Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters
ABERDEEN, MD — The Aberdeen Ironbirds rallied from a one-run deficit with five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 6-2 victory over the Vermont Lake Monsters Monday night at Ripken Stadium in the final game before the New York-Penn League All-Star Game Wednesday.
After giving up a leadoff and one-out walk in the eighth, Vermont reliever Clark Cota then gave up a two-out RBI single to Clay Fisher to tie the game 2-2. It was just the third blown save opportunity all season for Lake Monsters relievers, the other coming back on June 22nd and 23rd (Vermont 21 saves in now 24 chances).
After another walk loaded the bases, Cota (1-3) uncorked a go ahead wild pitch for the Ironbirds and left the game after his fourth walk of the inning reloaded the bases. Adley Rutschman greeted reliever Jeferson Mejia with a line drive three-run triple to right for a 6-2 Aberdeen lead.
It was the first triple of the season for Rutschman, the 2019 first-overall draft pick out of Oregon State, who had also smacked his first home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth to cut a Vermont 2-0 lead to one run.
Vermont had left bases loaded in both the first and fifth innings, but took the 2-0 lead in the sixth on a Yerdel Vargas two-out bases loaded two-run single to center. Jordan Diaz led off the eighth with his first triple and just seventh for the Lake Monsters (first since August 1st), but was unable to score leaving the lead at just 2-1.
Marty Bechina singled in first inning for his eighth hit in last eight plate appearances (5-for-5 on Sunday after single and homer in last two at bats Saturday) before striking out in the third. Diaz and Noah Vaughan each had two hits for Vermont (29-35).
Lake Monsters starter Michael Murray scattered three hits with one walk and four strikeouts over the first four innings, while Jack Cushing just the Rutschman solo homer on four hits over three innings of relief. Houston Roth allowed two runs over 3 1/3 innings of relief to earn win for Aberdeen (35-28).
After a couple of days off for the All-Star Game Wednesday in Staten Island, Vermont returns to action Thursday at historic Centennial Field with the first of a three-game series vs. the Lowell Spinners starting at 7:05 pm. The first 1,000 fans will receive a free Lake Monsters replica jersey.