjacent field were being loud and celebratory. They had just held on to beat the San Antonio Jets and advance to the finals in a 30-28 victory. As time eventually came back to this game, Buizon hit a bomb down the first base line, foul. After a swing and a miss, Buizon hit a grounder to the right side and raced to first. Gers had the ball bounce off his feet and by the time he recovered, Buizon was safe for his second run of the game. Meanwhile, Thaxton was digging in and enjoying a 4 run game of his own but all of those runs were on grounders. Thaxton was looking for his stroke with Cochran. This time they got it and hit a blast to left center. Boudreaux made a nice stab at it as it bounced off him. Thaxton was slow out of the box as he took a bad step but scored to make the game 16-15. Joe McCormick followed suit and for the first time this game also got the ball into the air and he tied the game tagging first base with nobody out! Could Larry Haile be he hero? He hit a line drive to the right side that off the bat looked like the winner. Gers made a nice play to stop the liner and stop Larry well before he hit the base. That brought the hottest hitter on the team (and possibly the league) to the plate. Devenish had seen just 6 pitches in this game, made contact on all of them and 5 of them were fair. He was 4-5. On cue, he fouled off the first two pitches. His consistency with Cochran was stuff beep ball dreams were made of. On the third pitch, he hit a rocket into deep left and took off toward first. Half way down the line, the base quit and died. The Heat made a nice play on the ball, but Devenish would have been safe. This was the only mal-functioning base of the game and it was an awful time to happen. Weissman and Devenish chatted at the plate like they had all week. Weissman joked about how much Devenish hated base running drills without the speaker on and reminded Shawn how much that would have helped at that moment. Nerves of steel and having fun. That’s how Shawn was approaching it. Keep in mind, the count was 0-2. Devenish hit another pitch up in the air, this time short and near the third base line and the arc. It went foul as he raced 100 feet again to the base. He needed to collect himself and his lungs. He had not swung and missed all game. The Heat called for a new ball, playing games with Cochran by making him throw an unfamiliar ball. A bush league move that the Heat pulled and the Renegades ignored. Mental toughness! As Shawn dug into the box, with his wide stride. He hit another pop fly to the left side and took off toward first again. This time it hopped fair with some spin. Devenish and his mental toughness beat it out as Minor was a hair late in getting the ball up.
The Renegades came back to beat the Heat for the first time ever. They eliminated a team that went to the finals in the previous year. They eliminated a team loaded up with out-of-town players to try to win a title. They came back in a game in which they never led until the final at bat. It was just the third time in team history, Boston had two players on offense score five runs each. The only times it happened were in 2006 vs the Columbus Vipers when a younger Buizon teamed up with Dino Vasile to accomplish the feat. In 2012, Joe McCormick and Larry Haile did it against Cleveland. This time it was Devenish for his third career 5 run game and Thaxton for his 5th time in 2019 alone. This game would go down as one of the biggest wins in Renegades history and vault the Renegades to take a shot to get back to the finals for only the second time. This Renegade team which looked like it was playing on fumes found that extra gear and came back. Players like Larry Haile who fixed his swing and Joey Buizon who found his swing represented just how mentally tough this 2019 Renegade team was. Five of the 8 games at the Series were against teams from Texas. Their next opponent, the San Antonio Jets and that game would be played under the lights due to the three-hour rain delay to start the day!
Game 16 – Renegades play with heart and emotion but run out of gas and lose to Jets 26-17
|Arambula||8||6||1||3||Thaxton – R/1B||6||4||0||3|
|Lopez||5||3||0||0||McCormick – 1B/R||5||1||2||0|
|– Ruzika||3||2||1||0||– Crook – PH||1||1||0||—|
|Smith – DH||7||3||1||—||Haile – DH||5||3||1||—|
|Flores – DF||—||—||—||6||– Sanchez – DH||1||0||0||—|
|A. Almanza||7||5||0||0||Proctor – DF/LS||—||—||—||5|
|Cox||7||3||1||2||Devenish – MF||5||3||0||1|
|Perez||7||4||0||2||– Soto – PH||1||0||0||—|
|Dias – RS||5||2||2||1|
|– Thayer – PH||1||0||0||—|
|Buizon – 3B||4||2||0||4|
|– Yee – 3B||1||1||0||0|
|Pitcher-K Sibson||Pitcher- Cochran||32||17||5|
|Pitcher – Dickerson||3||0||0|
|LS Caller- Grillo|
|RS Caller – Lenicheck|
Rain delays followed by two long games and the start time for this contest was at 6:48 pm central time, the Renegades took the field to face off against the San Antonio Jets. The winner would go to the championship game and the loser would finish third. These teams faced off already in the week but it felt like forever ago as the Gades had played 4 games since. The difference was the Jets had not played as many games because they were undefeated until they lost to the Indy Thunder in a game which the Thunder came back to win 30-28 while the Renegaded were playing the Bayou City Heat. The sun was still up but the lights were on at the field as this was the only World Series game being play at this time slot.
