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World Series Game Summaries – Day 5 (Championship game)

Boston Makes the Title Game for the First Time in History and loses to The Thunder


Coach Weissman and Coach Booker were caught on camera on Day three of the World Series. At this time both squads were undefeated and they held up the number one sign. It would be a precursor to the 2016 title game

Coach Weissman started off the day making sure the players really took some time to enjoy themselves.  Relish in the fact the team was playing in the title game and was one of two teams left standing during the 2016 World Series.  It was something to be proud of.  Much like when the Red Sox won in 2004.  That team won it for every other player who had ever played for the Club that went 86 years without a championship.  We needed to recognize what we had accomplished since the team started playing competitively in 2002.  Weissman wanted the players to take some time and enjoy the atmosphere.  However, when the opening ceremonies were over, it was just another game.

The Indy Thunder brought with them an army.  It’s hard to say exactly how many people they brought but they listed 45 players and volunteers in the program.  Boston is one of the biggest programs in the world, but we could not afford to bring our entire staff (nor did they have the time off to spend a week in Iowa).  As the Indy Thunder was announced the fans began to cheer…but somewhere around their 20th person, they stopped paying attention….and by the time the Renegades were announced, people just wanted to watch the game.  There was only a smattering of applause for the Renegades as they took the line and the league struggled to pronounce many of the names in the process.  The coin toss was held and this time the Renegades would lose and would be the visiting team.  On the bench for the Renegades was Joe McCormick who missed the fireworks after being taken to the hospital in an ambulance the day before.  Our medical staff cleared Than Hunyh to play if and only if he would allow them to tape his leg.  And tape him they did.  Mike Marciello made a brace out of tape that allowed Thanh to move around without a limp and he would be part of this game despite the pain he was in.  On the other side of the ball, Miguel Tello was taking reps for the Thunder in pre game workouts and he would also be in the starting line-up as he was recovering from an injury that pulled him from the previous match up. Kyle Lewis was not starting for the Thunder but rumor was he was available if he was needed.

Though the Thunder was the faster team and a healthier team and had much greater depth than the Renegades.  They were also less experienced in big games and had never played in front of large crowds (other than their own army).  The key would be to get off to a good start and make sure the defense was playing on all cylinders.  Larry Haile was going to have to play a lot of defense in this game and we were going to try and Keep Thanh Huynh on the field as much as we could but rotating a Joe in (either Quintanilla or Yee) to see who could get hot at the plate.  For Indy, the key player missing in their line up was Kyle Lewis.  He made a huge stop on the Renegades in deep center field and also would end up on the all-offensive all-star team.  In his place was Tobey Gregory.  Could Tobey step up?

Christian Thaxton led off the game with newfound confidence as he scored just one time in the previous game.  In Thaxton style, he worked the count to 4 strikes with three foul balls and then hit a pop fly to the right side to start the game off. Miguel Tello had no chance and Boston was on the board.  Rob Dias hammered the 2nd pitch down the left field line to the “oohs” and “aaahs” of the crowd but it was foul.  He then fisted a weak pop up into the center field that Tello scampered over to put him down.  Larry Haile then hit a fly ball about 115 feet into left field that Eric Rodriguez got down to early on for the Gades second run of the inning.  Devenish would strike out (after hitting the pitcher) and Quintanilla would hit a pop fly that Tello would grab to end the frame.  Boston felt good about its start…but had hoped for just one more run to turn the line up over.

In the bottom of the first inning, it was time to see if the Renegade defense was going to be able to pull it together.  With leadoff hitter, Eric Rodriguez striking out, the Renegades felt good.  Gerald Dycus hit a hard grounder up the middle.  Zuccarello ran by the ball.  Larry Haile dove at it and as the ball rolled by Haile’s arms Gerald, Dycus hit the base.  The ball was dead and it would have to be done over.  He then hit the ball much better into right center where Thaxton dove at it…but it deflected off him for the first run of the Thunders game.  This brought Tobey Gregory to the plate.  He did not play in their first game yesterday.  Boston had scouting on Gregory and moved Thaxton from deep right center to the first base side.  Like the scouting read, Gregory hit a room service ball 100 feet right at Thaxton.  Christian went down and the ball landed 2 inches short of hitting him right in the gut.  Thaxton could not hear it or bring it into his body in time and Gregory scored on a Christmas present.  Zach Buhler then hit a ball up the right middle of the field past Guy Zuccarello into the hands of a diving Thaxton who made this play diving to his right for the 2nd out of the inning.  The Thunder had tied the score.  Tyler Rodriguez worked a full count then hit a fly ball to the left side which Justen Proctor charged.  As he ran in on the ball, he heard it go over his head.  As he put the breaks on he slipped and fell backwards.  Rodriguez had given the Thunder the lead with Proctor on his ass.  Rodenbeck drilled the first pitch he saw on a line to the third base side where Thanh Hunyh laid out and made a nice play to end the inning.

