Renegades set the tone for the week beating the Jets 20-9
The NBBA has a process where new teams are just automatically seeded at the bottom of the bracket regardless of who is on that team. This year, The Renegades were not going to have a true 18 seed. Instead, they would face off against the former defending world champion pitcher and a few of his players, Kevin Sibson. Weissman knew this Jets team would be a top 5 team in the World Series before it happened. The thought process was simple. Beat the Jets and the team will have beaten a top team and get confidence for the week. Lose and there is no harm because double elimination had not started…and it would keep the Renegades away from a potential clash with a new rival who owned us the past few years, the Bayou City Heat. The coaching staff discussed the importance of getting a feel for the field. We wanted to make sure we gave the defense the best chance to get off to a strong start and these fields would play slower than we had played on all year. The team was on the fields the night before and again on them early on Tuesday morning. Weissman would lose the coin toss and Boston would start off the game with the very first pitch to Christian Thaxton being a late base. After that it took 8 pitches and Boston had two strikeouts. Rob Dias and Larry Haile would put Boston on the board 2-0. In the bottom of the frame, Boston learned about the field and found at times it was playing too deep for the speed of Austin. Axel Cox would lead off for the Jets and hit a ground ball right to Christian Thaxton, but Thaxton was too deep. By the time the ball got to him, Cox was at the base. Rookie, Ricky Ruzicka would then score on a fly ball that Justen Proctor could not pick up in time and that was a run. Rene Almanza then hit a hard ball up the left center of the field that ricocheted of Guy Zuccarello, but deep man, Joe McCormick was there to make the stop and the Gades were fired up! Thaxton would then make a nice play on a ball off the bat of Jason Ackiss and the game was knotted at two a piece. Leading off the 2nd, Guy Zuccarello scored on a line drive up the middle. Thaxton scored on a grounder down the third base line and Dias and Haile also plated their second runs of the game on bombs. Guy Zuccarello would then score to make it 7-2 but the centerfield umpire who had no view of the ball, overturned the home plate umpire on a call where Richie Flores made a play facing the home plate umpire. Despite the fact the home plate ump had a better view, she refused to stick with her original call and the score was 6-2. Austin would plate two more as Cox and Arumbula would plate runs into right center. In the third inning, The Boston line up would score three straight as Thaxton, McCormick and Dias went 1-2-3 for one of the few times all week to really fire the Renegades up. Shawn Devenish also shocked San Antonio with a blast to left center to keep the pressure on. During the same inning, The bats kept rocking and Thaxton and McCormick plated their 2nd runs of the inning when Rob Dias came to the plate giving them a chance to go 1-2-3 for the second time in the inning. Dias hit a line drive to right center but missed third base. This was his first missed base of his career and it ended a big 6 run rally. Boston was pushing toward a 12 run rule and hoping to make it stick. Cox was the only runner to score for the Jets in the 3rd and after three Boston was up 12-5. Instead of going for the kill, Boston put up a goose egg in the 4th. However, the Renegade defense held the Jets to nothing as well as Larry Haile made one stop and Rob Dias made a pair to get the game to the 5th. The missed base seemed to take some steam out of the Renegades, as they would go down 1-2-3 for the second inning in a row. The Renegades would have confidence. During this time they were beating themselves with a missed base, 2 strikeouts and two weak grounders to Cox who plays up front. Richie Flores would score in the bottom of the 5th and the Jets felt some life to start the inning when confusion would start. Ron Cochran and Rob Weissman were confused at who was up as the Jets had been inserting the Aaron Almanza in and out of the game. After Aaron Almanza scored to pull the game to 12-7, Cochran approached the umps and Jets coach, Kevin Sibson. Sibson made a mistake and was caught batting out of order. This was the 2nd time this season the Renegades had caught a team making this mistake. Sibson was accountable. He called time out, huddled his team and told them he had screwed up. It did not effect him, after the huddle, they plated two more runs for their biggest inning of the game and the score was 12-9 heading into the 6th. The Jets felt confident being the home team they could stay in this game. That confidence ended fast. The Renegades would have their biggest inning of the week and a hit parade would ensue. Haile scored on a grounder to third. Devenish scored on a blast into left center, Zuccarelo scored on a short pop up to the left side, Thaxton hit a line drive to left Center. McCormick scored on a high fly down the first base line to give the Renegades 5 straight runs. Rob Dias would make the first out of the inning but Haile, Zuccarello and Thaxton would score their second runs of the inning and that would be enough as Boston started to sub in players to rest starters for the long day. In the end Boston would win 20-9. Christian Thaxton would score 5 times, (just the third time had had plated 5+ runs in a game). Haile would plate 4 runs in this game (the 10th time he had plated 4+ in a game). Defensively, Rob Dias and Justen Proctor would each have a hat trick but every starter had at least one. The league was mostly predicting the Jets to win but when this score went up, a shudder went through the ranks that maybe Boston would be for real. As the Jets went through the line shaking hands, a few of them were heard saying how surprised they were that the Boston team was this good. That would become a theme. San Antonio and Boston were clearly two of the top 6 teams at this World Series.
