Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters
NORWICH, CT — Clark Brinkman walked twice and Werceel Perez knocked him home both times as the Connecticut Tigers held off the Vermont Lake Monsters 3-1 in New York-Penn League action Wednesday night at Dodd Stadium.
Connecticut took a 1-0 lead in the fifth off Vermont reliever Abdiel Mendoza, who had retired the first two batters in the inning on four pitches. But Mendoza walked both Brinkman and Shane Cooper on 3-2 pitches before Perez lined an 0-2 pitch into leftfield for an RBI single.
Vermont loaded the bases with one out in the seventh on two walks and a Nick Osborne single on 12th pitch of the at bat (fouled off six pitches with 2 strikes), but reliever Drew Crosby came on to induce Marcos Brito to hit into a 5-4-3 inning-ending double play keeping Tigers lead at 1-0.
A Brinkman walk and a pair of Lake Monster errors in the bottom of the seventh led to two unearned runs for the Tigers. A fielding error by Osborne in right put Connecticut runners on second and third before one run scored on a Jeferson Mejia wild pitch and the other on a Brito fielding error of a Perez groundball to second.
Vermont scored its only run of the night in the eighth on three straight one-out singles from Payton Squier, Joseph Pena and Alfonso Rivas, but with tying runs in scoring position Yaya Chentouf struckout Jeremy Eierman and got Jonah Bride to groundout to keep Connecticut ahead 3-1. Chentouf tossed a 1-2-3 ninth for his eighth save of the season.
Lake Monsters starter Brady Feigl allowed two hits with two strikeouts over 2 2/3 scoreless innings. The 5th-round pick out of the University of Mississippi has given up just three hits over his last 14.1 innings, while one run on four hits in the last 19 innings.
Payton Squier finished 3-for-4 for the third straight game, fourth time with three hits in last six games and 14-for-28 over last seven (raising average .255 to .304). Osborne collected his first two professional hits as Vermont outhit the Tigers 8-4 in the loss.
Mendoza (2-3) was charged with one run on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings to take the loss, while Tigers starter Carlos Guzman (2-2) four hits with one walk and four strikeouts over five scoreless innings.
Vermont (21-24) returns home to historic Centennial Field on Thursday for the opener of a three-game series against the Hudson Valley Renegades starting at 7:05 pm. The first 1,000 fans will receive a free Lake Monsters baseball drawsting bag filled with oral health items and its “Kids Eat Free Thursday” for the first 400 kids.