The Wilmington Blue Rocks had a long night at the plate against the Hudson Valley Renegades Wednesday, September 7, dropping game two of their six-game series 3-1 after blowing a 1-0 lead late in the game.
Wilmington was quick to get on the board, scoring their lone run in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a leadoff walk and aggressive baserunning from centerfielder Cody Wilson, who would later leave the game due to an injury.
After the first inning, the offense was stagnant. The Blue Rocks were only able to come up with three hits and one walk while striking out ten times. Renegades starting pitcher Richard Fitts went 6.2 innings allowing only two hits, one walk and one unearned run while striking out eight batters.
“He had good stuff today,” Blue Rocks Catcher Onix Vega said. “Umpires weren’t that good today but that’s not an excuse… he was doing good so tip the cap to him. [Tomorrow,] we’re going to be more ready for fastballs.”
“We were a little bit late with the fastball,” Wilmington Manager Mario Lisson added. “We got some good pitches to hit but we were late and fouled them or would swing and miss… Our success is going to happen when we are ready to hit the fastball and we have our foot down, ready to go.”
The Blue Rocks defense would step up early in the game and get the team out of some trouble. In the top of the third inning, left fielder Justin Connell robbed the Renegades’ Tyler Hardman of a base hit with an impressive diving catch. Shortly after in the same inning, Wilson would rob Spencer Henson of an extra-base hit to end the inning.
“A lot of the year we’ve been playing a lot of close games and we’ve been able to play solid defense,” Lisson said. “It’s not always like that, I think this is a privilege that we get to play a lot of games like that and the guys stay focused and make plays.”
The seventh inning is where the tables turned. After keeping the Renegades shutout for six innings, they piled on three runs in the seventh. A trio of doubles from Ben Cowles, Kyle Battle and Anthony Siegler was good enough to give the Renegades a 2-1 lead. A wild pitch and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Henson were good enough to score Siegler and give the Renegades a 3-1 lead.
“In that inning, we got in some trouble and there was nothing we could do about it,” Vega said.
Those three runs would be all Hudson Valley needed to take game two, winning 3-1. With the series all tied up, the teams will be back at it again tonight at 6:35 p.m. The Hudson Valley Renegades will have southpaw Edgar Barclay on the mound tonight. The Wilmington Blue Rocks have yet to announce their starter for tonight’s game.
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