WILLIAMSPORT, PA – An eighth-inning RBI double from catcher Chris Betts and solid pitching over the final six innings of the contest propelled the Hudson Valley Renegades to a 3-2 win Friday night at BB&T Ballpark.
The Crosscutters scored first with two runs in the second. With two outs and a runner at second, catcher Jesse Wilkening lined an RBI single to right off of Renegades starter Blake Pflughaupt to give the Crosscutters the lead. After going to second on the throw to the plate, Wilkening sprinted home as centerfielder Keudy Bocio’s roped a single of his own to right to give Williamsport a 2-0 lead.
However, the Renegades came right back with two of their own in the third. A single to right from second baseman Justin Bridgman and a double to right by leftfielder Michael Smith put runners at second and third with one away. Crosscutters starting pitcher Manuel Silva uncorked a wild pitch, which scored Bridgman and moved Smith to third. The next batter, centerfielder Tanner Dodson, proceeded to lift a sacrifice fly to center to score Smith and tie the game at two.
Williamsport tried to retake the lead in the fifth. There were two outs and a runner at first when first baseman Madison Stokes stroked a double to right. The runner from first, rightfielder Ben Aklinski, tried to score on the play, but a beautiful relay from Bryce Brown to Bridgman to Betts gunned down Aklinski at the plate to keep the game tied.
Things stayed that way until the eighth when Hudson Valley surged ahead. Shortstop Ford Proctor led off the inning with a single to right. After a groundout moved him to second, Williamsport brought in reliever Keylan Killgore to face Betts. However, the Renegades backstop would win the battle by smacking an RBI double to center to score Proctor and give the Renegades a 3-2 lead.
That was all Hudson Valley would need as the trio of Pflughaupt, Ortiz and closer B.J. Myers combined to shutout the Crosscutters on three hits over the final six innings of the game. Ortiz (3-1) got the win by allowing only two hits over 3.2 innings. Myers tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to nail down his third save. The loss went to Crosscutters relief man Rafael Carvajal (0-1) who allowed the game-winning run on three hits over 2.1 innings.
Hudson Valley had nine hits in the contest including two apiece from Proctor, Bridgman and designated hitter Marvin Malone. Proctor scored the game-winning run, while Malone registered a double. Bridgman chipped in with a run scored as well.
The Crosscutters finished with six hits, three of which came from Stokes who had two doubles. Bocio chipped in with two singles and an RBI for Williamsport.