Heading into the second, both teams were settling into the match.  Guy Zuccarello, who is one of the hardest players in team history to strike out, led off with a 4-pitch whiff to start the inning.  Thaxton stepped to the plate and on the first pitch, hit a high fly up the middle of the field that was about 80 feet out, but when the ball landed, it had some spin and Eric Rodriguez was unable to make a play to catch the speed of Thaxton.  Rob Dias then blasted a shot into left field that left the fans “oooo’ing” for a run.  Larry Haile had a chance to keep the foot on the pedal but his swing path changed slightly and he and his battery could not connect as he whiffed on 4 straight pitches for the 2nd out of the inning.  This brought, the rookie, Devenish to the plate.  On the first pitch, he blasted a shot into left field that Adam Rodenbeck chased after.  The ball hugged the third baseline but well after the base it rolled into foul territory making it near impossible for Rodenbeck to get.  Joe Yee would ground out on a ball up the middle to Rodriguez to end a big inning for Boston and the Gades would lead 5-3.

The bottom of the second would be a tough inning for the Renegades as Christmas would come early for the Thunder.  Eric Rodriguez would not be denied this time as he lofted a fly ball into right center toward Thaxton.  The ball bounced in front of him but Thaxton was unable to keep it in front of him and Erod scored.  Gerald Dycus then hit a bomb into right center, again toward Thaxton, who made a diving stab but the ball bounced by him to tie the game.  This brought Gregory to the plate. This time he hit a grounder to Justen Proctor.  Justen went down to his knees (Weissman sat on the bench with a pained expression watching this) but misread the ball as it rolled by him.  Joe Yee was slow to the ground (and in his mind, he had better of heard Weissman yelling “where is the Jabba”) and it rolled under him and Gregory had two Christmas presents on the day.  This should have been the first out of the inning.  Zach Buhler then hit a ground ball up the middle.  Proctor never laid out for the ball.  Zuccarello slid to his right and dove on the ball.  When Guy could get his hands on the ball, Buhler was at the base.  Another gift from Boston.  At this time, Bryan Grillo had enough and called a time out for the defense.  This may have been Grillo’s 2nd time-out he had ever called.  He wanted to make sure everyone was all right.  The score was 7-5 Indy with no outs…but Boston had gift-wrapped the last two balls and this is something you can’t do with a team like the Thunder at the plate.  Tyler Rodriguez was next and he hit a high fly down the third baseline.  Proctor hustled over and touched the ball when it was in foul territory killing the play.  He made a great effort and actually picked it up before the speedy Tyler reached the base, but nonetheless, it was foul.  Rodriguez would then strike out.  Adam Rodenbeck stepped into the box.  The Renegades slid Thaxton over to protect the line and right on queue, Rodenbeck hit it down the line and it looked like an out.  However, Thaxton was unaware of how far he was from the line.  He laid out too early and the ball squirted by him for a run to turn the lineup over to the top again.  Rodriguez stepped to the plate and fouled it off down each line.  He then hit a nice line drive to the third baseman, Joe Yee.  Yee was late to the ground and it slid by him out to Larry Haile.  Haile looked awkward trying to go to the ground  Haile almost looked like a chicken who had been shot and was running away and Rodriguez had his 2nd run of the inning.  The game was getting away from the Renegades.  To this point, Indy had struck out twice, scored 9 times and Boston had only made 2 defensive stops.  Just when it looked like it could go on forever, Dycus hit a weak grounder to the right side.  Dias scrambled in and picked it up as Dycus missed the base, then Dycus dropped to give push ups.  He was likely out despite the missed base.  Tobey Gregory, then hit a grounder to the left side.  Proctor laid out but hit the ground to early and the ball rolled by his feet.  This time Joe Yee picked it up for the out.  After two innings Boston was now down 9-5.  Sadly, the two gifts to Gregory and Buhler led to 4 runs for Indy, which was the difference in this game.

Boston never quits.  leading off the third was Zuccarello.  He lofted a fly ball up the left side that was about 95 feet and made it past the short man.  Tyler Rodriguez slid over to pick up the ball but it kicked off his shins just as Guy was taking a bad line to third.  That bad line cost a run (he was already wearing the pink blindfold for a missed base on the previous day).  Thaxton, then hit a weak grounder down the third baseline that rolled about 90 feet, it was a foot race between him and Rodriguez.  Thaxton won.  It was now 9-6.  Rob Dias then lifted a lazy fly ball up the middle.  Miguel Tello raced to the middle of the field, taking an angle backwards and on two hops picked up the ball, right before Dias reached the base for a great defensive play.  Larry Haile then laced a hard grounder down the right side.  At about 110 feet, Tobey Gregory laid out and the ball hit him right in the box for another splendid defensive play and the Boston comeback was squandered.  Indy’s defense was looking much better on this day.  After three, Boston needed a quick defensive inning.

