May 10 - Luke Buroker went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI and runs scored out of the leadoff spot to lead the Virginia Renegades 14u to an 8-2 victory over the Stars Bour 14u last night at Sully Highland Park in Herndon.
Buroker scored after hitting a double in the third inning and then again in the fifth after getting hit by a pitch. The lefty then drove in two runs in the sixth with a base hit: “In the past few games, I have been thinking too much. I went up there and told myself to just stay back and stay on top and keep it simple.”
“Luke has been doing a good job for us up there,” Renegades coach Dan Mahoney said. “As soon as he gets on-base, we are confident we are going to put some runs on the board. Where he goes we go.”
After Renegades starter Owen Mead retired the Stars in order in the first inning, the Stars jumped out to a 2-0 lead off reliever J.T. Landwehr in the second inning on a two-run double from Carlos Irizzary. Mead faced just three batters in the game while Landwehr went two innings and allowed two runs on five hits.
For the rest of the night, the Renegades bullpen could not be touched. Mike Cuomo, Dylan Weinstein, Matthew Allen and Nick Harris each pitched an inning in relief for the Renegades and did not allow a hit in the final four innings. The four relievers combined for seven strikeouts and managed to strand four runners in scoring position.
“During the mid-week games we typically will take the approach as a bullpen and try to keep the pitch counts down to save them for the weekend,” Renegades coach Dan Mahoney said. “As a former pitcher it was great to see them get out there and pound the zone and attack hitters.”
The Stars’ bats were quickly quieted after five hits in the first three innings as the only offense after that came in the form of six walks. The Stars left a total of eight men on-base.
“Honestly, I think we lost some of our aggressiveness at the plate,” Stars coach Jason Bour said. “We took a lot of early strikes and gave the pitchers an opportunity to throw their offspeed stuff. We had a couple innings where we had guys on-base and couldn’t get the job done.”
Todd Kortum started on the mound for the Stars and allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits with five strikeouts in three innings. After a scoreless first inning, Landwehr got the scoring started for the Renegades with an RBI in the second, which was followed by an unearned run in the third to tie the game, 2-2.
The Renegades added three more runs in the next two innings against Irizzary, who came on in relief of Kortum. Nick Harris and Owen Taylor each drove in a run, while Buroker scampered home on a pass ball. Riley Mead and Buroker then combined to drive in three runs in the sixth off Stars reliever Tyler Wade.
“We were just doing a better job of putting the ball in play,” Mahoney said. “It's off and on but were are trying to get them to open up and be more aggressive at the plate and not take so many strikes. Just go up there, trust yourself, trust your mechanics and go forward.”
The Stars will play next against the MVP Terps Blue tonight at Sully Highland Park while the Renegades will play a doubleheader against the SBA Bucks 14u on Sunday at Dulles Corner.
Six different pitchers took the mound for the Renegades in an 8-2 win over the Stars at Sully Highland Park. Photo by Josh Belanger