It is always a pleasure to make the postseason. For the Hudson Valley Renegades, that hasn’t happened in quite a while. But thanks to one of the most talented rosters in team history, the Renegades have finally made it back.
Triple-A International League: Norfolk Tides (BAL) 3, Durham Bulls 1
In his final start of the 2012 season, Matt Torra went for his 13th win. He didn’t get it. Torra pitched great. Through 6 innings, he had a 1-hit shutout going, although the Bulls only got him 1 run on a Will Rhymes RBI single in the 4th. Then in the 7th, Torra ran into some trouble, allowing a single, a lineout, and then a double to give the Tides 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. In came Frank De Los Santos from the bullpen and it did not go well as he allowed a sac fly and two more hits before the inning was through to make it 3-1 Tides. That was the final in the game as Torra ended up taking the loss. In the game, Torra went 6.1 innings allowing 2 runs on just 3 hits, striking out 3 while walking 1 and posting a 7-4 groundout to flyout ratio. On the year, Torra went 12-7 with a 4.10 ERA, striking out 78 while walking 26 in 23 starts, 3 relief appearances, and 147 IP.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 10, Huntsville Stars (MIL) 3
Merrill Kelly turned in his first quality start of the season the Biscuits offense used a 7-run 3rd inning on the way to double-digit runs on their way to a 10-3 win. Kelly improved to 8-3 on the year, going 6 innings allowing 3 runs on 7 hits, striking out 2 while walking 2 as well. He didn’t do it gracefully, but he got the job done. Neil Schenk followed with 2 shutout innings, allowing 4 hits but striking out 5 while walking none. In terms of the offense, Mark Thomas slammed a 2-run homer, Mikie Mahtook went 2 for 4 with a walk, a stolen base, an RBI, and 2 runs scored, Michael Sheridan had an RBI double and a sac fly, and Derek Dietrich and Omar Luna both went 2 for 5. Per Stacy Long, it was the Biscuits’ first time scoring 10 or more runs since June 25th.
High-A Florida State League: Fort Myers Miracle (MIN) 8, Charlotte Stone Crabs 7 (10 innings)
Both starters struggled mightily and the Stone Crabs came up just short in a wild slugfest. Enny Romero started for Charlotte and had no control at all. He went 5 innings allowing just 3 hits, but he allowed 6 runs, 5 earned, thanks to 5 walks, although he did strike out 7 with a 7-1 groundout to flyout ratio. It was Enigmatic Enny’s third consecutive bad start following a 6 inning, 1-hit, 9 strikeout performance back on August 9th. George Jensen followed with 4 strong innings, but he allowed a Daniel Santana solo homer to tie the game at 7. And in the 10th, Kyle Kundson lined a walk-off single off of Alex Koronis as Fort Myers won 8-7. Phil Wunderlich went 2 for 4 with an RBI double and a 2-run homer, Cody Rogers went 3 for 4, and Steven Tinoco went 2 for 5 with a double, an RBI, and 2 runs scored.
Low-A Midwest League: Lake County Captains (CLE) 11,Bowling Green Hot Rods 4
Sean Bierman was great in every single one of his professional starts entering Thursday. Unfortunately that streak came to an end, and in a big way. Luck played a factor in Bierman’s terrible performance, but mostly he just had a bad night. Bierman went 4.1 innings allowing 9 runs, 8 earned, on 9 hits, striking out 6 while walking 3. His groundout to flyout ratio was actually a perfect 6-0. 4 of his hits were groundball hits, but his biggest problem was a lack of the sharp command and control he had displayed in all his other starts as he had walked just 6 batters in 57.1 innings entering Thursday. Hopefully Bierman can get back on track in the Midwest League playoffs for Bowling Green. Nick Sawyer finished the game for Bowling Green, striking out 2 while allowing a hit in a shutout innings. Juniel Querecuto went 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, and a run scored, Cameron Seitzer had an RBI double, and Taylor Motter and Kes Carter had the other Bowling Green RBIs.
Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Hudson Valley Renegades 3, Brooklyn Cyclones (NYM) 1
Leonardo Reginatto came up huge in the 9th inning as the Hudson Valley Renegades clinched their first playoff birth since 1999, back when some guy named Josh Hamilton was on the team, hitting .312 with 10 homers and 18 steals. Eduar Quinonez went neck-and-neck with Cyclones ace Luis Mateo, going 6 innings allowing just 1 run on on 5 hits, striking out 3 while walking 3 as well but posting an 8-3 groundout to flyout ratio. Mateo went 7 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits for Brookyln, striking out 8 while walking just 1. His only blemish was a 4th inning RBI single by Justin O’Conner. Jose Alberto Molina followed Quinonez with 1.2 shutout innings before Ryan Garton got the final out of the 8th as the game went to the 9th tied 1-1. But then Reginatto delivered against Paul Sewald, slamming a go-ahead 2-run homer, and Garton worked a scoreless 9th as the Renegades won 3-1. Reginatto went 2 for 4 with his huge homer, Ryan Dunn went 1 for 3 with a walk, scoring the go-ahead run in the 9th on Reginatto’s blast, and Tommy Coyle went 2 for 4 with his 18 stolen base of the season. Pretty cool that he got his 18th steal, the same amount Hamilton had back in ’99, on the same night they clinched.