The Christmas gifts of the first and second innings that led to 5 runs for Indy were the difference.  The Indy defense was playing much better than the Renegades.  This was the main difference.  Woodard was getting extra time and was finding a groove.  The third inning had a different feel all together.  Zach Buhler led off with a fly ball up the middle. Zuccarello went back on the ball, circled it and got in front of it.  Just as he got to the ball, Buhler scored on a bang-bang play.  It would have nabbed many hitters but Buhler is fast and tough to get when the ball is in the air out at 115 feet.  Tyler Rodriguez hit a fly ball to left.  Thanh Hunyh over ran the ball, but Larry Haile was backing him up.  Haile hit the ground and as he was getting his mitts on the ball, the speedy Rodriguez slapped the base for another Thunder run on a bang-bang play.  This brought up Rodenbeck who hit another hard grounder to Thaxton.  Christian went down too early and the ball went by him.  Thunder 12 and Boston 6 with no outs.  Eric Rodriguez then lofted a fly ball to Proctor.  A foot race ensued and just before Proctor got the ball off the ground, Eric was in.  The third Indy run on a split second play due to the speed of the Thunder.  The speedy Dycus then hit a fly ball to right center.  Thaxton had one chance on it, but when he dove, he laid out on his stomach and the ball rolled over his legs.  A nice play to get there but a lack of fundamentals here made it impossible to get Dycus.  Tobey Gregory then hit a grounder up the middle.  Zuccarello over ran it but Haile was there to back him up.  Again, as Haile gets his hands on the ball, Gregory scores on another bang-bang play.  Boston was showing no quit, but the Thunder were blazing the lines this inning as they were like sharks smelling blood. Buhler came to the plate for the 2nd time in the inning after the Thunder had scored 6 straight runs.  He hit a hard grounder to the left side.  Proctor was late to the ground, But Thanh Hunyh was there to make the bleeding stop for Boston.  When the play was made, it was found Thanh made the out on a broken ball that had no beep.  The second time Boston made a play on a dead ball this week.  Tyler Rodriguez then hit a high fly ball to the center of the field.  Dias and Proctor converged and Dias was able to pick it up on two bounces for the second straight stop. Adam Rodenbeck was next and on the first pitch hit a line drive to left center toward Larry Haile, but Haile over ran it for the 7th run of the Indy inning.  Rodriguez then hit his 2nd pitch on the ground to the left side which Thanh Hunyh dove to his right for and as he dove to the ground his momentum took him onto his back and the ball hit him near his hip for the out.  Boston escaped the inning and after three it was 16-6.  Boston did not give up but this inning was the inning of the bang-bang play and the speed of the Thunder was making it very hard for Boston.

Boston was down 10 and staring at a possible 12 run rule.  They needed a few runs from the bottom half of the order which was just 1-6 on the day.  Shawn Devenish would lead off. He had that only run.  For Indy, they started the inning by bringing Ed Brown in on defense to replace Tyler Rodriguez.  Devenish hit the first pitch he saw off the bottom of his bat up the left center side of the field, which was where Tyler had been playing. This time rookie Zach Buhler was there.  It did not matter, Tyler’s brother Eric made a nice play angling back on the ball to stop it.  Joe Quintanilla came back in to pinch hit for Thanh.  Quintanilla hit a line drive up the middle of the field, but the ball did not travel far and Eric had time to run back and easily get in front of it as he made the play around 80 feet.  This brought Zuccarello up for the last chance for the bottom half of the order to try and score a run.  First pitch swinging, he and Cochran hit a weak grounder to the right.  Miguel Tello was there in a split second to pick up the ball and Boston threw up a donut for the first time and Boston was now done 16-6 after three innings.  All Indy needed to do was score two runs in the bottom of the inning, they could force the 12 run rule. This is the beep baseball equivalent to a mercy rule.

Indy would send up their 2-3-4 hitters.  Gerald Dycus led off the inning crushing a 130-foot fly ball down the first baseline but it was just foul.  In the end it was a long strike.  His next pitch was a ball off the bottom of his bat and Dias lined it up easily for the first out and three of the last four hitters had been stopped by the Boston defense.  Tobey Gregory was next and was 3-4 on the day with two gift-wrapped runs.  He fouled a few balls off to the right side.  He then lifted a high fly ball to the center of the field at about 55 feet.  Dias backed up on it and Proctor waited for Dias.  Neither could get it in time and Gregory scored another run on a ball that could have been an out.  Zach Buhler then lifted a high fly ball to about 115 feet of the middle of the field.  Zuccarello made a dive at it…but the ball went over him and Buhler scored easily to force the 12 run rule.  Since Indy was the home team, they would finish the inning.  Ed Brown in his first at bat lifted a short pop fly to the center of the field and on a hop, Justen Proctor finally made his first stop of the game for the 2nd out.  Rodenbeck would then hit the second pitch of his at-bat on the ground up the middle.  Guy Zuccarello was on it and it rolled right into his chest.

