Walls fuels offense as Renegades win NYPL championship

Walls fuels offense as Renegades win NYPL championship

Taylor Walls plated a pair of runs with a three-hit performance while two pitchers combined to throw a one-hitter as Class A Short Season Hudson Valley blanked Vermont, 6-0, on Thursday to win the New York-Penn League championship.

The Renegades erupted to score five runs in the top of the second inning in Game 2 en route to a best-of-three series sweep. It was the club's first league championship since 2012, when it beat Tri-City in three games.

Walls, Tampa Bay's No. 26 prospect, connected on a solo home run to cap a five-run top of the second inning for Hudson Valley that included a two-run single from Angel Perez. Walls later added a run-scoring single in the eighth to finish the game 3-for-4 with a walk.

Box score

The Renegades' big inning provided more than enough run support for starting pitcher Drew Strotman, who carried a no-hit bid into the fourth inning before Greg Deichmann reached on a one-out infield single to shortstop. The 21-year-old right-hander went on to complete six innings, registering five strikeouts and one walk while throwing 49 of his 74 pitches for strikes.

Andrew Gist took over from there and tossed three hitless frames with two walks and three strikeouts to record the save and secure Hudson Valley's NYPL title. It was the first career save for the 22-year-old lefty, the Rays' ninth-round Draft pick in June.

Hudson Valley captured Game 1 of the best-of-three championship series on No. 20 overall prospect Brendan McKay's (Rays' No. 3) walk-off sacrifice fly in the 13th inning. The 2017 third-overall Draft pick struggled at the plate in the postseason, batting just .125 over four games, though it was his dominant pitching performance in the semifinals that helped propel the Renegades to the final round.

Walls, meanwhile, led all NYPL hitters in the postseason with a .450 average, nine hits and 14 total bases, while Perez finished fifth with a .353 clip.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.