WAPPINGERS FALLS – The one consistent thing about the Hudson Valley Renegades this season has been the effort put forth on the field. First year manager Michael Johns has commended his team numerous times because of their inability to succumb to adversity. Of their three McNamara Division opponents, only Brooklyn has had their number so far. And after Wednesday night’s disheartening 3-1 loss, the Cyclones had taken six of the first nine meetings in the season series. Thursday night at Dutchess Stadium played a different tune, as the ‘Gades used a big game from first baseman John Alexander and four runs in the seventh inning to take the final showdown by a 6-4 score.
The Cyclones scared the sellout crowd of 5,539 right away with two runs in the first inning against lefthander Chris Kirsch. Two straight singles by Ismael Tiejrina and Gavin Cecchini brought up Tomas Nido, who sent a groundball to short. Darryl George fielded it cleanly, but his throw to second baseman Ariel Soriano was dropped and the bases were loaded with one out. James Roche then rolled a grounder back to Kirsch, who threw to second base in an attempt to start an inning-ending double play. But neither George nor Soriano were covering the base, and the ball sailed into center field to bring in a pair of runs and quickly make it 2-0.
Kirsch would not allow another hit the rest of the way, and departed after the top of the fifth to watch his team tie the ballgame. After going hitless through the first four innings against Dawrin Frias, Renegades third baseman Ty Young led off the bottom of the fifth with a double. George’s RBI single plated Young and cut the deficit in half to 2-1. George would then advance to second on the throw back in to the infield. After a Granden Goetzman strikeout and a wild pitch, Alexander’s sac fly to center brought George home and tied the score at two apiece.
Later in the top of the seventh with the score still tied, the Cyclones had runners at the corners with two outs against Tyler Gauthier. Michael Johns went to his bullpen and summoned Eli Echarry, who got leadoff hitter Patrick Biondi to ground out to retire the side. The Renegades then turned the corner when they came to the plate, and delivered that big inning that’s been lacking for some time.
Oscar Hernandez opened the frame with an infield single against Kevin McGowan. A walk to Young put runners at first and second before Goetzman’s one out single into left field loaded the bases for Alexander. He turned on an 0-1 offering with his first triple of the year down into the right field corner, clearing the bases and driving in three runs to give the ‘Gades a 5-2 lead. He’d come into score on a pitch that got past the catcher Colton Plaia to make it 6-2. Echarry (5-2) gave up a one out infield single to Cecchini in the eighth before surrendering a deep two-run home run to Roche that made it 6-4. However, he’d retire the Cyclones in order in the ninth to lock up the victory. The win was his fifth on the year, giving him the team lead.
Julian Ridings went 2-for-4 with a double. Though seven of the nine Renegades reached base safely in the contest, Soriano’s five-game hitting streak came to an end after an 0-for-4 night at the plate. Alexander’s four RBIs is a personal best and makes him just the third Renegades player to total four RBIs in a game this season, joining Ariel Soriano and Oscar Hernandez. With another stellar performance under his belt, Gauthier has not allowed a run in his last two appearances after allowing five in his first two.