For Boston, they would need to score 12 runs to force Indy to have to come to the plate.  Boston had just 6 outs remaining in its season.  Leading off for the Renegades was Christian Thaxton. In a nice move by Indy, they inserted Clint Woodard into the game.  Clint had played in 5 title games but had never won.  Thaxton crushed the first pitch to left field that looked like it could be close to a home run but when the play was over, the ball was dead.  Thaxton knocked the beep out of the ball.  By rule, Thaxton would have to do it again.  He then hit a hard grounder to Eric Rodriguez, which bounced off him, but he was able to pick it up for the out. In essence Thaxton was punished for hitting the first ball too well.  Rob Dias was 1-2 on the day hit the 2nd pitch down the left side.  Rodriguez angled back toward the line and got in front of it for the 2nd out of the 5th.  Larry Haile then hit a 43 footer and Eric Rodriguez easily beat Larry and made the out before Larry could get half way down the line.  Three more outs would remain for the Renegades.

In the 6th, the bottom half of the renegade line-up would remain.  Devenish hit a hard grounder up the middle.  Eric Rodriguez angled to his left and made a diving stop of the ball that hit him in the armpit.  Rodriguez had made 4 stops in a row.  Off the bench for Boston, would come Tim Syphers.  Syphers lifted a fly ball foul down the third base line on the 2nd pitch.  He then hit an 80-foot grounder up the middle where Rodriguez and Tello converged as Tello picked it up easily.  To this point Eric Rodriguez would have 7 stops and Tello 5.  Hot Tub Thayer would be the last Renegade up and he would go down swinging to end the game and the dream for Boston.  The Thunder were the better team on this day.  Though the Boston defense gave away too many runs, which led to longer innings, the power and speed of the Thunder was too tough.  Boston was unable to get enough of it hits by the two front men of Indy.  The Thunder celebrated their first ever championship.  As they danced on the field, Weissman pulled his team off the bench and asked them to listen to Indy celebrate and implored them to keep their heads up and use the moment to fuel their off season work outs.  Boston did not have enough on this day but had its best ever season in team history finishing second in the league with a 13-2 record and their only two losses falling to the champion.  It was an amazing season. We walked off the field with our heads held high and our sights set on returning to this game in the future

A shot of the unsung heroes of the week. The Renegade coaches from left to Right Yuki Ara, Bryan Grillo, Ron Cochran, Rob Weissman, Jamie Dickerson and Mike Marciello

A shot of the unsung heroes of the week. The Renegade coaches from left to Right Yuki Ara, Bryan Grillo, Ron Cochran, Rob Weissman, Jamie Dickerson and Mike Marciello

If you would like to watch the game, it is available on-line.  The crew did an amazing job with play-by-play, color commentary, graphics and post production quality edits.  Even if you saw some of the game live that day, the quality of this video has been enhanced and includes the time when the live feed came off-line.  That video can be seen here:


Also…If you want to read the game summaries from the previous days at the World Series, see them below

World Series Game Summaries – Day 4

Renegades Win streak comes to a Crashing Halt as Indy Prevails 14-8

Rob Dias and Shawn Devenish had big games...BUT were not happy with the result and the loss of Joe McCormick

Rob Dias and Shawn Devenish had big games…BUT were not happy with anke result and the loss of Joe McCormick

