Friday, Aug. 24—Just like last night, the Renegades leadoff man walked to lead off the first inning and scored on a single by Richie Shaffer. Unlike last night, when the initial tally held up for a 1-0 victory, a lot of scoring by both teams followed as the Renegades held on to defeat the Aberdeen IronBirds 8-7. The victory moved the Gades six games ahead of the Brooklyn Cyclones in the McNamara Division.
The Renegades were up 6-0 after five innings but the IronBirds scored seven runs during the next two frames, snapping a record string of 37 scoreless innings by Hudson Valley pitchers over the past few games. Right fielder Charles Epperson then became the man of the hour in the home seventh, with a double that scored shortstop Leonardo Reginatto with what proved to be the winning run. Please click here to read the game story on the Gades’ Web site.
As always, I had a good time sharing the game with John, Colleen, Mike and his friend Greg, who were in the Fleischman seats tonight. Young Thomas was able to join me in a vacated Interstate Battery Seat for the final couple of innings and the six-minute fireworks display after the game. The fireworks were followed by the climax of the annual diamond ring giveaway sponsored by Bellizzi Jewelers of Hopewell Junction. After a scavenger hunt and a series of elimination contests during the game, six finalists went onto the field to kneel down and eat their way through cakes using only their mouths (no hands or utensils) to find a ring. The winning woman went home with a ring worth $4,000.
On a more poignant note, I learned that, between direct contributions and the proceeds of a special tennis ball toss last night, the Renegades had raised some $4,000 to help the orphaned children of a local family whose parents were killed when, police said, a driver who did not stop for officers ran a red light and slammed into their car on the East Arterial in Poughkeepsie early this month.
In the parking lot afterward we congratulated Charles Epperson on his accomplishments. The always upbeat Jose Molina, who got credit for the win, was shaking hands all around and we were pleased to learn that he does not need to wear ice bags on his arm any more.
Two foxes were scampering about the parking lot but showed no apparent interest in some leftover hamburgers I left for them near a light pole. While returning from that errand I noticed a skunk ambling along the parking lot fence toward the exit; I gave it a wide berth and had no problems.
Socializing, fueled by hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, assorted beverages and assorted munchies, including some tasty peanut-butter-filled pretzels, continued longer than usual. After saying good night to Manager Jared Sandberg and Pitching Coach Kyle Snyder (who themselves were in the clubhouse longer than usual), Bob and I finally headed home around 1:45 a.m.
Next home game: Saturday, Aug. 25 vs. Aberdeen IronBirds, first pitch 7:05 p.m.