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"Holly" Wood Performance Falls Short In Blue Rocks Loss

May 25, 2023

The Wilmington Blue Rocks (21-20) were bested by the Hudson Valley Renegades (25-17) by a final score of 10-8 on Thursday, May 25 at Frawley Stadium.

The Wilmington Blue Rocks (21-20) were bested by the Hudson Valley Renegades (25-17) by a final score of 10-8 on Thursday, May 25 at Frawley Stadium.

For the second consecutive night, the matchup between the two South Atlantic League North division foes was defined by an offensive slugfest. The Rocks got the scoring started in the bottom of the first, with James Wood driving in a run with an RBI single and Jeremy De La Rosa staying patient, taking a bases-loaded walk and driving in another run to make it 2-0.

The Renegades proceeded to score the game’s next five runs, kicking off with a two-RBI double by Grant Richardson in the top of the second to make it a 2-2 ballgame. In the top of the third, Aaron Palensky kick-started his big day by blasting a ground-rule double to score two, and he later came around to score on a Rafael Flores RBI single to take a 5-2 lead.

What ensued was a back-and-forth battle, as Wilmington did not go down without a fight. After Will Frizzell hit an RBI single to knock in one, Palensky struck again in the top of the fifth, crushing his 12th homer of the year to deep left to extend the Renegades’ lead to 6-3.

The bottom half of the inning brought more firepower, and it all started with an RBI single by Israel Pineda to cut the deficit to two. In the very next at-bat, Frizzell knocked in his second RBI of the game, poking a triple into the left-center field gap to score Pineda. Hudson Valley starter Zach Messinger then gave Wilmington a bit of an assist, committing a balk which sent Frizzell home from third and tied the game at six runs a piece.

More runs would be traded in the following inning, with the Renegades re-taking the lead in the top half of the sixth thanks to an RBI single by Alexander Vargas. Wood had something to say about that one, as he stepped up to the dish in the bottom half of the inning and blistered his seventh home run of the year, a two-run shot to deep right field to give the Rocks a 8-7 lead.

An 8-8 game entering the ninth, the Renegades came up clutch. First, Antonio Gomez doubled to center to score Palensky, which allowed Hudson Valley to go up one. Flores, who went 4-5 on the day, followed up with his second RBI of the game, sending a single to center which scored Gomez and gave the Renegades a permanent 10-8 lead.

Blue Rocks’ starter Chance Huff was unable to go the distance, totaling three innings, allowing six hits, four earned runs, and one walk while striking out three. The Rocks’ bullpen combined for six innings, 11 hits, five earned runs and nine strikeouts.

James Wood took charge of Wilmington’s lineup once again, going 3-4 with a home run, three RBI, four runs, and a walk. Will Frizzell also had a multi-hit game, going 2-4 with two RBI.

The Blue Rocks will have a chance to tie up the series on Friday, May 26, in game four of their six-game series with the first-place Renegades.