Zach Arambula would lead off the game and hit the first pitch to the left side which got over Justen Proctor and rolled into the breadbox of Joey Buizon, playing third base. It was the first stop Buizon had made all week and he made it with a lot of confidence. Will Lopez then hit a dribbler up the middle and Justen Proctor ranged to his left, charged the ball and scooped it up quickly for the second out. David Crystal Smith then hit a hard ground ball up the middle of the field that Shawn Devenish just missed, but Christian Thaxton would range far to his left and make a play in the third layer of defense for a 1-2-3 inning. Boston was stoked with their defensive bagel.
Thaxton led off for the Renegade offense and blasted a moon shot into left field hitting Zach Arambula in deep left field on a bounce. Thaxton’s speed was too much and the Gades were on the board. McCormick fouled off the first three pitches and then hit a weak dribbler to the left side off the bottom of the bat which Richie Flores gobbled up easily. Larry Haile then hit a grounder to the right side and their right shorty, Axel Cox dove on it to make the stop. With two outs, Shawn Devenish lofted a fly ball into left and the defense called dead ball on the play. After the umps checked on it, the ball was still beeping and the Renegades had a 2-0 lead. Rob Dias then hit a hard grounder into left which made it to the third layer, but Arambula stopped him. After one inning, Boston was ahead and the battle was just beginning.
Aaron Almanza, leading off for the Jets hit a lazy liner which hit Rob Dias on the fly. Dias had to collect himself and found the ball just after Almanza scored. Axel Cox then struck out for the first out of the inning. Lupe Perez got the start in this game and laced a grounder past a diving Justen Proctor, past a diving Shawn Devenish and into the belly of Christian Thaxton. Perez was ruled safe after a request from Weissman to check the call. The umpire said Thaxton did not have the ball off the ground in time. Zach Arambula struck out for the second out. Will Lopez laced a hard bouncer to the left side which bounced over Buizon at third and Thaxton could not line up for a run. David Crystal Smith hit a weak grounder to the left side that bounced off Proctor and rolled to Buizon. Buizon made the play and Smith was out. Kevin Sibson contested that Buizon did not have the ball away from his body and he was awarded the call by the umps. Almanza then hit a weak grounder up the middle which cause Sibson to jump over to avoid being hit on. Proctor and Dias converged and Dias aggressively pulled the ball into the air for the out. After 1.5 innings , The Renegades were down just 4-2 but this game had a very different feel than the Thursday morning matchup.
Buizon led off the second with a fly ball to the first base line that landed right near the line and forced Cox to charge to his right and forward. Charging to the ball with Buizon huffing and puffing down the first base line is always hard and Cox fumbled the ball as Buizon hit the base for a run. Thaxton then laced the 2nd pitch he saw in this game on the ground down the third base line. The defense messed this up somehow by running away from the ball, tie game at four. McCormick who saw 5 pitches in his first trip would see another 5 pitches in this trip, foul two of them off and then strike out. Larry Haile then hit a weak dribbler to the left side, Richie Flores ran by the ball as it rolled past him. Flores slammed on the brakes and reversed direction, but Haile was to quick down the first base line and the Renegades had a 5-4 lead as the Jets called time out to huddle the defense. Devenish then hit a grounder up the middle that got past Flores who pursued it backwards into the defense as Devenish scored. The Jets wanted the umpires to talk about it. The play was over turned to the dismay of every Renegade coach who saw the play. It was the second time in the game a play was over turned for the Jets. Rob Dias hit another ball at Flores who jumped to his left and then dove back to his right and kicked the ball out of the way as Dias scored. The Jets looking for answers changed their caller on the left side at this time. Buizon would be stopped on a hard grounder down the third base line by Lupe Perez. Boston led 6-4 after two innings.
