FISHKILL — The Hudson Valley Renegades confirmed Thursday night what they played the last 12 weeks to prove: They’re the best team in the New York-Penn League.
Capping their first postseason push in 13 years, the Renegades beat the visiting Tri-City ValleyCats 8-3 at Dutchess Stadium to win the League Championship Series, two games to one, and their first title since 1999.
Batting around in the bottom of the first inning, the Renegades quickly made their case for the championship.
Hudson Valley loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first, and Ryan Dunn gave the Renegades the lead. He lined a single to center to knock home Joey Rickard and Tommy Coyle with the game’s first runs.
Leonardo Reginatto followed with a bloop single to right field, pushing across Luke Maile and giving the Renegades’ a 3-0 lead. Jake DePew’s single to left plated Dunn with a fourth Renegades run.
Staked to that 4-0 lead, Renegades starter Matthew Spann loaded the bases in the second and uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the ValleyCats’ first run to score. Tri-City touched Spann for a third-inning run, but Hudson Valley added two more runs in the sixth and eighth innings.
Thursday’s victory completed the second playoff series win for the Renegades this week. On Monday Hudson Valley won a decisive Game 3 against the Brooklyn Cyclones in the Semifinal Championship Series, and the Renegades also dropped the first game of the League Championship Series before rallying for two straight wins against the ValleyCats.
Hudson Valley’s only other league title came in 1999, the last time the Renegades made the playoffs before this year.