JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The Jefferson City Renegades (2-2) had a jump on most of the MINK League this season, playing two games before the first weekend. However, after a home-and-home against Sedalia and a Friday night contest against the Clarinda A's (0-2), the Renegades were still without their first home run – that is, before the 2017 MINK League leader in that category sent one over the left field fence at Vivion Field.
Mike Million didn’t have the average he’s used to seeing next to his name through the first few games, but that changed in a big way as he willed the Renegades to a 13-11 victory. On the night, Million was 3-4 with a walk, driving in three runs, scoring three himself, and even stealing a base.
Million wasn’t the only help the Renegades received either – Tyler Bracht continued his red-hot start to the 2018 campaign, collecting three doubles on four total hits and driving in a ridiculous six runs.
It wasn’t the blowout you’d expect from those stat lines however, as Clarinda fought the Renegades tooth and nail for every run. The A’s came back from a six-run deficit in no time to take an 11-10 lead, scoring seven unanswered runs – four of those coming on a Sean Bergeron grand slam.
But Jefferson City never wavered. The Renegades immediately responded with a comeback of their own, scoring three more runs to eventually take the affair by two runs.
The finale to the first week of MINK League play and first day game of the year did not disappoint, as the Clarinda A’s and the Jefferson City Renegades combined to score twenty-three runs in front of a full crowd at Ernie Vivion Field Sunday. The only problem was that the A’s (1-2) scored the slight majority, winning 13-10 in comeback fashion for their first triumph of the year.
After a fantastic start from Tristan Steffens, who only allowed one run, the floodgates opened for both teams. The Renegades followed up a fourth inning that lasted less than five minutes with a whopping seven-run fifth in which first base coach Rusty Creed got his money’s worth.
Clarinda however had more magic left over from Saturday night, as they came back several times, eventually claiming the contest. The marathon lasted three and a half hours and featured five lead changes before the Renegades finally succumbed, giving Orlando Ortiz his first win of the season in relief, while Sean Bergeron collected the save.
For the Renegades, Logan Hudson drove in his Western Michigan teammate Justin McIntrye on an opposite field home run – his first of the year.
After five games in five days, Jefferson City will finally have an off day before resuming their season at home on Tuesday for a two game set against the Springfield Redbirds in non-MINK League action.
Watch the mid-week series between the Springfield Redbirds and the Jefferson City Renegades below: