Vermont's only professional baseball team, the Lake Monsters, opened their 2010 season by hosting the Lowell Spinners (Red Sox affiliate) this past weekend in Burlington. The two teams split the first two games, before Vermont captured the third game to take the series two games to one.
In the opener last Friday night the Lake Monsters broke a scoreless tie by scoring 5 runs in the 4th, and cruised from their to a 9-4 win. Second basemen Hendry Jiminez and right fielder Wade Moore led the Monster's offensive attack. Jiminez was 2-for-5, with a double, 2 RBIs and he scored once. Moore was 2-for-4, including a two-run homerun in the six run fourth inning, and he also scored once. Chad Mozingo also contributed by driving a two-run double to right in that fateful fourth inning.
The Spinners got two hits apiece from second baseman Joe Garcia and left fielder Brandon Jacobs. Garcia had a double and scored once in his 4 trips to the plate, while Jacobs drove in a run in the losing effort.
Bobby Hansen picked up the win in relief for the Lake Monsters. Hansen worked 2 1/3 innings of shutout baseball, giving up just one hit with two strikeouts. He relieved Vermont's starter Taylor Jordan. Jordan worked the first 4 2/3 innings giving up four runs (only one earned) on 7 hits with 5 strikeouts and one walk. Glenn Gibson finished up the game by pitching the two innings of perfect baseball, striking out 3 of the 6 hitters he faced.
Starter Roman Mendez suffered the loss for Lowell. In his three plus innings of work Mendez gave up 6 runs (only 3 earned) on 3 hits, including Moore's homerun. He also had 3 strikeouts and issued a pair of walks.
In the second game of the series played last Saturday in Burlington the Lowell Spinners scored 5 runs into the final 2 innings to open up a 1-0 lead and cruise to a 6-2 win. Vermont would have been shutout, but with 2 outs, and a man on first in the bottom of the ninth, Lowell pitching issued 4 straight walks, accounting for the Lake Monsters only runs.
Lowell's top two hitters, Garcia and lead off hitter Felix Sanchez were on fire, going 7-for-10 between them. Sanchez was 3-for-5, scored twice and he drove in a run. Garcia was 4-for-5 with a double. First baseman Sean Killeen had a huge three run homerun in the ninth to seal Lowell's win.
Starter Madison Younginer was the winning pitcher for the Spinners. He pitched 5 innings of shutout baseball, allowing just two hits and a walk, while registering 8 strikeouts in an impressive outing. He as relieved by Charles Rosario and Cesare Angeloni.
Vermont's designated hitter Stephen King had a pair of doubles in his 4 trips to the plate. Shane McCatty picked up the loss in relief for Vermont by pitching 3 1/3 innings and allowing 6 runs on 8 hits, while striking out 3.
The first two split games set the stage for the rubber game last Sunday. Vermont took this one 3-1 on the strength of their pitching. The Lake Monsters Matt Swynenberg, Wilson Eusebio and Dustin Crane combined to hold the Spinners offense to just one run and three hits as Vermont captured the rubber game 3-1 in front of 2,307 people at Centennial Field in Burlington.
Swynenberg started, and picked up the win for Vermont. He worked the first 5 innings, pitching shutout baseball, giving up just one hit while striking out 3. He was relieved by Eusebio, who claimed his first hold of the season. He earned it by working 2 2/3 innings, giving up just a pair of hits. Unfortunately on of those hits was a solo homerun by Killeen, his second of the year and the series. Crane pitched hitless baseball the final 1 1/3 innings to pick up his first save of the year.
Offensively designated hitter David Freitas and shortstop Jason Martinson led Vermont. Freitas was 2-for-4 with a double and he drove in 1 of Vermont's 3 runs. Martinson matched those numbers, replacing the double with a run scored.
Lowell starter Tyler Wilson was the losing pitcher. Wilson pitched the first 5 innings, giving up 1 run on 4 hits, with 4 strikeouts. Garrett Rau and Armando Zerpa also saw action on the mound for the visiting Spinners.
The Lake Monsters hosted the Connecticut Tigers this past Monday and Tuesday, before heading out on their first road trip of the year. They visited the Tri-City Valley Cats (Houston Astros) this past Wednesday through Friday. This weekend they play a 2 game series at Connecticut, before returning home to complete the month by hosting Tri-City in a 3 game set starting Monday.