Violent storms rumbled through New York State Saturday evening, postponing both New York Penn League semi final playoff games up in Troy, where the Tri City Valley Cats are hosting the Auburn Doubledays, and down in Wappingers Falls, where the Renegades are hosting Brooklyn. Waiting out the fast moving storms was never even a consideration. A confirmed tornado touched down in Queens, and threats of more twisters striking the tri-state area ended any thoughts of venturing outside. Resumption of the series would have to wait for Sunday.
Once playoff baseball finally resumed at Dutchess Stadium, the Hudson Valley Renegades proceeded to rout the Brooklyn Cyclones. The series is now knotted at a game apiece. Renegades ace pitcher, Jeff Ames, came through for the Hudson Valley faithful, as the home team held serve. Including the regular season, this was only the Renegades fourth victory over Brooklyn. The Cyclones have won eight times. Records matter not however. The final meeting of the 2012 season between these division rivals takes place Monday evening. Game Three will now decide which team advances to the New York Penn League championship round.
The Renegades went through five Brooklyn pitchers en route to an 8-1 victory. They knocked Cyclones starter, Luis Mateo, the 2012 NYPL strikeout king, and #2 guy in WHiP, out of the box after five innings. He surrendered six hits, three runs (two earned), and walked two. Hudson Valley’s starter Jeff Ames, the NYPL’s #3 ERA leader was solid through six full innings pitched. In earning credit for winning Game Two, he allowed six hits, and threw one bad pitch in the fifth. He walked none and struck out four.
In the fourth inning, the Cyclones escaped larger troubles by limiting the Renegades to a single run. Hudson Valley loaded the bases with no outs against Luis Mateo. But all the home team managed was a sac-fly to make the game a 2-0 affair.
Brooklyn finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth. Right fielder Eudy Pina led off the inning with his first home run of the playoffs, and his sixth overall. Then in the bottom half of the inning, Hudson Valley matched it. Actually, the Cyclones gave it up. An error by shortstop Phillip Evans allowed Hudson Valley to extend their lead.
The Cyclones bullpen didn’t fare as well. Or rather, Hudson Valley wasn’t nearly through with Brooklyn pitchers yet. Paul Sewald pitched a solid sixth inning. Logan Taylor’s appearance in the seventh inning however, was nightmarish. He failed to complete the frame. Before walking off the hill, Hudson Valley tagged him for three runs on four hits. Beck Wheeler was summoned to secure the third out of the inning. Matthew Koch was then tasked with pitching the eighth. Another four hits and two runs later, Koch joined his dejected mates in the showers. In all, the Renegades pounded out twelve hits against Brooklyn pitching.
In the NYPL semi final match up taking place in Troy, the Auburn Doubledays tied their series against the Tri City Valley Cats with a 5-2 victory. The Valley Cats won Friday night’s game by a 5-4 score. Game Three of this series is also scheduled for Monday evening. The winners of Monday’s games will face off in the 2012 NYPL championship round.