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Yankees prospect Antonio Gomez signing autographs post-game. (Gavin Hayes/Pinstriped Prospects)
Yankees prospect Antonio Gomez signing autographs post-game. (Gavin Hayes/Pinstriped Prospects)


Renegades Recap: Hudson Valley Wins Four of Six in Series Versus Aberdeen

The Hudson Valley Renegades hosted the Aberdeen IronBirds (Orioles High-A Affiliate) from April 11th through April 16th. 

April 11th – Spencer and Co. Deliver 

Chase Hampton was excellent for Hudson Valley in his first professional debut. The 21-year-old went 4.1 innings, giving up three hits, on no earned runs. Hampton also struck out eight batters. Hampton’s fastball touched 94 to 95 consistently. Although Hampton threw a lot of pitches (73), the sixth-round draft pick impressed in his ability to change speeds. In combination with his fastball, Hampton’s slider forced batters to swing on pitches out of the zone.

The bullpen also had a great day, only allowing a single run. Clay Aguilar got the win, going 2.1 innings while not allowing a hit. Jack Neely, who stands at 6’8”, came in for relief in the last two innings. Isaac Bellony hit a solo homer off Neely, all too late though. Hudson Valley was ahead 15 runs at the time.  

The influx of offense was provided by multiple players, most notably Spencer Henson and Spencer Jones. Henson homered twice, a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth, and a no-doubt grand slam in the seventh inning. Spencer Jones went yard in his first at bat, and again in the fourth inning. Aberdeen’s starting pitcher Alex Pham was relieved of his duties after giving up his second homerun to Jones. Pham pitched only 3.1 innings, gave up four hits, three walks, and four earned runs.

After the game on Tuesday, I was fortunate enough to speak with Spencer Jones about his performance. First, I asked Jones whether or not he was looking for a certain pitch on his leadoff home run. “For the most part, I’m looking to attack fastballs early in the count. I just happened to get one over the plate, and took a good swing at it.” I then asked Spencer, has there been a driving force in your early success this year? “I’ve been trusting the hard work I put in during the offseason. It’s just baseball, so I try to keep things simple.”

To finish the interview, I asked Spencer what kind of approach he took in his second at bat, in which he homered. “I was just looking for something I can handle, I knew he had a breaking ball. At first I looked for a fastball, but then I saw the curveball pop, and took a swing at it.”

Yankees OF prospect Spencer Jones taking batting practice. (Gavin Hayes/Pinstriped Prospects)

Yankees OF prospect Spencer Jones taking batting practice. (Gavin Hayes/Pinstriped Prospects)

Final Score: Renegades 15, IronBirds 1

Notable Performances: 

RHP Chase Hampton: 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 8 K’s 

1B Spencer Henson: 2 – 5, / 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R 

CF Spencer Jones: 3 – 5 / 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R 

April 12th – Aaron Palensky and Ben Cowles Lead ‘Gades to Victory  

Joel Valdez took the bump for the ‘Gades on Wednesday. Valdez pitched 3.2 innings, allowing four runs on two hits. Struggling to command his arsenal, Joel walked four batters. Despite the rough outing, Renegades hitters still took advantage of their matchup versus Daniel Lloyd. The Orioles prospect allowed six hits through four innings, giving up four earned runs. In the bottom of the second inning, outfielder Aaron Palensky homered off Lloyd.

Palensky got on base three more times this game, scoring two runs as well. Ben Cowles tied the game in the bottom of the fourth, with a home run of his own off Daniel Lloyd.  The pair hit toward the bottom of the order, Palensky 6th and Cowles 7th, respectively.  

Caleb Durbin and Ben Rice also had good days at the plate, both going two for four, each driving in a run. Both players also managed to steal a base. A Spencer Henson sacrifice fly tied the game, again, in the fifth inning. Aaron Palensky then hit a line drive single, which scored Anthony Garcia. This gave the Hudson Valley a one run advantage. In the sixth inning, Spencer Jones brought in a run on a sac-fly. This set the score at 7-5, advantage Renegades. 

H.V. blew the doors off in the seventh inning. Starting with a Ben Rice single, and Anthony Garcia walk, Spencer Henson came to the plate. Henson put the ball in play, reaching on a fielder’s choice. Rice scored, and Henson advanced to second on a throwing error. Aaron Palensky then singled, bringing Anthony Garcia home, advancing Henson to third. Up next, Ben Cowles singled, moving Palensky to second, scoring Henson. Catcher Rafael Flores singled, scoring Palensky.

The Renegades’ scoring barrage finally ended, fittingly so, in the eighth inning. Aaron Palensky roped a triple that scored a run. The triple made Palensky a double shy of the cycle. Nonetheless, the performance was tremendous. 

Enrique Santana was awarded the win. Harold Cortijo and Bailey Dees were both given holds.  

Final Score: Renegades 12, IronBirds 5

Notable Performances: 

LF Aaron Palensky: 4 – 5 / HR, Triple, 4 RBI, 2 R 

SS Ben Cowles: 2 – 5, / 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R 

April 13th – Cowles Homers in Back to Back Games, Renegades Mount Comeback

Tyrone Yulie made his first start on Thursday for the Renegades. Yulie went 4.1 innings, gave up four hits, and two earned runs. Aberdeen’s starter, Jean Pinto, made his second appearance of the year. Pinto was excellent through five innings, only giving up three hits, and one earned run. Aberdeen scored first, on a Jud Fabian sac-fly. The next run came in the fifth, when Luis Valdez singled, giving Aberdeen an early 2-0 lead. A Marcos Cabrera throwing error sent Valdez home.

