Trey Harris makes his professional debut at third as the Blue Rocks take down the Renegades

Trey Harris stands at first. Harris played first and third in the Blue Rocks 4-3 win over the Renegades. - Tuesday, June 4, 2024. / Photo via Payton Tuorto

After a doubleheader split on Thursday, the Wilmington Blue Rocks (26-28) rallied back from an early 3-0 deficit against the Hudson Valley Renegades (27-26) to take home a thrilling 4-3 win on Friday, June 7.

Just like the first game yesterday, Rafael Flores and Omar Martinez got the inning started for Hudson Valley after they both drew walks. Then on the first pitch of the next at-bat, Garrett Martin doubled into left field to score Flores, and then a pair of sacrifice flies from Josh Moylan and Cole Gabrielson rounded out the scoring and gave Hudson Valley an early 3-0 advantage.

“Ultimately just trying to be a little bit too precise in that second inning,” Cornelio said. “Our defense is really, really good. It’s really, really hard to defend a walk so I just need to trust it a little bit better and get in the zone more often and try and minimize damage when I can.”

The Renegades and starter Kyle Carr failed to record the shutdown inning though, as Johnathon Thomas hit a sacrifice fly of his own to score Matt Suggs, who led the inning off with a double after being down in the count 1-2.

“Just trying to put something in play,” Suggs said. “Nothing good ever happens when you strike out so I just tried to put something in play and make something happen for the team.”

From there, Cornelio got a better feel for his two best pitches and really settled in with seven strong innings. He allowed just two hits and one walk the rest of the way.

“I think I got my slider and my changeup back,” Cornelio said. “Those have kind of been my bread and butter, trying to play the east and west game.”

“Probably his best outing all year,” manager Mario Lisson added. “He mixed it very well. The slider was working. He did a good job. Him and Suggs got together with a good plan and executed and gave us a very good shot to win this game.”

The score remained deadlocked at 3-1 until the fifth inning when the Blue Rocks tied it at three. After taking the first pitch of the inning for a strike, third baseman Phillip Glasser was hit by the pitch in the wrist and had to leave the game. This led to Will Frizzell coming into the game, who, along with Daylen Lile, came around to score after Kevin Made hit a ball up the middle that bounced off the shortstop Jared Serna’s glove and trickled into shallow center field. 

With the injury to Glasser, Lisson was forced to make a defensive change. Frizzell stayed in the game and played first, sliding Trey Harris over to third for the first time since high school.

“It was fun,” Harris said. “I take my reps every day like everybody else and you never know when it’s your time, so I guess it was mine.”

“Once Phil went down we all looked around and was like ‘yeah there’s only one option, young Terone’s gotta go over there’ so I went over there and was waiting for that first play and see what happens.”

Unfortunately for Harris, a ball never got hit his way.

The two teams were trading zeros again until the bottom of the seventh, when Viandel Pena, who led the inning off with a single, crossed the plate as the final run of the game after a throwing error from reliever Hueston Morrill on a comebacker off the bat of Jeremy De La Rosa. 

Wilmington had a chance to add a key insurance run in the eighth after Suggs led off with a double and then stole second to get into scoring position, but back-to-back strikeouts left him stranded at third and the Blue Rocks took a one-run lead into the ninth.

After he pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, Lisson kept Thomas Schultz out there for the ninth, but he ran into trouble quickly. He walked Jesus Rodriguez to open the frame and then Flores singled to advance him to second. Two batters later, Martin reached after a catcher’s interference which loaded the bases with just one out and ended Schultz’s day.

Luckily for Wilmington, Matt Cronin came in and slammed the door shut on any hope Hudson Valley had left, striking out Moylan and Gabrielson to end the game. The emotion was flowing through Suggs afterward, who let out a giant fist pump after Gabrielson swung through the final pitch.

“Everybody played their part today,” Suggs said. “We had a real gritty win. It feels good to be in the W column again.”

Another person who was glad to see the team back in the win column was Cornelio, who picked up his fifth win of the year, which is tied for the most in the South Atlantic League.

“My parents were here too so it was nice for everything to come together today,” Cornelio said. “It was a fun day.”

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