An 11:30 start on a Friday between two teams who had never been to the finals.  NBBA history was about to happen.  The winner of this match would go to the finals while the loser would play again later in the day.  There was a good chance this would be a preview of the finals.  Both teams entered the day 6-0 on the week. Both teams entered this game looking fresh and faster than many of the teams in the league.  Indy had a much easier path. On day one they crushed two teams that would place 19th and 20th.  They slaughtered Athens 21-0 and then wrecked Rochester 24-1.  Their toughest game on day one was against the Comets whom they easily beat 13-1 (The Renegades beat the Comets by just one run).  In double elimination they took down the NJ Titans 13-3, the Indy Edge 9-5 and then beat the San Antonio Jets 20-12.  The Renegades knew this team would be tough to beat as it was infused with a mix of youth and veterans with a championship caliber pitcher in Jarred Woodard.  Their roster also was the biggest of any team in the Series.  Boston would win another coin toss and elect to be the home team.  With three one-run games in their arsenal, this home team advantage gave Boston a sense of confidence. In order to win this game, Boston would have to keep the ball away from the left short man, Eric Rodriguez and its own defense would have to be aggressive and quick.  Many teams had been complaining  about the Thunder’s high level of vision amongst its core of young players. During blindlfold checks, they were all using mind folds and it was clear they were just a super talented team. To lead off the game, Eric Rodriguez hit a hard shot to the right side, Rob Dias laid out a perfect superman and the ball hit him square in the “box” for an immediate out.  A roar went through the Renegade team to make such an aggressive out to start the game.  Rookie Gerald Dykus then scored on a sweet line drive up the middle of the field to give Indy a lead.  Veteran, Kyle Lewis hit a ground ball up the middle which Rob Dias was able to stop for the 2nd out.  Up came another young rising star, Zach Buhler.  Buhler laced a shot into left field for a sure run.  On the play, 3rd baseman Thanh Huynh turned his back to the field and raced after the ball.  Joe McCormick also raced after the ball from the left center position as the players were aggressively trying to make an out.  The run would score but this would be crucial later in the game.  In the bottom of the first, Eric Rodriguez would stop both Christian Thaxton and Joe McCormick on grounders up the middle.  Even though neither of those balls were hit well, both Renegades are tough outs due to their speed.  Erod made the plays with much time to spare.  Rob Dias, the hero of the day before, scorched a ball into left field for the first Renegade run.  Larry Haile was then put out on a close play as Tyler Rodriguez made a stop on a ball hit up the middle of the field.  After one inning, Indy led 2-1.  Justen Proctor would make a nice stop on a pop fly off the bat of Adam Rodenbeck to start the 2nd.  Eric Rodriguez would then hit a similar pop fly to the right side but Dias could not bring it in and Indy went ahead 3-1.  Next, Guy Zuccarello  stopped rookie sensation, Gerald Dykus for the 2nd out.  Lefty, Kyle Lewis, to no surprise of the Renegades hit a line drive into left field that eluded Joe McCromick for a run.  Zach Buhler would strike out and heading into the bottom of the 2nd Indy held a 4-1 lead.  Shawn Devenish laced a shot into center field to lead off the 2nd on the 3rd pitch he saw.  He had been put out just once all year on a ball like this, in the Chicago game when he missed the base.  This time, Kyle Lewis made a diving stop and Devenish was out by a step as the Indy bench roared in applause. Guy Zuccarello would then hit a 42 foot ball to the right side and beat out Miguel Tello for the second Renegade run and show why there is no routine play in beep baseball.  Up stepped Thaxton and as the Indy coach was calling the Thunder to watch for the pull hitter, Thaxton lofted a weak liner to the right side and was put out on a bang-bang play by Adam Rodenbeck.  McCormick would end the inning after being given a second life after a late base call. He would be stopped on a grounder off the bottom of his bat to Erod (his 3rd put out in just two innings).  Indy now led just 4-2.    The Boston defense was gaining confidence and was flying around.  Justen Proctor would stop Tyler Rodriguez on a 50 foot pop fly to start the inning.  Guy Zuccarello would stop Adam Rodenbeck on a grounder up the middle and then Joe McCormick would make an outstanding play on a line drive to left field.  What made it even more outstanding was the ball was dead and not beeping when McCormick hauled it in.  The Renegades defense had pitched a donut and raced to the bench in anticipation.  When Indy took the field in the bottom of the inning, Indy had subbed in long time all-star, Clint Woodard.  Apparently, Tello had been hurt earlier on one of the plays.  Woodard could be Tello’s father and this may have given the Renegades a boost as the speed of Tello appeared to be lost.  Rob Dias hit a ball off the handle of his bat up the middle that got by Erod, but his brother Tyler made the play to start off the third inning.  Larry Haile then hit a line drive down the line into left field to bring the Renegades to within one run.  Because defense was going to be a key factor in this game, Boston had been playing a platoon in the next spot of the line up.  Thanh Huynh had been going in and out to play defense and Joe Yee would make an appearance for this at-bat.  He would be put out on a weak grounder to Erod. Next, Guy Zuccarello would be put out on a nice line drive up the middle to end the inning.  It was 4-3 and this game was turning into a defensive show. Zuccarello would make another nice stop on Gerald Dykus to start the 4th inning but he was unable to coral a high fly ball up the middle off the bat of Kyle Lewis.  Buhler would hit a weak ground ball to Proctor and Tyler Rodrigues would whiff as Indy led 5-3 heading into the bottom of the 4th inning.  Christian Thaxton would lead off the inning and have some trouble with his timing and after fouling off two pitches would strike out on just 4 pitches to start the frame.  Joe McCormick would then hit another ball off the bottom of his bat and for the third time Erod was there to make a stop.  Rob Dias then hit the first pitch he saw into deep left Center field to make it a 5-4 game.  Larry Haile would end the inning with another out to Erod.  Heading to the 5th inning, Cochran had struck out just one hitter while Woodard had racked up 3 strike outs.  The problem was Erod  had made 5 defensive stops and Boston was struggling to keep the top of the order away from him.  Despite McCormick and Thaxton being a combined 0-6, Boston was just one run down and with the home field advantage Boston was confident they would turn it around on offense.  Eric Rodriguez led off the 5th inning with a line shot to right center that Thaxton could not reach and Indy pulled ahead 6-4.  Up stepped Dykus and this was the turning point of the season.  Dykus launched a deep fly into left field much like the ball that Buhler hit in the first inning.  This time McCormick and Hunyh would not be as lucky as the two players slammed into each other in a collision that could be heard on adjacent fields.  Both players were down.  McCormick was on his back dazed while Hunyh was rolling on the ground in pain.  Thankfully, the Renegades had two doctors with them and it was in their hands at this point.  As McCormick did an inventory on his body parts, all of his joints were ok…but he was dizzy.  He was not concussed but his face was beginning to swell and his eye was turning black and blue.  Mike Marciello decided his day was over and needed to check him out more thoroughly.  Huynh was holding his leg as he had been stepped on during the collision.  He would stay in the game for the time being.  The Renegades were clearly shaken up but Weissman implored the team to take a “next man” up attitude.  Into the game came Joe Yee, a player who was fresh and had scored  6 runs during the week.  McCormick went to the bench with Marciello and Yuki Ara to be checked out.  When play continued, Kyle Lewis would score on a pop fly down the 1st base line and Dykus would put it over everyone’s head into left center.  Thanh Hunyh would then make a diving stop on a line drive up the middle of the field to stop Tyler Rodriguez and give the Renegades some hope.  Indy led just 9-4 and Boston was hoping to get the bats going.  It had come from behind multiple times this year and was not going to let the McCormick injury stop them.  While on the bench, McCormick was continuing to struggle and an ambulance call was made.  He would leave the bench during a time out and head to the hospital for a CT scan.  Shawn Devenish would start off the 5th inning with a line drive into left field that Lewis would not get this time but Zuccarello and Thaxton would be stopped by Erod again.  Joe Yee would strike out and the inning was over.  The momentum shifted to Indy.  After an Erod strike out to start off the 6th, they would plate four consecutive runs to push the score to 14-5.  In the bottom of the 6th, Dias and Devenish plated runs.  Weissman turned to Tim Syphers looking for a boost as he hit for Guy Zuccarello.  Syphers was stopped by Rodenbeck.  Thaxton would get on the board for his only run of the game but Joe Yee would ground out to Erod to end it.  Indy won the game 14-8 and would advance to the finals. Eric Rodrigues would tally 9 stops on defense for the game and Thaxton and McCormick would finish the day 1-8.  The Renegades would lose the game, one of their emotional leaders and some of their energy all at the same time.  They needed to dig in deep.  They awaited the winner of the Bayou City Heat and Colorado Storm game which seemed to be taking a long time.  The Renegades were just hoping that game would go extra innings and the teams would wear each other out.  The winner of that game would play Boston and it would be the 3rd game of the day for that team. Advantage Boston!  All Boston needed was one more win to make the finals.  McCormick would not return to the bench this day as he was struggling a bit at the hospital. Boston would see a franchise best 13-game win streak come to an end.

