The Vermont Lake Monsters split a pair of games with the Aberdeen Iron Birds at home last Thursday and Friday nights. Originally scheduled to be a three game series, Saturday's series finale was rained out. With the regular season ending Thursday night, Sept. 3, there isn't enough time to make the game up, so Vermont will play just 75 games this year.
Yhonson Lopez singled home Ronnie LaBrie with the only run of the game in the bottom of the eighth inning, while Mitchell Clegg and Evan Bronson combined on a three-hit shutout to lead Vermont Lake Monsters past Aberdeen 1-0 in the series opener last Thursday night at historic Centennial Field.
Lopez and LaBrie accounted for all four of the Lake Monster hits in the game. Lopez had a leadoff single in the third inning and the RBI single in the eighth. LaBrie walked in the second, singled to leadoff the fifth and then led off the eighth inning with a double down the rightfield line. After Dan Killian sacrificed LaBrie to third with a bunt, Lopez punched a 1-0 pitch into leftfield to score LaBrie.
That one run would stand up as Clegg allowed three hits over 5 2/3 scoreless innings and Bronson retired 10 of the 11 batters he faced, including six by strikeout. After giving up two hits over the first five innings, Clegg got into a jam in the sixth by allowing a walk, hit and another walk to load the bases with two outs. Bronson came on in relief and got out of the jam by getting Justin Dalles to flyout to center on the first pitch.
Bronson (3-0) then struckout two batters in each of the next three innings, allowing just a one-out walk in the eighth innings. The left-hander has now allowed just three earned runs on 26 hits with only three walks and 37 strikeouts over 45 2/3 innings in his 18 appearances.
The shutout was the eighth of the season for Vermont (31-34), which has recorded shutouts in three of its last five victories over the last eight games. The Lake Monsters also beat the Ironbirds 1-0 in the last meeting between the two teams back on July 19th at Aberdeen.
The 1-0 victories give Vermont its first-ever two-game winning streak against the Ironbirds. The Lake Monsters are now 13-21 all-time vs. Aberdeen, having won one game in a row 11.
T.J. Baxter had two of the Ironbirds three hits, while starter Jake Cowan allowed one hit over four scoreless innings and reliever Ashur Tolliver one hit in three scoreless innings. Joshua Dowdy (1-2) gave up the eighth inning run to take the loss for Aberdeen (26-39).
Ty Kelly's RBI single in the top of the ninth inning snapped a 4-4 tie and the Ironbirds bounced right back with a 5-4 victory over the Vermont Lake Monsters last Friday night at historic Centennial Field.
The Lake Monsters had rallied from a 4-0 deficit with four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the game, but the Ironbirds were able to get the ninth-inning run off Steven Stewart (3-3) for the victory. T.J. Baxter singled with one out, stole second with two outs and scored on a Kelly's line drive single to center.
Aberdeen had taken the 4-0 lead with unearned runs in the fourth and fifth innings off Vermont starter Paul Applebee, then a two-out, two-run Richard D'Oleo double off reliever Gary Amato in the sixth inning. The Ironbirds run in the fourth inning snapped a 22 inning scoreless streak for Aberdeen against the Lake Monsters, who had won the previous two meetings between the teams 1-0.
Ironbirds starter Nick Haughian shut down Vermont in his seven innings, allowing just three hits with two walks and two strikeouts. But the Lake Monsters were able to get four runs on four hits to tie the game in the eighth. With runners on first and second with one out, Vermont tied the game on a Destin Hood RBI single, Justin Bloxom RBI double and a Sandy Leon two-run single.
Hood and Bloxom both had two hits, a run and an RBI for the Lake Monsters, while Applebee gave up just the two unearned runs on five hits with five strikeouts in his five innings of work. Mike Mooney, Justin Dalles and Kelly each had two hits and an RBI for Aberdeen (27-39), while Jake Smith (3-3) got credit for the win.
Johan Figuereo tossed one scoreless inning of relief for Vermont after coming off the disabled list earlier in the day, while Lake Monsters pitcher Clayton Dill and outfielder J.R. Higley were both promoted to Hagerstown of the South Atlantic League on Friday.
The Lake onsters were back in action last Sunda. Zoilo Almonte's RBI single in the top of the ninth inning snapped a 4-4 tie as the Staten Island Yankees won their ninth straight New York-Penn League game with a 5-4 victory over Vermont at historic Centennial Field.
After Luke Murton led off the ninth with a hit and advanced to second on a Dean Weaver balk, Almonte lined a single down the rightfield line to score Murton with the go ahead run. Almonte had earlier hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning that had given the Yankees a 4-3 lead.
The Yankees got single runs in the first and third innings off Vermont starter Matt Swynenberg for an early 2-0 lead. The Lake Monsters scored an unearned run in the fifth inning, the first run allowed by Staten Island in the last 19 innings, before taking the lead with two-runs in the sixth on a Destin Hood RBI double and Sandy Leon RBI single.
Almonte's seventh home run and the Yankees league-leading 49th homer in the gave Staten Island a 4-3 lead in the seventh, but the Lake Monsters were able to tie the game in the bottom of the inning as Francisco Soriano scored on a two-out J.R. Ramirez RBI single to centerfield.
Six different State Island batters had two hits in the game as the Yankees had 14 hits for the game. Former University of Vermont baseball player Justin Milo went 2-for-4 with one run and a double in his return to Centennial Field with Staten Island. Yankee starter Kelvin Perez allowed three runs (two earned) with seven strikeouts over six innings, while Ronny Marte (5-3) one run in two innings for the win and Ryan Flannery a scoreless ninth for his sixth save.
Soriano, Ramirez and Leon each had two hits for the Lake Monsters, while Weaver (0-1) allowed the go ahead run on two hits with one walk and two strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings for the loss. Vermont is now 11-15 in one-run games this season and 2-8 in games that are tied after eight innings, including two straight losses with the game tied 4-4 heading into the ninth.
Vermont (31-36) and Staten Island (42-27) played the middle game of the three-game series on Monday night. Vermont wound up their season this Thursday (September 3rd) at home, hosting Tri-City.