Boston Stops the Outlaws in first ever game against them 8-1
Right from the start, the Outlaws were at a disadvantage. Very early in their first game there was a collision and one of their top players, Craig Cotton was injured and would be out for this game and would not play for the next day either. Boston had preached rest for the players and wanted to get all of their players a minimum amount of rest. Only two players from the previous game were in the batting order to start the game. BCS started the game with two strikeouts and a ground out to Justen Proctor. But the offense got off to a slow start as only Christian Thaxton scored in the first inning. Both Rob Dias and Tim Syphers struggled to put the ball into play. Joe Quintanilla was put out on a grounder down the first base line and was put out as Crystal Stark ranged way to her left and on a dead run picked up a ball that was not rolling. In the second inning, Luis Castillo hit a grounder to the right side where Thanh Hunyh was. Than charged the ball and then found he did not listen to the call and the ball rolled by him as Castillo scored. This lesson would be one of the last times all week he would not listen to a call. Joe Yee led off the third inning for Boston and hit a fly ball into left field for his first run of the season. Justen Proctor then scored on a grounder to the left side for his only run of the World Series which led to Christian Thaxton plating a run as well and Boston was up 4-1 which would be all they would need. In the third inning The Renegades removed their DH and put Thanh Hunyh into the line up as well as having Rob Hot Tub Thayer in the game. This cushion would allow the Renegades to get their game one starters the rest they needed. Joe Yee would score three runs in this game for a hat trick and gain the confidence of the coaching staff to get more at-bats later in the week. Tim Syphers and Rob Thayer also scored in this match as the Renegades won easily 8-1. The BCS offense could not get a hit by the Boston Shorties of Than, Justen Proctor and Joe McCormick who accounted for all 7 defensive stops. Melissa Hoyt was also in this game as her only World Series appearance. Hoyt had hurt her knee before the series but still made the trek. She was taped up and out at first base for a few innings to help the starters rest, playing her role well. The highlight of this game beyond Yee’s three runs was a shot to right field off the bat of Thayer. The defense must have lost the ball with the ball laying near a loud first base. No Outlaw ever moved to the ball. Thayer even missed the base and had time to score since BCS could not hear it near the base. It would be Rob’s only run of the week because he would pull his hamstring warming up after this game. The Boston defense only allowed one run in this match. This was just the 17th time in team history the Renegades had allowed as few as one or less runs. Boston would then be ready to take on the last opponent for the day, the Minnesota Millers.
It’s Miller time as Boston 12 runs Minnesota in 3 innings 14-3
Boston was feeling good after beating the Jets and then using the BCS game to get many of the players rest to help them stay fresh for the long week. The Millers were looking to move up the standings and had hopes of showing the league they could do so with a win over the Renegades. Before the game began, Steve Guerra was on the Boston bench talking some smack and having fun. The only smack down that would happen would be at the fate of the Millers. The Millers came out hot but the Boston defense would be on for this game. Rob Dias would put out Evan Van Duyne on a bang-bang play to start the game. Joe McCormick would stop Matt McCoy on a shot into left field and then Guy Zuccarello would stop the speedster, Josh Xiong on a bang-bang play to end the inning. Thaxton would start the game with a whiff for Boston. Next, Joe McCormick would score on a fly ball off the top of his bat down the third base line for the first Renegade run. Rob Dias and Shawn Devenish would also score to give Boston a 3 run lead after one. The Millers would throw up a goose egg in the 2nd and Boston would get hot scoring 6 times in the frame highlighted by both Christian Thaxton and Joe McCormick scoring a pair in the inning. Evan Van Duyne got the Millers on the board in the 3rd inning. With one out, Josh Xiong lifted a fly ball down the third baseline and raced to the base. Christian Thaxton made the stop of the game here when he back peddled and lined up the ball and picked it up before the Speedy Xiong hit the base. The Renegades went crazy and were yelling that Thaxton was no longer a designated hitter. He then put Riley Schmitz out on a hard grounder down the line to end the inning. In the third inning, Boston would pour it on again and score five times from five different spots in the line up. A scary moment happened when Tim Syphers stepped to the plate. He lifted a fly ball to centerfield but struggled with his line to third base and we had to stop the play in fear of him getting hurt as he ran into the Miller bench. That would be all for the Millers as Boston would apply the 12 run rule after three innings. A nice moment happened in the 6th inning when Todd Paulson hit a grounder up the middle that nobody could pick up. He had to pause after he hit first base because it was the first run of his career. It was a nice moment when coach Weissman congratulated him and saw the smile on his face. Some great news in this game was Joe McCormick finding his swing and scoring four times in the game after working hard to understand why his swing was going up the ladder. After the game was over in the huddle, Guy Zuccarello thanked Tim Syphers for being at the Series. As on this day his Great Grandfather was being put to rest. It was a touching moment. When the stats were tallied Boston hit .609 for this game. It was just the 6th time in Renegade history the team had hit over .600 and it was the 6th best average in any game in team history. Boston had clinched the one seed and was most excited it would be allowed to sleep in and have an 11:30 start the next day.