Most exciting Renegade game ever!  Renegades come back in 7 innings 11-10 and advance to Finals!


As the Renegades celebrate their big victory, Spotter Jamie Dickerson’s expression says it all “Let’s GO!”. Our coaching staff is very passionate and this passion drives us every year!

After the loss, the Renegades needed to regroup.  Joe McCormick was not coming back and word from the hospital was he had multiple fractures in his sinus cavity.  He was also going back in for more CT scans as he started to vomit.  The team needed to find strength.  A next man up attitude was critical.  On field 5, the Bayou City Heat battled the Colorado Storm.  The Renegades were awaiting the winner of that match up.  The game was actually taking forever and as we rested, we were all cheering when we would see the teams continue to change sides.  Texts were flying back to us stating the game was going into extra innings.  The longer that game went, the more worn out they would be for our game.  The Renegades had an advantage here because that team would be playing its 3rd game on this day when they came to our field while Boston was playing just its second.  While this game was being played out, coach Weissman was looking for a strategy to play either team.  At the same time, our medical staff declared that Thanh Hunyh was unavailable for this match.  There was some concern that he may have a stress fractures in his shins.  They wanted to wait for his adrenaline to wear off as he was badly limping.  No matter whom we played, the Renegades were down two key players.  It was gut check time.  Joe Yee would be the first to be given a chance to contribute and would get the starting nod for this next match.  Shawn Devenish and Larry Haile would also be moved up in the batting order to take Joe Mac’s spot.  In time, we saw Colorado celebrating a 20-17 victory and the Renegade confidence grew as we had beaten this team yesterday. Boston was forced to make some lineup changes.  We planned to have Larry Haile play the outfield spot but when possible, we wanted to play Joe Quintanilla there as well for defensive reasons so a platoon was planned.  At third, the plan was to give Joe Yee the reps both ways.  Since the Renegades won another coin toss (Rob Dias and Thanh Hunyh were super excited to let us know they won again), we elected to be the home team.  This meant that Joe Quintanilla would draw the start in the outfield on defense.  When the score sheet was turned in, Weissman told the scorekeeper that Haile would hit for Quintanilla when that spot came up in the order.  The Colorado line up also looked slightly different from the previous day.  They had moved Richie Krussel into the lead off spot and Jimmie Burnett would also be in the line-up replacing Rocky Zamora’s bat.

