The Hudson Valley Renegades defeated the Staten Island Yankees in game three of the semifinals yesterday, punching their ticket to the New York-Penn League Championship. It’s Hudson Valley’s second straight championship appearance and fourth in club history. Defeating the Yankees, owners of the best record in the league, was no easy task. Here’s a look at how the semifinals played out this past week.
Game One at Dutchess Stadium
Game one turned into an instant classic with the action kicking off right away. The Yankees took a 1-0 lead on a RBI single from Timmy Robinson in the top of the first. Hudson Valley’s starter Tobias Myers would settle down though and didn’t allow the Yankees to score another run until the fifth.
The Hudson Valley Renegades caught a break in the bottom of the fourth when a line drive off the bat of Zac Law skipped past center fielder Andy Diaz and rolled all the way to the wall. Both Brendan McKay and Law would come all the way around to score and give the Renegades the 2-1 lead.
Robinson would then come up big for the Yankees again with a two-out solo homer to tie the game at two, where it would stay until the 13th inning.
Carl Chester led off with a single to right for the Renegades and was moved over on a sacrifice bunt by Deion Tansel. McKay was intentionally walked, bringing Law to the plate with two on and one out. Law then delivered the huge three-run walk-off homer down the leftfield line to give the Renegades the win.
Hunter Schryver, Matt Vogel, and Zack Mozingo combined to throw six scoreless innings for Hudson Valley, with Mozingo being credited with the victory. The Renegades took a 1-0 lead in the semifinals and headed to Staten Island for games two and three.
Game Two at Richmond County Bank Ballpark
The Yankees took advantage of sloppy baseball by the Renegades from the get-go in game two. Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria, who is on a rehab assignment, took the hill for Hudson Valley. After a leadoff walk and single, Faria allowed both runners to move up on an errant pickoff attempt at second.
Game one’s source of offense for Staten Island, Timmy Robinson, came through once again with a two-run double to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead.
They scored again in the fourth, starting with a single from Welfrin Mateo. He moved all the way to third on two wild pitches from Faria and came home on a passed ball. Nearly the same sequence happened again in the sixth, giving the Yankees a 4-0 lead.
Hudson Valley had their opportunities, and even out-hit Staten Island nine to four, but was unable to turn them into anything. Angel Perez finished the night 3-4 with a RBI while Deion Tansel finished 2-4 with a double.
Jonathan Loaisiga was credited with the win for the Yankees after throwing five scoreless innings. Faria was tagged with the loss and the Yankees and the Hudson Valley Renegades would head into a deciding game three on Tuesday night.
Game Three at Richmond County Bank Ballpark
With the series tied at one, the Renegades sent the Rays’ No. 3 and MLB’s No. 20 overall prospect, Brendan McKay, to the mound. The Yankees countered with Juan De Paula.
Unlike games one and two, it was Hudson Valley who struck first in game three. Carl Chester started it off with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch and was brought home on a single by Deion Tansel. Angel Perez stayed hot and followed it up with a two-run homer to right-center, giving the Renegades a 3-0 lead.
Staten Island looked to put something together in the sixth following a two-out solo homer from Andy Diaz but Renegades pitching shut them down.
Game one’s hero, Zac Law, padded the Renegades’ lead with a three-run double in the seventh, increasing their lead to 7-1, where it would stay.
McKay was nearly untouchable in his postseason pitching debut with a sparkling five shutout innings. He allowed just one hit, didn’t walk a batter and struck out six. Jhonleider Salinas came in as relief in the sixth and held the Yankees to just one run in four innings pitched. McKay was credited with the win while Salinas earned the four-inning save.
It was all Hudson Valley as they take the semifinals two games to one. The Renegades look to carry that momentum into game one of the New York-Penn League Championship Series against the Vermont Lake Monsters on Wednesday night. The Lake Monsters made quick work of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, taking the series two games to none. The two teams should make for a great championship series which kicks off 6:35 p.m. Wednesday night at Dutchess Stadium.