Well, you can’t win them all. That’s the message that manager Justin Pope gave to his team after the Staten Island Yankees dropped their first game of the 2013 New York-Penn League season 6-0 to the now 4-0 and defending Penn-League champion Hudson Valley Renegades (Tampa Bay Rays). It was a night of mostly singles as the two teams combined for 24 hits, but 23 of them resulted in a single as well as poor defensive play resulting in four combined errors.
“If you go 76-0, what are you going to learn?” said Pope about the team looking to learn from adversity.
The scoring began in the first inning when Staten Island starter Rookie Davis allowed the first two batters to reach base via a single and a walk. Then, John Field drove in the run on a RBI groundout to give the Renegades a 1-0 lead. In the third inning, second baseman Ariel Soriano had the game’s only extra base hit with a RBI double.
Hudson Valley’s starter, Ben Griset, the 13th round pick of the Rays in this year’s draft, pitched three innings, gave up three hits and struck out three batters. However, it was their bullpen that kept the lead at 3-0 for most of the night. Eli Echarry threw four shutout innings of long relief, despite giving up six hits, the important stat for him was that he allowed no runners to cross home plate.
For the Staten Island Yankees, they did have a couple of bright spots in the lineup. First baseman Kale Sumner had three singles and is 5-7 in two games this season. Outfielder Michael O’Neil had two singles in the loss. However, Staten Island was 1-9 with runners in scoring position and left 12 runners on base. The team did suffer another injury, as third baseman Jerison Lopez left the game in the 5th inning with a hamstring injury after beating out a bunt single.
“I think that’s a positive. You get one hit here, one hit there, and you are back in the game. Treat it as an at-bat as if there is no one on base,” said an encouraged Pope when talking about the team’s approach with runners in scoring position.
Pitching wise, Dillon McNamara made his 2013 debut in front of his hometown fans and pitched well. He threw two scoreless innings, giving up two hits, and walking two batters. McNamara received a nice ovation from the fans who remember him from his days at Moore Catholic High School.
In the 9th inning, the Renegades scored two of their three runs in the inning on a misplayed groundball by second baseman Hector Crespo. As the play ensued, the team botched a rundown that ultimately resulted in the aforementioned two runs crossing the plate.
In the win for Hudson Valley, lead-off hitter Julian Ridings had four hits in five at-bats.
Yanks Go Yard will be back on Staten Island this Sunday to watch the Baby Bombers take on the Aberdeen Ironbirds (Baltimore Orioles) at 4:00 p.m.