After Yulie struck out Dylan Beavers, the Renegades made a call to the bullpen. Nick Paciorek came in for relief, giving up one hit, striking out two. Paciorek allowed outfielder Jud Fabian to single, which sent Max Wagner home. Going into the bottom of the fifth inning, Aberdeen extended their lead 4-0. In the fifth inning, shortstop Ben Cowles gave Hudson Valley their first run of the game. His second homerun in a 24-hour span, Cowles ignited the dormant bats.

Rafael Sanchez then scored Aldenis Sanchez on a fielders choice, making it a 4-2 game. Marcos Cabrera then hit a clutch three run bomb, giving Hudson Valley a 5-4 lead. In the seventh, catcher Antonio Gomez gave the ‘Gades one final insurance run. In a full count, Gomez doubled, scoring Aldenis Sanchez.

Nick Paciorek was given the win, Carlos Gomez the hold, and Ryan Anderson was awarded the save.

Final Score: Renegades 6, IronBirds 4

Notable Performances: 

3B Marcos Cabrera: 2 – 4 / HR, Double, 3 RBI, 1 R

SS Ben Cowles: 1 – 3 / HR, 1 RBI, 2 R

RHP Jean Pinto: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 8 K’s

April 14th – Henson Extends Winning Streak to Four Games, Messinger Dominates Again

The home fans were treated to another masterful performance by Zach Messinger, throwing six innings and allowing zero runs on only three hits. The 2021 13th rounder also struck out seven batters. Sadly enough, Messinger did not get the win. Run support came in the seventh, with Harold Cortijo on the bump, who got the win. After Aldenis Sanchez and Luis Santos were retired, Kyle Battle reached on a walk. Battle then stole second, and reached home on a Caleb Durbin single.

Ben Rice took one for the team, getting hit by a pitch. Spencer Henson then came to the plate and roped a bases-clearing double. Second baseman Luis Valdez made an error, in turn Spencer Henson scored, giving the Renegades a 4-0 lead. Aberdeen scored their first run in the ninth inning, on a wild pitch. Jack Neely pitched 1.1 innings, giving up two hits and one earned run. Bailey Dees entered for the final out, getting the save.

Final Score: Renegades 4, IronBirds 1

Notable Performances:

RHP Zach Messinger: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 7 K’s

1B Spencer Henson: 1 – 4 / Double, 2 RBI, 1 R

April 15th – Silent Bats for H.V. Lead to Aberdeen’s First Win in the Series

Juan Carela had a great bounce-back start on Saturday. He went 4.1 innings, gave up two hits, no runs, striking out nine. Aberdeen’s starter Trace Bright also performed well. Bright pitched 4.2 innings, giving up four hits, and one earned run. In the bottom of the third inning, Spencer Jones knocked in the games first run. Jones doubled, bringing Ben Cowles (who doubled) home.

Aberdeen tied the game in the seventh inning, on a Max Wagner sac-fly. The game’s winning run wouldn’t appear until the ninth inning. Isaac De Leon walked, then Noelberth Romero singled. De Leon advanced to third base. Up next, Luis Valdez just needed to put the ball in play. Valdez did so, scoring De Leon on a fielder’s choice. Hudson Valley’s Danny Watson took the loss, pitching 1.1 innings, allowing four hits, one earned run.

Aberdeen’s Ryan Long got the win, pitching four hitless innings in relief.

Final Score: IronBirds 2, Renegades 1

Notable Performances:

RHP Ryan Long: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 3 K’s

RHP Trace Bright: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 8 K’s

2B Max Wagner: 1 – 3 / 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 R

April 16th – Renegades Fail to Complete a Comeback vs. IronBirds

Drew Thorpe made his second start in the final game of the series. Thorpe had a rough outing, allowing three earned runs on four hits. Luckily for Thorpe, Abredeen’s starter Kyle Virbitsky struggled. Virbitsky only went three innings, and also allowed three runs on four hits.

Aberdeen scored early, putting up three runs in the first inning. A passed ball scored Frederick Bencosme, Thorpe then gave up his second homer in two straight appearances. Adam Retzbach brought Max Wagner in on his long ball, but Hudson Valley would answer in the bottom half.

A Caleb Durbin single drove in two runs, Antonio Gomez then tied the game on a fielder’s choice.

In the top of the fifth, a Drew Thorpe wild pitch gave Aberdeen a 4-3 lead. Hudson Valley tied it in the sixth, when Aldenis Sanchez brought in Antonio Gomez on a sacrifice fly. The winning run, again, came in the ninth inning for Aberedeen. Luis Valdez sent a ball fly ball to center field, scoring Ryan Higgins, who reached base on a bunt.

Renegades’ LHP Ryan Anderson took the loss, giving up one run through two innings. Aberdeen’s Keegan Gillies picked up his second win, throwing two hitless innings, striking out four.

Final Score: IronBirds 5, Renegades 4

Notable Performances:

RHP Keegan Gillies: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 4 K’s

C Adam Retzbach: 1 – 4 / HR, 2 RBI, 1 R

RF Luis Valdez: 2 – 3 / Double,  1 RBI, 1 R

Written By

Nineteen year old college student, passion for baseball and journalism. Social Media Accounts: Twitter @GHayesBlog / Instagram @GavinRHayes Contact: ghayes1088@gmail.com / 845-372-1682

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