Baseball: Brooklyn Hangs On for 8-6 Win over Lake Monsters

Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

BURLINGTON — Brian Sharp and Walter Rasquin both homered as the Brooklyn Cyclones built an early 6-0 lead and then had to hold off a Vermont Lake Monsters ninth-inning rally for an 8-6 New York-Penn League victory Tuesday night at historic Centennial Field.

Brooklyn scored single runs in the first and second innings, including a Brian Sharp solo homer in the top of the second, for a quick 2-0 lead. The Cyclones then scored four runs in the third after their first four batters reached on an error and three walks by Vermont starter Richard Morban (0-1), making his Lake Monsters debut after being promoted from the Arizona League Athletics.

A fourth walk in the inning, this time from reliever Reid Birlingmair, forced home the second run of the inning and Hayden Senger followed with a two-run single for a Brooklyn 6-0 lead. Vermont, which rallied Sunday from a first-inning 6-0 deifict for a 10-9 win over the Cyclones, cut the lead in half with three runs in bottom of third.

The Lake Monsters loaded the bases on a walk, error and single before scoring their first run on a wild pitch. Two more runs scored on a Jonah Bride RBI infield single and throwing error cutting the Brooklyn lead to 6-3. The Cyclones added another run in the fourth on a Walter Rasquin one-out solo homer.

Vermont got a run back in the sixth on an Aaron Arruda RBI groundout after Bride smacked a double off the leftfield fence, his eighth double during his current 11-game hitting streak (18-for-44, .409). Brooklyn got its final run in the eighth on a Wagner Legrange RBI single for an 8-4 lead.

Vermont put a rally together in the ninth with as Arruda led off with a single and Max Schuemann walked before both scored on a Jose Rivas single and throwing error cutting the Cyclones lead to 8-6. Another walk and flyout to center put Lake Monster runners on first and third with one out, but Jeremy Eierman struckout and pinch runner Noah Vaughan was caught stealing to end the game.

Kevin Merrell, the Lake Monsters 2017 Tom Racine MVP, played his first game on a rehab assignment from Single-A Stockton and went 2-for-2 with one run scored over the first four innings. Reliever Calvin Coker, the A’s 15-round pick out of Auburn, allowed just one hit with four strikeouts over 2 1/3 innings in his Vermont debut.

Rasquin was 1-for-2 with two walks, three runs and two RBI to go along with his first home run of the season for Brooklyn (37-32). Starter Tylor Megill (1-2) allowed three unearned run on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts over 5 innings for the win, while Ryley Gilliam earned his fifth save of the season.

The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for Vermont (35-35), which heads to Staten Island for a three-game series against the Yankees before return home to Centennial for the final three games of the regular season against Tri-City Saturday, Sunday and Monday.