Colorado would start off the game with back-to-back scores by Krussel and Ethan Johnston but then Chad Sumner would strike out, Justen Proctor would stop Morrow on a grounder up the middle and then Mike Jackson would strike out.  A defensive inning that started dreadful for Boston ended well and the team settled in as it came to the plate.  Christian would quickly get the party started with a first pitch pop fly to the right side for a run.  Ethan Johnston would stop Rob Dias on a grounder up the middle and then Shawn Devenish would strike out.  Up to the plate stepped Larry Haile when confusion would ensue.  Haile lofted a fly ball into the center of the field to tie the game up as the Renegade bench exploded.  As Joe Yee was entering the batters box a conference was forming at the scorers table.  Boston was being accused of batting out of order.  Weissman argued and argued and argued that he had given the change before the game had started but he was not being heard.  The head of umpires was called to the field and an argument was looking to be futile.  Weissman argued that in other games scorekeepers had been asking for the subs before they happened.  The inconsistency was a problem and it was unjust to take the run off the board.  Weissman lost and the Renegade run was taken off the board and a strikeout was put in the stats against Joe Quintanilla.  In the 2nd inning, Jimmie Burnett  would hit a pop fly to the left side and be stopped by Proctor.  Justen “JCP” would also stop Richie Krussel.  But Johnston and Sumner would plate runs on a fly ball to left field and a line drive to the first base side to make the game 4-1 Denver heading into the bottom of the 2nd inning.  Boston would have a rough inning.  Joe Yee who had made great improvements in his swing would start off the inning and strike out on 4 pitches.  Zuccarello would hit a grounder to the left side that Johnston would gobble up and then Johnston would nab Thaxton as well and Boston would throw a donut up for the frame.  Colorado would lead off the third with number 5 hitter, Mike Jackson who Rob Dias would stop for the first out.  Jimmie Burnett would then hit a grounder to Proctor for the 2nd out and this time, Krussel would strike out for a 1-2-3 inning.  Jimmie Burnett was injured on the play and off the bench came Willie Clinton to play defense.  Boston would feel the momentum shift quickly.  Rob Dias would line the 3rd pitch he saw into center field for a run.  Devenish hit the 1st pitch into the same area for another run when Joe Quintanilla’s spot would come up again in the line up.  This time so everyone could hear it, Weissman announced with a big smile on his face that Larry Haile was pinch-hitting.  On the 2nd pitch he lofted a fly ball down the 3rd base line to tie the game at 4 a piece.  Joe Yee’s struggles would continue as he struck out on another 4 pitches.  This was important because Cochran and Weissman had talked about Yee’s inconsistent swing between innings and he was going to be on a short leash.  Something had changed in his stance causing the swing paths to change.  After a Zuccarello ground out to Krussel, Thaxton faced a full count.  He then scored on a grounder that eluded Johnston and Boston had its first lead 5-4 after three innings.  That lead would be short-lived as Colorado would plate three straight runs to start off the 4th inning.  Johnston, Sumner and Morrow pushed the Storm to 7 runs but Proctor would stop Jackson, Dias would stop Clinton and Proctor would stop Krussel to finish off the inning.  Bad news for the Renegades in the bottom of the 4th. Devenish hit a pop fly to the left side and would be stopped by Johnston.  Larry Would strike out and then Weissman decided to give Joe Yee another at-bat after trying to get him to stand higher.  The result was his third strike out of the game and after 4 innings Colorado led 7-5.  Ethan Johnston would score on a ground ball to the 1st base line to start the inning for his 4th run of the game.  Rob Dias would stop Chad Sumner and Justen Proctor would stop Morrow before Jackson struck out to end the inning.  Heading to the 5th inning Colorado had an 8-5 lead and their excitement was growing.  Zuccarello would lead off the inning and on the 2nd pitch would ground out to the right side into the arms of Richie Krussel.  Thaxton would lace a bomb into left field for his 3rd run of the game but Dias would come up empty with Ethan Johnston putting him out and Devenish would strike out.  After 5 innings, Boston was down 8-6.  And in the bottom of the inning would have their 4-5-6 hitters coming up.  Leading off the 6th inning was pinch hitter Orlando Dominguez who had been battling a leg injury that left him limping bad.  He would hit a weak grounder to the third baseline that Proctor would pick up.  Krussel would then hit hard grounder up the middle of the field, but Zuccarello would make a huge stop for his first out of the game.  This Brought Ethan Johnston to the plate with a chance to put this game away.  After scoring 4 straight times, Johnston went down swinging.  After 5.5 innings it was 8-6 Colorado.  Boston had to find a way to get a run from the bottom of the order to give Thaxton a chance to hit.  Statistically, the best chance was Larry Haile who really had scored twice in this game but in the books was only 1-2 due to the “batting out of order” rule that was called in the 1st.  When this inning started, Weissman decided that the team would no longer use each player’s calling cards.  Instead we would pay tribute to our fallen hero who was back at the hotel, Joe McCormick.  