Blue Rocks fall back to .500 following 5-2 loss to Renegades

Blue Rocks pitcher Cole Henry on the bump for his first rehab start with the team. Friday, May 26, 2023. Photo via @WilmBlueRocks on Twitter

The Wilmington Blue Rocks dropped their second straight game against the Hudson Valley Renegades 5-2 on Friday night. 

After scoring a combined 18 runs in the past two games, the Rocks’ offense went stagnant and a big seventh inning for the Renegades all but sealed the deal.

The Rocks had Cole Henry on the bump. Henry came into the game with a 0-0 record in 7.0 innings of work with 11 strikeouts and a 0.00 ERA. That would change quickly.

After a clean top of the first, Henry surrendered a one-out solo home run off the bat of Spencer Henson, his eighth of the season, to give the Renegades a 1-0 lead. 

In the bottom half of the second, the Rocks would manage to load the bases with two outs and left fielder Jacob Young coming up to the plate — but Young would fly out to end the inning. 

“We just have to put the ball in play,” shortstop Erick Mejia said. “We just have to continue to hit the ball and one day, it’s going to come through.” 

The Rocks would send Henry back out for the third and fourth which he got through cleanly. In his rehab start, Henry threw 4.0 innings, allowing one run on three hits while walking two and striking out three. 

In the top of the fifth, a two-out RBI single by Eduardo Torrealba brought in Ben Cowles to extend the Renegades’ lead 2-0. 

In the bottom half of the fifth, Young would redeem himself. With one away and nobody on base, Young hit a line drive single on a rope to center field. A fielding error by Spencer Jones allowed Young to advance to third where he would later score on a sacrifice groundout by Mejia to make it 2-1. 

“I was just hoping it got down, trying to get something started,” Young said. “When I saw it get by him, I know it’s pretty deep out there so I was thinking either triple or home run right there…If Mario gave me the go, I was going.”

Young is now batting .303 this season and has continued to make his presence felt at the top of the lineup for the Rocks, especially in this series. 

“It’s a long season,” Young said. “It’s the first month, it’s a grind. Last year, my first full season, you learn that it’s a grind and you kinda gotta be even keeled and just kind of stay positive no matter what, here.” 

In the top of the seventh, costly pitching mistakes led to a three-run inning for the Renegades. Torrealba would lead off the inning reaching base on a hit by pitch, Rodney Theophile’s second hit batter in as many innings. Torrealba would then go on to steal second and be brought home on an RBI double by Aaron Palensky. The Renegades would score again before the Rocks could record an out and would go on to take a commanding 5-1 lead.

A one-out single up the middle from Caleb Farmer got things going for the Rocks in the seventh. After moving over to second on a groundout, Farmer would score on an RBI single by Young to make it 5-2.

In the eighth and ninth innings, both teams would go down quietly, and the Renegades would take a 3-1 series lead over the Rocks with two games remaining. 

“We’re good,” Mejia said. “We just have to continue to play hard…it’s baseball, that’s just how it is.” 

The two teams are set to meet again tomorrow night at Daniel S. Frawley Stadium with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

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