Hudson Valley Renegades: Gades Take Home NYPL Championship
The Hudson Valley Renegades are the 2017 New York-Penn League Champions. The Renegades beat the Vermont Lake Monsters 6-0 on Thursday night to complete the sweep of the championship series and bring home the organization’s third championship ring.
The Renegades powered through a nail-biting, 13-inning victory in game one on Wednesday night. On Thursday, it was quickly made clear that the only nail-biting going on was in anticipation of a celebration.
Coming into the game, they were faced with a difficult task in Vermont’s starting pitcher, Parker Dunshee. In 38.1 innings with the Lake Monster, Dunshee did not allow a single earned run. He was one of the NYPL’s top pitchers and an easy decision to have start game two.
Hudson Valley didn’t let that discourage them though, as they got the offense going immediately. Taylor Walls lead off the game with a hard-hit single to right. After Carl Chester grounded into a double play, Deion Tansel continued his hot hitting and singled to center. They weren’t able to put anything together but they made Dunshee work right out of the gate.
After Hudson Valley Renegades starting pitcher Drew Strotman worked a quick one-two-three bottom of the first, the Renegades’ five, six, and seven hitters were due up in the top of the second.
Catcher and postseason hero Zac Law leadoff with a single. He switched places on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Oscar Rojas, and Rafelin Lorenzo moved him to third with a double to left. Angel Perez brought them both home with a single to right, giving the Renegades a 2-0 lead.
It didn’t stop there as Perez moved to third on a wild pitch by Dunshee, and Vidal Brujan worked a walk. Another wild pitch and an error by catcher Jordan Devencenzi brought both Perez and Brujan home. Finally, Walls topped off the second with a solo homer to right field. 5-0 Renegades.
A five-run lead was more than enough for Strotman, who was at his absolute best. In six innings of work, Strotman allowed just one hit, an infield single by Greg Deichmann Jr. in the fourth. He walked just one batter and struck out five in the scoreless performance.
Strotman was relieved by Andrew Gist in the seventh, who was equally as dominant against the Lake Monsters’ offense. Gist went three scoreless, didn’t allow a hit, walked two and struck out three.
In the bottom of the ninth, the group of die-hard Renegades fans who made the long trip from Fishkill, New York rose to their feet. Mickey McDonald, pinch-hitting, grounded out to Tansel at third. Deichmann grounded out to first and the Renegades were just one out away.
After Logan Farrar worked a two-out walk, Gist quickly went up 0-2 on Jarrett Costa. Costa fouled a few off, but Gist struck him out swinging to seal the deal. Law ran to the pitcher’s mound and jumped into the arms of Gist, who was met by the mob of Renegades from the dugout.
Winning the NYPL Championship was the perfect finish to a crazy ride of a season. A double-digit losing streak, a record-setting winning streak, a slew of walk-off and come from behind victories made the Renegades’ 2017 season truly special.
It was the Hudson Valley Renegades third championship, winning it back in 1999 and 2012. They’ll head into their 25th season as the defending New York-Penn League Champions.