Before each at-bat, Weissman would scream “Joe Mac” to the teams return cry of “Way Back”.  Though he was not on the field with us, he was in our hearts.  Haile fouled off the first pitch and then flailed three straight times.  Weissman and Cochran were baffled at the change in his swing.  One down and this time the decision was to bring Joe Quintanilla off the bench to hit for Yee.  In typical Joe Q fashion, he took the first pitch.  After three straight swings he faced a full count and hit a line drive up the middle of the field for a run.  The Renegade bench erupted.  Quintanilla had scored the first run of his World Series and picked a great time to do it.  Zuccarello then hit a hard grounder up the middle, which got by Krussel and Johnston but on a bang-ng play was put out by Rocky Zamora for the 2nd out of the inning.  The bottom of the lineup had done its job!  Thaxton stepped into the box with a chance to tie it.  He fouled off the first 2 pitches.  He swung and missed on the 3rd pitch.  He then fouled off another two pitches.  On the 6th pitch he put it into play with a line drive up the middle and raced down the line to tie the game.  Boston’s hopes of another walk of win were in the hands of Rob Dias.  Dias had a walk off hit against the Storm on Thursday.  This time he lofted a pop fly to the right side and Johnston ranged over to make the play.  Boston had tied the game and forced extra innings.  Boston was fired up to have a second life while the Storm was dreading another extra inning contest. Colorado wasted no time.  Chad Sumner gave them a lead with a blast down the first base line.  While this was going on, Weissman went to his video to look at Haile’s last at-bat to see if they could find something to help.  Justen Proctor stopped Demetrious Morrow on a ground ball.  Mike Jaconson who had been scoreless in the game then lofted a fly ball up the middle of the field.  Zuccarello could not bring it in and Colorado led 10-8.  Proctor then would stop Dominguez and Krussel for his 10th and 11th stops of the game.  Boston would need to find 2 runs to keep this game alive. Leading off in the 7th was Shawn Devenish who had been quiet  (1-4 with 2 strike outs).  He started the frame off with a ground out to Krussel.  Up stepped Larry Haile.  Weissman pointed to Cochran to take his lead on the target and on the first pitch they connected on this new target with a fly ball into left field as Haile plated a run to keep the dream alive.  We needed a run from the 5/6 hitters to get the game to Thaxton.  Joe Quintanilla stayed in the game after his big run in the 6th and strode to the plate.  Again he took the first pitch.  He managed to foul a ball off to the right side, swung and missed and fouled another off.  For the 2nd time he faced a full count.  This time he hit a ball down the first base line.  The ball stopped about 105 feet and was not far from the base.  Quintanilla took off and his line out of the box was not good as his momentum took him into fair territory.  Miraculously, the Colorado first baseman raced past the ball into foul territory a split second before Quintanilla raced by the fielder in fair territory.  The miracle was that the Storm fielder never could find the ball and that no umpire yelled stop to kill the play.  Quintanilla was SAFE!  Holy Moly, Quintanilla was SAFE.  The Boston bench went insane as the score was now tied 11-10 with just one out.  Zuccarello would have a chance to walk off.  As he stepped into the box he turned to Weissman and said, “can you believe it we got Christian another chance to hit!”  Weissman quickly asked if Zucarello was forfeiting his at-bat and the two of them had a laugh in a very exciting and tense moment.  Guy then hit another hard grounder up the middle and on another bang-bang play was stopped by Demetrious Morrow.  Up Stepped Christian Thaxton with the game on the line and a chance to walk off.  Thaxton was 4-5 on the day.  Thaxton fouled off the first two pitches and then swung and missed to bring the count to three strikes.  He then fouled off another pitch as both teams waited in anticipation.  With three strikes on him, Cochran delivered the next pitch and the timing was perfect but we caught it slightly off the top off the bat.  A fly ball sailed toward the center of the field as Thaxton dashed down the third base line.  He was SAFE.  Boston had won!  For the second time this week, they had come back to beat the Colorado Storm in extra innings.  For the first time in team history, the Renegades would be playing for the National title!  As the pig pile separated from the third baseline a few key stories were to be remembered.  Justen Proctor made 11 stops in this game to tie his career high against this same team in 2011.  Christian had his first ever walk off hit and paced the team with 5 runs scored.  Joe Quintanilla came off the bench and scored two of the biggest runs in Renegade history.  Joe McCormick was watching from the hotel proud of his teammates.  So many people were happy to get this win…if not to keep their coach out of the insane asylum for the gaff that cost them a run (and maybe more) in the first inning.  Boston would advance to play the only team who had beaten them all year, the Indianapolis Thunder.  See the team celebrate after their walk off win here (Video by Sarah Cochran)

This game was actually captured on a Facebook Live video from a few of the Chicago Comets.  If you would like to see some of that action shot from the 3rd baseline, visit this Facebook link

Also…If you want to read the game summaries from the previous days at the World Series, see them below