The Undercards: Renegades Come Up Clutch to Win New York-Penn League Championship

By Robbie Knopf

Every baseball player lives for Game 7 of the World Series, the rush of knowing that a strong performance can cement you in history. Game 3 of the New York-Penn League Championship is not anywhere near that level. But it was a winner-take-all game with the championship on the line, and the Renegades put together a great game.

Always great to see a Rays affiliate celebrating. (Credit: Poughkeepsie Journal)

Short Season-A New York-Penn League Championship Series Game 3: Hudson Valley Renegades 8, Tri-City ValleyCats (HOU) 3 (Hudson Valley wins series 2-1)

For the second straight playoff series, the Renegades lost the series opener and were forced to win two straight games to win the series. But the Renegades pulled it off in the first round of the playoffs, and now the ‘Gades have done it again as they delivered a great game to clinch the championship in resounding fashion. The Renegades started off in style with a 4-run first inning, scoring on a 2-run single by Ryan Dunn and RBI singles by Leonardo Reginatto and Jake DePew. Things got a little tense over the next couple innings as Matthew Spann struggled, allowing a run to cross on a wild pitch in the 2nd before Jesse Wierzbicki doubled home a run in the 3rd. Brandon Henderson had to come in to escape the jam Spann left with just 1 out in the 3rd. Spann allowed 2 runs on 3 hits in 2.1 innings in the game. But the relievers behind him were outstanding. Henderson went 2 innings allowing just a walk, striking out 4, and Marcus Jensen delivered 1.2 perfect frames. A sac fly and an error extended the Renegades’ lead to 6-2 in the 5th before a Joe Sclafani RBI single of Jose Alberto Molina made it 6-3 Hudson Valley. But a Marty Gantt RBI single and a wild pitch gave the Renegades a couple of insurance runs, and that loomed large as a couple of walks by Jordan Harrison gave Tri-City 2 on with 1 out in the 9th. But Ryan Garton came on and forced a pair of groundouts to seal the deal as the Renegades won 8-3. They clinched their first New York-Penn League championship since 1999, the year Josh Hamilton was on the team. Leonardo Reginatto capped off his hot postseason hitting by going 2 for 3 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored, and the Renegades got just 5 other hits, only one for extra-bases, but they went a great 5 for 12 with runners in scoring position on their way to 8 runs on just 7 hits. Renegades hitters made the ValleyCats pitching pay from the start until the finish, taking the pressure off their pitching staff on their way to a nice, easy win to clinch the championship. Congrats to the Renegades on a great game and an outstanding season.

That’s it for our Rays minor league recaps for a while. I hope you enjoyed reading about how the Rays’ prospects have performed day after day and got to appreciate the talents that the Rays have in their system. It was an exciting minor league season for the Rays capped off by this Renegades championship and hopefully more excitement is to come.