Axel Cox led off the third inning with a weak grounder up the left middle, which was scooped up Justen Proctor for the first out. Lupe Perez then lofted a fly ball up the middle that got by Shawn Devenish and died in front of a laid out Christian Thaxton for a run. Zach Arambula stepped into the box and laced a low line drive up the middle of the field which bounced off Thaxton for a run. Will Lopez hit a grounder under Justen on the left side and off Buizon’s shins as he dove feet first into the middle of the field making it 7-6. David Crystal Smith launched a bomb to left which Thaxton had no chance at to make the score 8-6, Jets. The Renegades needed a time out. The hours of intense play were taking a toll and every Renegade player on the field was giving it everything they had left. Aaron Almanza lofted an opposite field flare to Rob Dias who tried to make a play but kicked it away from him for a 9-6 deficit. Axel Cox hit a grounder down the third base line which died around 105 feet allowing Buizon to gather for the second out of the inning and the second time Cox had made an out in this frame. Lupe Perez then lofted a bomb into left which left Christian Thaxton one small chance to make the play, Perez scored. Zach Arambula then took the count to three strikes. He hit a grounder down the left side under the late dive of Buizon. Thaxton went a long way and actually got the ball but Zach was safe. He made an amazing dive at the ball but came up short on time. The Gades were running out of gas and to save the tank, Weissman made a change to move Thaxton to the right side of the defense and pull McCormick to the left side. Having equal confidence in both players, the hope was to save Thaxton’s body. Will Lopez hit another grounder to the left side. Buizon came up empty and McCormick was late to get to the ball as they scored again. Smith would give the Renegades a break by striking out to end the inning. The Jets put up 8 runs to take a 12-6 lead heading into the bottom of the third. This was the 20th time the Renegades had let up 8 + runs in an inning in team history, and the second time to the Jets this week.
Thaxton would lead off for the Gades and hit the third pitch he saw all game off the bottom of his bat to Richie Flores. Thaxton took a divot out of the ground when he tried to correct himself for taking the wrong step to the base and went fell to the ground. Weissman told an exhausted Thaxton to stay on the ground as Flores easily gobbled it up. McCormick continued to struggle seeing another 5 pitches and striking out for the second time in a row. Thaxton was battling his legs and McCormick, his mechanics with a pulled muscle in his chest. Larry Haile, the oldest player in the Renegade lineup had fixed his mechanics and probably had the freshest legs as he only played one way,stepped up and hit a Bermuda triangle ball up the middle ( a ball that dies between three players in the middle of the field) and scored running to third to keep the inning alive and get the lineup to a steaming hot, Shawn Devenish. Devenish lofted a bomb into left off the defender for another run to pull the game to 12-8. Dias would end the inning with a 6 pitch, 3 foul ball at bat before striking out.
As the Renegades took the field, Cochran started to worry about the health of the players. The bats looked tired, every time a player hit the ground, they got up slower and slower. Marciello, Weissman and Cochran started to talk about how to manage this game. The 7 players in this game had played a ton of innings all day and week and these hard fields and long games were not helping. In fact, the game was about 90 minutes in and the sun was down. Aaron Almanza kept the trend alive and hit a grounder to the left side. This time Buizon was able to stop it for the first out of the inning. Cox, looking to score his first run hit a fly ball to Buizon again. Grillo called his number again, but Buizon jumped to his left and then had to scramble back to where he was standing, bobbled the ball and Cox scored. Lupe Perez hit another ball to the left side, Proctor dove and missed and Buizon had it roll into his body for the out, his second out of the inning and his 4th stop of the game. Zach Arambula laced a line drive to the left side again. Buizon and Thaxton both dove and came up empty. The inning would end with a weak grounder off the bat off Will Lopez which Justen Proctor stopped. The score was 14-8 as the night sky started to settle in. 90 minutes into this game and we went to the bottom of the fourth. The Renegades bodies were all in pain but their heart and determination was un matched.
