On a windy 4th of July night at Richmond County Bank Ballpark in St. George, the Staten Island Yankees had a 1-0 lead for most of the night. Then, the team with the best record in the New York-Penn League, the Hudson Valley Renegades (14-5) came back to score the tying run in the eighth inning and three runs in the ninth to defeat Staten Island 4-1. The loss dropped the Baby Bombers’ record to 11-9 on the season.
For the bulk of the game, it was all about the pitching. Staten Island’s starter, Justin Kamplain, threw two scoreless innings, gave up one hit, walked one and struck out two. The star pitcher for Staten Island was SI native Dillon McNamara. McNamara came in for Kamplain in the top of the third inning. The starter, who was making his first relief appearance of 2014, did not disappoint. He threw four scoreless innings, gave up two runs, walked one and struck out four. I asked manager Mario Garza after the game what impressed him the most about the 22-year-old’s performance:
“He was tremendous. What Tim [pitching coach Tim Norton] and I were talking about was the amount of swings and misses he got on his slider. His slider looked sharp and had some shape to it. It was a really good outing for him.”, said Garza.
The Baby Bombers would start the scoring off in the bottom of the third inning. After a two-out single to right field by shortstop Thairo Estrada, left fielder Chris Breen hit a RBI double to center field that scored Estrada to give the team a 1-0 lead. It was Breen’s sixth RBI of the season. Estrada would get injured on the play and had to leave the game. Jose Javier would come in to finish the game at shortstop.
Other than the third inning, the SI Yankees could not get much done against Hudson Valley starter Oscar Armenta. Armenta had a much better outing than his prior two outings against Staten Island, where he gave up a combined eight runs over eight innings of work. On Friday night, he went five innings, giving up only one run on five hits, striking out four and walking one.
Staten Island had the lead until the top of the 8th inning. In that inning, reliever Andury Acevedo gave up a leadoff single to Hudson Valley center fielder Braxton Lee, one of his three hits in the game. After stealing second and being moved over to third, Lee would scored on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Jace Conrad to tie the game.
In the following inning, Staten Island went back to the bullpen by bringing in Jose Pena. For Pena, the night was not his best in terms of control. He loaded the bases via a walk and two hit-by-pitches with one out.
After striking out shortstop Alec Cole, Garza went to Matt Wotherspoon to finish the inning. That is where Lee was able to get the game-winning hit, a bases clearing double that occurred via a bloop hit to shallow left field that just stayed fair. Unfortunately, on the first pitch of Wotherspoon’s night, Lee would hit a ball to shallow left field that stayed fair to give Hudson Valley a 4-1 lead. All three runs were charged to Pena, who fell to 1-1 on the season despite not giving up a hit on the evening. Renegades’ reliever Edgar Gomez would finish the game for Armenta by throwing the final four innings, giving up only one hit and striking out four Staten Island Yankees to improve to 3-1 on the season.
The two teams will continue their three-game series Saturday night at 7:05 PM ET in Hudson Valley as 2014 fifth round pick, Jordan Foley, will take the mound for Staten Island in his first start with the the team.
Notes: On Friday afternoon, right-handed pitcher Sean Carley, the Yankees’ 14th Round Pick in this year’s draft out of West Virginia, was officially added to the roster. Carley made headlines during the draft for looking like fictional character Kenny Powers, a pitcher in the HBO series “Eastbound and Down.” He is expected to make his first start for Staten Island on Monday night during a doubleheader against the Aberdeen Ironbirds.
Also, the team put together an awesome tribute video to Lou Gehrig on the 75th anniversary of his famous speech as Tim Giel, Ethan Carnes, Cale Coshow (now in Charleston), Sam Agnew-Weiland, David Palladino, Isaias Tejeda, and Andy Beresford all took turns reciting parts of Gehrig’s speech: You can listen to the speech via the video below, from the Staten Island Yankees’ Facebook Page.