The Jefferson City Renegades needed some relief Monday night.
Colton Hoelscher and Peyton Leeper provided it as they combined to throw four scoreless innings to close out the Renegades' 6-5 victory against the Nevada Griffons in MINK League action at Vivion Field.
"Colton was lights out and Peyton at the end was the same," Renegades manager Mike DeMilia said. "When you throw strikes, it makes a big difference, and those two threw strikes."
With the Renegades trailing 5-4, Hoelscher came on to start the top of the sixth inning. He set down the Griffons in order.
The Renegades then scored twice in the bottom of the inning, With one out, Tommy Reuther reached on an error and stole second before Austin Fennewald drew a walk.
Dede Cole then ripped an 0-1 pitch into the gap for a double that plated Reuther and Fennewald to give the Renegades a 6-5 lead.
Cole, a second baseman, was a late addition to the lineup due to illness.
"He can be a big spark for us," DeMilia said.
Hoelscher then struck out two Griffons to get through the seventh.
"I knew I could trust the defense behind me, so I just went out there trying to throw strikes," he said.
The Griffons led off the eighth with an infield single. After grounder to first and a pop out, a walk put runners at first and second and ended Hoelscher's night.
In 2 innings, the Blair Oaks graduate allowed one hit and one walk while striking out three.
"I figured I'd go as long as I could to help the team out, I was feeling good," Hoelscher said.
Leeper was called on to get the final out of the inning, getting a grounder to third to end the threat. Leeper then set down the Griffons in the ninth on two grounders to short and a fly ball to right to get the save as the Renegades picked up their first win of the season.
"This feels good, it's important to get some positive vibes," Hoelscher said.
Manny Martinez got the start for the Renegades. He retired the Griffons in order in the first two innings before finding trouble in the third as Nevada scored three runs on three hits and two walks in a 34-pitch inning.
"I could see he was getting a little tired, he hadn't pitched that much recently," DeMilia said.
But the Renegades answered in the bottom of the third, batting around and scoring four runs to take the lead.
Cole led off with a single before stealing second and moving to third on a wild pitch. He later scored on a single by Jordan Smith. Trent Pobst reached on an error before Lincoln Orellana walked to load the bases.
Paul Haupt promptly cleared then with a double to right to make it 4-3.
"Our kids play hard, they fight," DeMilia said.
Neither team scored in the fourth. The Griffons then used one hit, two walks and two hit-batters to score two in the top of the fifth to regain the lead at 5-4.
Reuther had a ball bounce off his glove in left field for an error in the inning, but more than made up for it by throwing a runner out at the plate one out later.
"He plays hard, he was disappointed he didn't make that play," DeMilia said. "But he came back and made that big throw to respond."
The Renegades had scored in double digits in their last two games.
"We didn't swing the bats as well as we have, but we swung it all right," DeMilia said. "Obviously, the pitching was a lot better and we played some good defense."
The Renegades (1-3) are off today before returning to action Wednesday in an exhibition game against the Des Moines Peak Prospects, a group of college players.
Game time is 7 p.m. at Vivion Field.
"It will be nice to play a game with not a lot of stress," DeMilia said.
DeMilia believes it is a good time for a day away.
"We've used a lot of pitchers and it will be nice to give everybody a day to rest," he said.
Nevada is now 0-2.
It won't be a complete off-day for the Renegades today as they will host a Meet the Players event.
"Everybody should come out and meet this great group of guys," DeMilia said.
The players and coaches will be available to meet the public from 5-6 p.m. at The Linc.