Daniel Renken’s first start for the Blaze was indeed a memorable one. The run support he received was much more than anyone could expect, as the Blaze pummeled the Jethawks 20-7 in the final game of a 3 game set at Sam Lynn Ballpark.
Renken (W 1-0, 1.80 ERA) gave up a 1st inning run, but Ryan La Marre got it right back with a solo homer to left. The beginning of the end for Lancaster starting pitcher Zach Grimmett (L 4-9, 6.73 ERA) shortly followed, as the game got out of hand, and quickly. Four Blaze runs in the second inning led to his departure. But the Jethawks proceeded to send out six relievers out of the pen (including a position player) that fared no better, and did little to stop the fire. Renken went 5 innings to collect his first Cal League win, and the bullpen battery of Scott Gaffney, Mace Thurman, and Doug Salinas finished the game.
In the 3rd, the Blaze batted around and sent 12 men to the plate, scored 6 runs, and disposed of the first two relievers in the process. No scoring in the 4th for either side, but the Blaze went right back at it with some heavy wood in the 5th. They put together the team’s second 6-run inning of the night, this time sending 11 more men to the plate. Blaze DH Alex Buchholz highlighted the inning, and smashed a grand slam homer into the right field catwalk. The Blaze scored their final 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th, off position-player Andy Simunic. Fittingly, he did about as well as the others that preceded him, not well at all.
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