Sunday, Aug. 12—The Renegades were swept at home for the first time this season as the surging Lowell Spinners cruised to a 5-2 victory. The Spinners scored a run in the first, the Gades matched it in the second, Lowell scored two in the fifth and two more in the eighth while Hudson Valley managed only one more tally, in the sixth. Please click here to read the game story on the Gades’ Web site.
The Renegades, held to six singles, are now one game ahead of Brooklyn in the McNamara as the New York-Penn League takes a two-day break for the All-Star Game, which will be played Tuesday night in Niles, Ohio, home of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
The game will pit the League’s seven American League affiliates against the seven National League affiliates. Six Renegades—infielders Tommy Coyle and Leonardo Reginatto, outfielder Joey Rickard, starting pitchers Taylor Guerrieri and Jeff Ames and reliever Jose Molina—were named to the American League squad and were announced today to the cheers of more than 5,000 fans.
Also honored today were the Renegades’ host families, the surrogate parents, such as Bev and Bob, who welcome one or more players into their homes for the season (much nicer than staying in a hotel or a college dorm). The hosts and their players gathered along the first-base line before the game and the players presented their hosts with bouquets of flowers.
I was joined today in the Fleischman seats by my friend and fellow choir member Ceilia, her grandson Max, 3, Max’s mom, Jamie, and friend Heather. We all enjoyed the game and each other’s company, Max especially so as he sampled a wide variety of the stadium’s edible offerings and, along with his mom, went home with a nice new Renegades hat. He also did a good job ringing my cowbell. I was hoping to introduce them to the corral contingent and some of the players after the game but they had to get going.
In the parking lot several of us were discussing how Lowell played better than a team whose record, even with the sweep, was still only 26-28. Speculation soon gave way to confirmation that the Spinners had recently added four key players to their roster and, yes, they were making a difference.
We had a nice chat with umpires Ben Lebin and Ryan Simmons, who, like the rest of the league’s arbiters, have been summoned to the All-Star game, even though they are not scheduled to be calling balls and strikes. Once again a topic of conversation was the near impossibility of two umpires trying to cover so much territory and get every call right; despite their best efforts, incorrect calls, unfortunately, are made.
We hit the food jackpot, connecting with leftover brisket, pulled pork, baked beans and bunless hamburgers and hot dogs. While not neglecting the critters, I brought home some of the brisket and pork, since, with the Renegades on the road this week, I will actually be home long enough to eat it.
After the stadium was tidied up, Bob umpired a softball game between teams drawn from the grounds crew, Fun Team and stadium operations, many of whom will be heading off to college during the next several days. Hal, Grant and I settled into some seats near the Renegades’ dugout to enjoy the contest.
Bob, Paul, Hal, Grant and I regrouped in the parking lot after the game and then headed to the bullpen, where Manager Jared Sandberg and Coach Dan DeMent were having a beer with a couple of stadium staffers. “We’ve been waiting a long time to have a beer with you,” Bob told Jared as we joined the gathering, which doubled as part of the celebration of the birthday of Corinne Adams, manager of community marketing and communications.
After the gathering dwindled, as usual, to Bob and me we reviewed our plans to follow the Renegades to Connecticut and Massachusetts at the end of the week. We looked in vain for the fox; it may have been about but, with fewer lights on than usual, visibility in the parking lot was pretty limited. We finally headed home around 11 p.m.
Next home game: Tuesday, Aug. 21 vs. Connecticut Tigers, first pitch 7:05 p.m.