The Undercards: Renegades Lose 10-Inning Nail-Biter in NYPL Finals Opener

By Robbie Knopf

The playoffs often feature classic games. You never want to be remembered as the team that fought valiantly and lost. The Renegades suffered that fate on Wednesday and you have to hope they can turn their fate around the rest of the NYPL Championship Series.

Reginatto was the one player the ValleyCats could not get out, but his teammates could not do enough around him. (Credit: Flickr user hapzydeco)

Short Season-A New York-Penn League Game 1 (Best of 3): Tri-City ValleyCats (HOU) 5, Hudson Valley Renegades 4 (10 innings)

This game featured it all  for the Renegades. But none of that matters as this one failed to go down in the win column and forces the Renegades to win their next 2 games to win the championship. The Renegades got off to an outstanding start to the game in the top of the 1st against Tri-City starter Juri Perez. A Joey Rickard double, an error, and a balk scored Hudson Valley’s first run before the next 2 came in resounding fashion as Luke Maile drilled a 2-run home run to make it 3-0 before the ValleyCats came to bat. But after a scoreless bottom of the 1st, Eduar Quinonez allowed Tri-City to pull within a run on a Dan Gulbransen 2-run homer. Then the following inning, Austin Elkins slammed another 2-run shot and suddenly the Renegades trailed 4-3. Quinonez lasted just 3.2 innings allowing 4 runs on 5 hits, striking out just 2 while walking 3. Perez, meanwhile, following the rough 1st inning with 4 shutout frames. The game would come down to a battle of the bullpens. Lefty Jordan Harrison got the final out of the 4th inning and then tossed the next 3 frames, retiring 10 batters in a row, 4 via the strikeout, to keep the Renegades down a run. Marcus Jensen then tossed a perfect 8th. On the other side, Vincent Velasquez tossed 3 shutout innings for the ValleyCats in relief of Perez to take the game to the 9th inning. Velasquez came back out for the 9th as he attempted to finish off a 4-inning save, but with 1 out, Leonardo Reginatto came up huge again for the Renegades, drilling a game-tying solo home run to knot the game at 4. Jensen retired the side in order in the bottom of the 9th to send the game into extra-innings. In the 10th, the Renegades stranded a pair of runners, with Ryan Dunn grounding into a force play with Reginatto the batter on deck. And in the bottom of the 10th, Jensen allowed 3 straight 1-out singles before Preston Tucker won the game for Tri-City with a sac fly as the ValleyCats defeated the Renegades 5-4. Tri-City could not get Reginatto out as he went 2 for 2 with the clutch solo homer along with 2 walks and even stole base, and Luke Maile went 2 for 5 with his 2-run shot, but the Renegades failed to generate any offense from the 1st inning through the 8th and then stranded 2 in the 10th, and that was the difference in the game. Jesse Hahn will make the start for Hudson Valley on Wednesday as they hope to send the New York-Penn League Championship Series to a deciding Game 3.