There is nothing quite like a winner-take-all playoff game. And when you win, your confidence soars.
Short Season-A New York-Penn League Playoffs Game 3: Hudson Valley Renegades 2, Brooklyn Cyclones (NYM) 0 (Renegades win series 2-1)
It came down to a Game 3 between the Renegades and Cyclones to decide who would head to the New York-Penn League finals. And the Renegades’ pitching came up huge. The Renegades had arguably the most talented pitcher in the New York-Penn League and one of the Rays’ top prospects, Taylor Guerrieri, heading to the mound and they had to feel very good about their chances. But Guerrieri’s control was off in the first inning, leading to 3 walks, but he was able to escape without allowing a run. And in the bottom of the first, the Renegades offense gave him some run support, with Joey Rickard leading off the game with a single and two batters later, 2012 first rounder Richie Shaffer drilled a booming triple to make it 1-0 Hudson Valley. Shaffer later scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0 Hudson Valley. That would be all the runs the Renegades would get against Luis Cessa and the Cyclones’ staff, but Guerrieri and the Renegades bullpen made it hold up. Guerrieri never got into a rhythm, allowing at least one baserunner in every inning from the first to fourth, and he only lasted 4 innings, allowing just 1 hit but striking out just 3 while walking 5. His control was way off- he walked just 5 batters against 45 strikeouts over the course of 52 innings during the regular season- but he battled to keep Brooklyn off the board and make the 2-0 lead stay that way. He was followed by Brandon Henderson, who provided tremendous relief work, going 4.1 perfect innings, striking out 6 while walking none. And Ryan Garton recorded the final 2 outs for the save as the Renegades celebrated a 2-0 victory in 1-hit fashion and are heading to the New York-Penn League finals. The Renegades’ incredible season continues as they won a franchise-record 52 games during the regular season and refused to back down after losing Game 1 in this best of 3 series versus the Cyclones, roaring back to win the next 2 to head to their first NYPL finals since 1999, when Josh Hamilton was on the team. The Renegades begin the NYPL Finals versus the Tri-City ValleyCats, the Astros affiliate who finished second to the Renegades for the best record in the NYPL, on Tuesday, and it’s going to be exciting to see if the Renegades can take home the New York-Penn League crown.