Renegades pitcher Liam Suozzo pitched an 11-strikeout gem on Wednesday in the 16U Blue Chip.
By Will Harrigan
Coach Diego Gonzalez was feeling very confident in his HV Renegades 15U club on Wednesday afternoon.
Sure, the Renegades fell in their two previous tries in the tournament, but they had their ace Liam Suozzo on the hill against RCBC Marucci 15U Nationals.
Suozzo did not disappoint, and the Renegades did come away from Diamond Nation with a victory.
An 11 strikeout gem from Suozzo – complemented by just enough offense – did the trick, as the Renegades notched a 4-1 victory in the Blue Chip Prospects showcase at Diamond Nation.
The Renegades would wind up losing their second game of the day, thus finishing their tournament at 1-3. RCBC Marucci is now 1-2 in the event with one game remaining to play.
“(Liam) is our ace, our bulldog, and there’s no one I want pitching more than him when we need a win,” said Gonzalez. “He has a lot of bite on his fastball and it sinks in the zone. It’s tough to lift it on him.”
Suozzo was dominant early, striking out the first seven batters he faced. Ed Rethorn of RCBC would notch the first hit off Suozzo in the third, and an infield single by Porto set the table in the fifth.
Another single by Matthew Rao would load the bases later in the inning, and a walk drawn by Vega – one of only two issued by Suozzo – would force in a run and level things at 1-1.
The winners hopped out to an early lead practically right when they first came to bat.
Speedster Nicky Schmidt singled to lead things off, took second on a wild pitch, and swiped third base, all with Jeremy Hall up. Hall would lift a fly ball to left field, scoring Schmidt on the sac fly and promptly making it 1-0.
RCBC starter Michael Holzer did a fine job in shutting down the Renegades bats in his four innings of work, but the Hudson Valley-based club struck for three fatal runs in the home fifth.
Patrick Cosgrove would strikeout to lead off the inning, but the dropped strike three allowed him to get aboard. A walk by Patrick O’Hara moved him to second, where a Cory Martin single drove in the go-ahead run.
An ill-timed error in the outfield on that play allowed O’Hara to score and Martin to take third. Justin Perez would then lace a single to center to score Martin and cap the rally at 4-1.