The Undercards: Elias Torres Lifts Renegades in 15 Innings

By Robbie Knopf

The Hudson Valley Renegades are off to a tremendous start to the 2014 New York-Penn League season, beginning the year 4-0. Monday’s game was a 15-inning nail-biter, but it was Elias Torres that ensured that they came out on top again.

Triple-A International League: Louisville Bats (CIN) 3, Durham Bulls 1

Enny Romero delivered a strong start, but David Holmberg was even better as the Durham Bulls lost 3-1. Romero went 6 innings allowing just 1 run on 4 hits, striking out 4 while walking 2, but Holmberg allowed no runs on 6 hits in 6 shutout frames, striking out 6 against 2 walks. Romero lowered his ERA to 5.35 with his nice game–ironically, Holmberg’s great performance only lowered his ERA to 7.39. On the offensive side, Hak-Ju Lee had a big night, going 3 for 5 with a double and the only run scored by the Bulls in the game. Lee is slowly starting to get himself back together after knee surgery, and a game like this is certainly encouraging. Brandon Guyer went 0 for 4 with a walk in his rehab start.

High-A Florida State League: St. Lucie Mets 6, Charlotte Stone Crabs 2

Leonel Santiago had another frustrating start, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits in 6 innings. That was enough to lose the Stone Crabs this game. On the offensive side, though, there were a couple of highlights. Julian Ridings began 2014 just 4 for his first 27 (.148), but he has now rattled off back-to-back multi-hit games after going 2 for 4 in this game. Leonardo Reginatto also went 2 for 4 with a double, a stolen base, and a run scored while Kes Carter went 1 for 3 with a walk and an RBI. Reginatto has never been a heralded prospect, but he continues to hit for Charlotte, managing a .303/.371/.350 line with 11 doubles, 20 RBI, and 13 stolen bases in 15 attempts. He even has a strong 33-23 strikeout to walk ratio. Reginatto will be a perennial sleeper at best, but it will be interesting to see if he can keep this up.

Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Hudson Valley Renegades 2, Aberdeen Ironbirds (BAL) 1 (15 innings)

The Renegades were looking for a four-game sweep of Aberdeen to begin the 2014 New York-Penn League, but the odds seemed long. They had gotten a tremendous start from Oscar Armenta, who allowed no runs on 2 hit and no walks while striking out 6, but Eli Echarry allowed an unearned run in the 8th and it looked like that would be enough. Leopoldo to begin the bottom of the 9th with a single and was pinch-ran for by Clayton Henning, but two straight groundouts brought Hudson Valley down to its final out. However, Bralin Jackson extended the game, drilling a game-tying RBI single to knot the game at 1. Then, after both bullpens delivered four shutout frames, the Renegades put something together with 2 outs in the 15th. Elias Torres singled, stole second base, reached third on an error, and scored on a wild pitch as the Renegades won 2-1. Torres had a huge game, going 4 for 6 with a walk and a run scored. He is now hitting .421 to begin his 2014, recording a hit in all four Renegades games. 2014 sixth rounder Mac James also performed well, going 2 for 4 with a double and 2 walks, and Echarry also deserves to be discussed again. He did allow that unearned run, but he went 5 innings allowing just that run on 2 hits, striking out 5 while walking none. Armenta and him combined for 10 innings allowing just 4 hits, striking out 11 while walking none. It does not get much better than that.