Wednesday, Aug. 22—The Renegades posted three straight victories since I saw them in Fenway Park, beating Lowell in Massachusetts Sunday and Monday by identical 2-1 scores and blanking the Connecticut Tigers 4-0 Tuesday night at Dutchess Stadium. I missed the homecoming game—my second miss of the season—because I was covering a Peekskill Board of Education meeting for Patch, the same reason I missed the June 19 game. Several fellow fans told me I was missed, including a couple who were a bit perplexed during our “Hey! Ho!” celebrations because I wasn’t there to help lead them. It was nice to know that people cared that much about me.
The Renegades welcomed me back in fine form, scoring a season high number of runs to shut out the Tigers 11-0. Tommy Coyle, who hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning Tuesday, was kind enough to repeat the performance tonight in the eighth with a 348-foot clout over the right-field wall in almost the same spot—sort of a delayed replay for those of us who missed it the first time. Thanks, Tommy.
The Renegades, 42-20 and leading the McNamara Division four games ahead of Brooklyn, scored two runs in the first and three each in the third, fourth and eighth innings. Marty Gantt and Richie Shaffer had great games in front of their visiting families, Marty going 2-for-4 and scoring three runs, Richie going 3-for-4 and scoring twice. Both made key defensive plays as well. Please click here to read the game story on the Gades’ Web site.
Tonight’s theme was Dog Days of Summer, with many fans bringing their well-behaved dogs to The Dutch. Several pooches participated in dog-themed contests between innings, including one that found it more fun to race toward the left-field wall than toward its owner.
It was good to see Geoff Rowan back in action, catching the final inning after having been on the disabled list earlier in the season. On a sad note, I confirmed what I had heard informally over the weekend—outfielder Deshun Dixon had failed a second drug test and had been suspended for 50 games, going home to Mississippi.
While checking my statistics after the game I was tapped on the shoulder by an older gentleman (there are not as many of them as there used to be years ago) who said with a smile, “You’re a real fan!” Miles, 84, was in the row behind me with daughter Jennifer, twin grandsons Peter and Michael, 8, and a couple of other family members whose names I didn’t get. We had a nice chat about their family’s (especially the young boys’) love of baseball. Miles, it turned out, had been at the game years ago when P.A. announcer Rick Zolzer had been ejected by an umpire.
It was family night of sorts in the parking lot. Marty Gantt’s mother, Teresa, and sister, Linley, were back in town for the current homestand, this time joined by his father, Bob, who had been unable to join them during an earlier visit. We were later joined by Rick Shaffer, father of Richie, who was also in town with family members I haven’t met yet. Linley was wearing a shirt she designed herself, with a baseball and Marty’s number 15, leading Bev to suggest that if would be nice if the gift shop carried more Renegades clothing geared specifically to women and girls.
The camaraderie was enhanced by leftover pasta salad, hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken, plus the usual assortment of chips and beverages.
On the wildlife front, after most of the gathering had departed, the fox drew closer than I have ever seen it, at one point sitting peacefully in the driveway just outside the corral fence. The skunks apparently have been making a nuisance of themselves lately and alarming staffers, to the extent that action may be taken to remove them. I personally have had no problems with them because I give them a wide berth but apparently that is not universally the case.
Next home game: Tuesday, Aug. 21 vs. Connecticut Tigers, first pitch 7:05 p.m.