The Renegade coaching staff started to have conversations. Cochran had concerns the players were going to get seriously hurt but at the same time every coach saw how much this group wanted this game. They were playing with a ton of heart. Buizon with his gimpy calf, pulled just two weeks ago stepped into the box to lead things off. Buizon was late on the third pitch he saw and pounded it into the ground to the left side where Richie Flores gobbled it up. Thaxton was up next. His legs were killing him as his hips, and lower legs constantly needed to be stretched. Thaxton hit a bomb down the third base line that landed near the line and bounced into foul territory long beyond the bag, an easy run for Thaxton, as he easily tagged the base avoiding contact with the ground. Joe McCormick was next with a pulled muscle in his chest, he lofted a short pop up to the left side that landed between the shorty, Flores and the third baseman, McCormick’s speed was too much and the score was 14-10. Larry Haile up next with a sore bicep would strike out for the first out. Devenish, who had made contact with all 4 pitches he saw in this game, fouled off two pitches and then hit a fly ball up the middle of the field and legged out a run to third pulling the Gades to 14-11. Rob Dias and his balky back dug in and on the 6th pitch hit a line drive up the middle and scored down the first base line for his second run of the game. This brought Buizon back up for the second time. After fouling off three straight pitches, Buizon hit a high pop that landed next to the first base line. Buzion raced to first, Axel Cox raced to the ball and landed on it as Buizon scored. Cox was unable to get the ball off the ground and away from his body in time and the game was 14-13. The darkness was really starting to set in now. The darkest game a Renegade team had ever played in as the lights shined bright. Thaxton on an 0-2 count lofted a pop up to the 40 foot arc and crashed into third base but the ball had a lot of back spin and it was called foul. Thaxton was very slow to get up. He got to his feet with guts and heart. The next pitch he hit to the right side. Cox had to wait for it to land and by the time he picked it up, Thaxton had tagged first base for a tie game. McCormick stepped up with a chance to take the lead and San Antonio went to their bench and took Will Lopez off the field and replaced him with Ricky Ruzika. McCormick hit a grounder on the first pitch to the left side and Flores gobbled it up. Heading to the 5th, this mentally tough Renegade team tied up the power house Jets 14-14 with a 6 run inning, their largest output of the game.
San Antonio had a lot of life left, their bench much deeper and they had played less games. Boston had been on the fields for 14 hours, playing iys’ third game. The Jets were only playing their 2nd contest of the day. Smith blasted a fly ball to left and Thaxton laid out as it bounced by him. Aaron Almanza hit a grounder to third passed a diving Buizon and into Thaxton however Thaxton bobbled it and the run was awarded. Cox then hit a high fly to the middle of the field. Devenish slid a few steps to his right but was unable to get the ball in time as the Jets had scored three fast runs. Lupe Perez then hit a grounder up the middle which Devenish picked up this time for the first out. Zach Arambula hit the second pitch he saw on a line drive up the middle passed a diving Devenish and off the hands of Thaxton. Ricky Ruzika stepped up to the plate for the first time in this game. He lofted the second pitch to the right side and McCormick could not find it in time. Smith then laced the first pitch he saw up the gut passed a diving Devenish and Thaxton made a huge diving stop for the second out. Almanza hit the third pitch he saw on the ground to the third base side passed Buizon and he hit the cord of the base with the base falling on top of him as Thaxton picked up the ball. He was ruled safe. Cox hit a line drive to the left side, Buizon laid out to his left feet first and missed it but Thaxton was there for the stop. The Jets had scored six quick runs and the score 20-14.
As the Gades came off the field, Weissman huddled the team. He praised the team for their guts, their heart and their determination. The coaches were concerned the team was at serious risk of serious injury. Weissman asked the players what they wanted to do. They had nothing to prove to anyone. They had played a great tournament but serious injury was not something Weissman wanted for anyone. After a short moment, Buizon spoke up and said his calf which he had injured had pulled at him and he took himself out of the game. The team wanted to see what would happen this inning as they were down 6 but owned last ups. They were still all in. With a very emotional Buizon headed to the bench, Larry Haile came to the plate. He laced a line drive to the right side for his third run of the game. Devenish then blasted the first pitch he saw on a fly to the left side. Lupe Perez ranged back toward the line and made the defensive play of the game to take a sure run away. Rob Dias would foul off 2 pitches but eventually strike out for the second out. This brought Joe Yee to the plate to hit for Buizon. He fouled off the first two pitches and after a bad swing on his third swing composed himself and hit a grounder to the left side over Richie Flores’ hands and scored running to first. Turning the inning over to Thaxton who had scored 4 times in this game already. He fouled off a pitch to the right side and then another back into the hands of Weissman. On the third pitch, he blasted a shot into left. Arambula amazingly lined it up and picked up the ball as an aching Thaxton actually slowed up as hit ran to first base. After 5 innings, San Antonio led 20-16.
