On the road to its third championship title in team history, the Hudson Valley Renegades came a single run short of a possible game three in the New York-Penn League Championship Series, as the Tampa Bays’ Class A affiliate lost to the State College Spikes 2-1 last night. The game started off promising for the Renegades, with second baseman Miles Mastrobuoni hitting a leadoff triple, followed by a walk and hit-batsman to load the bases. An infield single from DH Jose Rojas scored Mastrobuoni to give Hudson Valley a 1-0 lead, but Spikes starter Jared DeLorenzo recovered with back-to-back strikeouts to limit the damage.
A two-run homer in the second from Spikes’ third baseman Danny Hudzina gave the St. Louis Cardinals’ affiliate a 2-1 lead. It’s one the eventual Penn League champs wouldn’t relinquish as the Renegades failed to cash in on subsequent chances to get back on top, most notably when DeLorenzo struck out both Rojas and rightfielder Angel Perez with men on.
Still, last night’s loss shouldn’t be too disheartening, as the Renegades finished with a terrific 49-29 overall record, thanks in part to the performances of several standout players, including Jose Rojas and his team-high .310 average and third baseman Jim Haley, who scored nearly 30 runs while slugging .350. And perhaps they can follow in the footsteps of current Rays major leaguers Richie Shaffer, Luke Maile, Ryan Garton, and Dylan Floro, all of whom were on the Renegades’ 2012 Penn League championship roster.
As for Renegades fans, a thrilling season was complemented by the club’s typically buzzworthy seasonal theme nights, like this years’ Star Wars: The Field Awakens event or their combined kickball game/on-field camp-out. So for those already looking forward to next year’s campaign, get a jump on grabbing 2017 season ticket here, and may the force be with the Gades next summer.