Tri-City found itself in an early hole in the bottom of the first. Joe Bircher was not sharp in his first start of the post-season. He walked the lead-off man Joey Rickard, and made a bad throw to second base on the ground ball from Tommy Coyle to give the Renegades two early base runners. After a Richie Shaffer pop out and a walk to Luke Maile, Ryan Dunn picked up his first hit of the post season, shooting a line drive to center field to plate two. The Renegades scored two more with back-to-back singles (one off Bircher, one off Brady Rodgers) from Leonardo Reginatto and Jake DePew. Rodgers registered back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.
The ValleyCats picked up single runs in the second and third innings to put themselves right back in it.
Tyler Heineman doubled with one out in the second, hustling out of the box the entire way. He would come in on a wild pitch by Renegades starter Matt Spann, who like Bircher, did not last long in this game.
The first three 'Cats would reach base in the top of the third. Joe Sclafani would walk and get pushed over to second on a single by Catfish Elkins. Jesse Wierzbicki would hit a line drive down the right field line that hopped over the fence for a ground-rule double. Sclafani would score on the play to cut the lead to two. But the ValleyCats could not add anything after that.
Hudson Valley scored twice in the sixth and in the eighth, putting the game out of reach.
In 2012, Tri-City won the Stedler Division for the fourth time, made it to the championship series for the fourth time, set a new single-season record in wins, and a new single-season attendance record. The 8-3 loss put an end to arguably the greatest season in ValleyCats history.
The ValleyCats and Houston Astros renewed their Player Development Contract through 2014, so we will see you next year at “The Joe” ready for another season.