To the 6th inning the teams went. The Renegades limping along and the Jets angered this game was taking so long. Lupe Perez would hit a high pop fly to the left side but short. Justen Proctor charged it and on the second bounce picked it up in his arms. The umpire claimed the ball was trapped against his body (replays show they got the call wrong) and despite a plea for an appeal, the Renegades were hosed on a bad call which two umpires got wrong. In bad form, the head umpire asked the third base ump for help and he was blinded on the call as he was sitting in a chair more than 20 feet away from the field. A terrible call with lazy umpiring on this very long day. In the second biggest game of the year, the third base umpire was sitting in a chair far from the field. Back to Zach Arambula. He hit a fly ball to the right side, which bounced right in front of Rob Dias. Dias raced after it and picked it up just as Arambula tagged first base. Ricky Ruzika then hit a three strike grounder up the middle. Proctor took one step to his left and could not recover. Devenish missed it and the Jets had three quick runs. Smith, who had deep bombs all night hit a weak grounder that hit a laid out Proctor in his shins for an easy out. Almanza then hit a weak grounder to the left side. Proctor went in on the ball and dropped to his knees instead of laying out, the ball got by Proctor and Almanza scored at third base. Axel Cox then hit another grounder down the third base line. McCormick was now playing third as Yee was inserted at first. He over ran the ball and Cox scored. Lupe Perez hit the second pitch he saw in the ground. Proctor laid out and it bounced off him toward Dias. Proctor was quick to his feet and made the stop for the second out of the inning. Arambula, with 5 runs in this game fouled off the first pitch and then laced a shot over Joe Yee on the right side to give the Jet a 10 run lead. An inning in which most if the balls were hit on the ground but an inning in which the Renegades struggled to make the plays. Ruzika would end the inning with a strike out. The Jets had compiled 26 runs, the third most runs allowed in Renegade history.
Weissman huddled the team again to check on everyone. This time, down by ten, the starters decided it was time to let their teammates into the game. Drew Crook would pinch hit for McCormick. Crook was limited this week with hamstring tightness but would get an at bat in this inning. On the second pitch he hit a grounder to the left side and raced toward first. Half way to the base, he came up lame and pulled his hamstring but finished the play and scored. That brought David Sanchez into the game to hit off Jamie Dickerson. Sanchez hit the first pitch to the left side and Flores gobbled it up for an out. Luis Soto came off the bench to hit off Dickerson next. He hit the second pitch he saw passed Flores but Soto missed first base, giving time for Flores to make the stop. Rob Thayer would be the fourth straight pinch hitter. After two misses, he also put the ball in play off Dickerson. He hit a line drive up the middle of the field which Cox had to glide backwards on. As he struggled to find it, Thayer chugged down third and Cox made the stop as Thayer face planted while diving into the base. That play represented the heart and sole of this team as the Renegades have no quit. Thayers base running summed up how the Renegades felt after this marathon World Series of 10 games.
Boston would finish in third place in a game that ended near 10:00 at night. It was the second highest finish in team history. Boston would be the only team at the 2019 World Series to play 10 games. It was the 8th time in the season the Renegades scored 15+ runs in a game, setting a team record surpassing the 7 times it was accomplished in 2015. The Renegades were very proud of their finish. They knocked out two big teams and it took the Jets, everything they had to put away a very tired Renegade team. Boston knew if they had found a way to win this game, they would have had nothing for the title game, the following day. In fact, with bad weather predicted on Saturday morning, the Championship game was moved up to 8:00 am. This was the longest day of beep baseball in team history with about 15 hours on the field but one of the most gratifying as the team came away with two wins and was tied up after four innings against the Jets. The Jets would eventually lose in the finals to the Thunder who would go on to win their 4th title in a row.
Christian Thaxton and Shawn Devenish would become the first ever Renegade pair to make an All start team on offense. Thaxton who spent much of the season coaching Devenish would see his hard work at the plate and in the coaching realm pay off. Thaxton would place 6th on the all-star team (his 4th appearance on the all-star team) going 36-51 and hitting .706. Devenish would place 4th on the squad getting 33 runs in 46 at bats for a .717 average. It was Shawn’s first appearance on an all star team in is career. Shawn was a career .354 hitter at the World Series prior to this season, He raised his average 338 points from the 2018 World Series which is probably close to a league record for most improved season in league history.