Wednesday, July 11—The Renegades returned home tonight after a week-long road trip during which they split six games with the Vermont Lake Monsters and Auburn Doubledays. It was a rough homecoming for the Gades, however, as the Batavia Muckdogs scored three runs in the second and went on to win 4-2, extending their victory streak to nine games. Please click here to read the game story on the Gades’ Web site.
I was pleased to see that pitcher Corey Baker of New City was playing his second season with the Muckdogs, since it’s a rare treat to see a player from the Hudson Valley area on any New York-Penn League team at Dutchess Stadium. (I was also slightly disappointed for Corey, because it meant he had not yet moved up to the next level.) The Renegades presumably were pleased to see him too, since they roughed him up in the fifth for their only runs. Corey pitched one inning of middle relief and did not figure in the decision. He graduated from Clarkstown South High School in 2007 and the University of Pittsburgh in 2011 and was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 49th round that year.
I arrived at The Dutch a few minutes earlier than usual to make sure I was in time for the adult jersey giveaway, in which the first 1,500 fans age 13 and older received black replica Renegades jerseys. After picking up one I returned to my car and put it on, using the car windows as an impromptu mirror. Bev MacClements had the same idea, and we took pictures of each other in our latest Renegades attire.
I had a nice chat with Elaine DiGregorio before the game, during which Tom Peters, president of the Fan Club, stopped by and gave us our 2012 membership cards. When I asked Tom what had happened to his plan to just give us 2012 stickers for our old cards he replied that he had been so busy with local politics in his home town of LaGrange that it was quicker and easier to get new cards for everybody than to determine who needed cards and who needed stickers. The ailing town supervisor had died, he told us, and the timing was such that the remainder of his term will be filled by election, not appointment, probably with a primary as well. In other words, Tom is going to be a busy fellow over the next few months!
The evening was officially listed as “Zolz on Deck Night,” as P.A. announcer Rick Zolzer did the job via Skype from the deck of his pool in the Town of Poughkeepsie instead of from his booth behind home plate. The arrangement was billed as the first of its kind and Zolz, whose image was frequently projected on the scoreboard, didn’t seem to miss a beat, although the color and sound were uneven.
Batavia third baseman Patrick Wisdom, tonight’s K-man, sent the 4,029 fans home happy after he struck out twice, meaning that everybody in the stadium received a chit for a free round of miniature golf at Fun Central in Wappingers Falls. This was the first time I had seen the K (scoring symbol for a strikeout) man come through this season, and we cheered Patrick and thanked him.
I also saw my second home run of the season at The Dutch (both by visitors) when Batavia first baseman David Washington cranked a first-pitch fastball high over the right-field fence to open the ninth. Out of respect for this accomplishment I applauded and rang my cowbell politely; after the game, I called to David as he left the field, “That was a nice home run.” “Thank you,” he appreciatively replied.
Out in the parking lot I met Renegades first baseman Luke Maile, a likeable, friendly man, and his girlfriend, Paige, who were brought together by baseball. Luke, who hails from Kentucky, was playing summer ball a couple of years ago in Paige’s home town of upstate Amsterdam, where she was working on the field, and the relationship blossomed.
The usual socializing was supplemented by several leftover large pretzels. I also got a chance to renew acquaintances with Bob's son, Robert, who is back on the stadium staff during a temporary return from Tennessee and eventually plans to become a doctor.
It was about midnight when we went our separate ways. To avoid delays in the Route 9 construction zone I went down Route 9D, where I was surprised by the unusually large volume of traffic at that hour. Apparently I was not the only motorist seeking to bypass the construction zone.
Next home game: Thursday, July 12, vs. Batavia Muckdogs, first pitch 7:05 p.m.