Blue Rocks fall to Renegades in extra inning thriller

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TJ White jogs home after hitting a home run. White drove in two-runs with his fifth inning home run. - Wednesday, May 1, 2024. - Photo via Payton Tuorto

After a 12-2 loss the previous night against the Hudson Valley Renegades, the Wilmington Blue Rocks once again suffered defeat on Wednesday, May 1. This time, the Rocks put up much more of a fight, going into the 11th inning in what would be a 13-10 loss.

The Blue Rocks’ offense was kickstarted throughout the night by the team’s patience at the plate. The team drew 13 walks, which was just one shy of the Renegades’ franchise record for walks allowed in one game.

The bottom of the lineup would be a contributing factor to Wilmington’s offense throughout the game too. The two guys at the bottom of the order who helped the Blue Rocks the most were T.J. White and Branden Boissiere.

It was a 2-2 game going into the fifth with T.J. White up to bat. With Trey Harris at third, White hit a pitch right down the middle into right field, giving the Rocks the 4-2 advantage. 

Coming into the game, White had been struggling at the plate, with an average below .200 and an OPS of .600. This home run could get White going at the plate.

“I have been seeing it pretty well,” White said. “I am just not getting good luck. I’ve been making good contact. There’s nothing I can really do about it. I just have to continue to put a good swing on it.”

Like White, Boissiere came into the game batting below the Mendoza line, but he got things started early for the Blue Rocks with a two-run single.

Then, in the bottom of the ninth, with Kevin Made and Trey Harris on base, Boissiere had the chance to tie the game with a single swing and send the game into extras. He did just that with a drive into right-center field, making it a 7-7 ball game. This was Boissiere’s first home run of the season.

“It felt amazing,” Boissiere said. “I have been working on a lot of stuff in the cages to just find my swing again, and I think I found it. Just gonna continue to roll with it to help the team win.”

Hudson Valley got continuous offensive sparks from one specific player throughout the game, Jared Serna.

Serna hit three of his five home runs this season off of three different Blue Rocks pitchers in the game. Those three pitchers were starter Luke Young, and relievers Brendan Collins, and Todd Peterson. Serna would drive in nearly half of the Renegades’ runs with 6 RBI. The final home run off Peterson was a two-run home run that once again gave Hudson Valley a three-run lead in the top of the 10th.

A Daylen Lile single and a Harris fielder’s choice allowed the Rocks to fall one run behind Hudson Valley. A wild pitch then allowed Lile to score, once again tying it in extras at 10 a piece.

“The energy was great today,” Boissiere said. “Everyone was backing each other up, so it was really good.”

That would be the last time the Blue Rocks scored, and with the Renegades scoring three runs in the 11th, that wrapped up the ball game.

The Blue Rocks’ pitching struggled throughout the game, giving up 14 hits and walking 10. Surrendering 24 baserunners is never a recipe for success in any baseball game.

With about a third of the first half already done, the Blue Rocks need to continue to build wins, especially against the Renegades, a team that they trail in the standings. With four games left in the series, Wilmington can still split or even win this game stretch.

“That was a tough one,” White said. “We are a good fighting team, we believe in ourselves, and we will be ready for tomorrow.”

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