Baseball: Four Run Williamsport 9th Cuts Down Monsters 9-6

Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

BURLINGTON — The Williamsport Crosscutters scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning for a 9-6 come-from-behind New York-Penn League victory and handed the Vermont Lake Monsters its fourth straight loss Tuesday night at historic Centennial Field.

The Crosscutters, who had rallied from 4-0 and 5-4 deficits to tie game 4-4 and 5-5, fell behind again in the bottom of the seventh inning on a Jonah Bride solo homer to left, his second home run of the season and second straight home game (also homered last Thursday at Centennial.

Vermont reliever Slater Lee (2-2), who entered the game with just two earned runs allowed in 15 innings and had worked out of trouble in both the seventh and eighth innings, allowed all four (three earned) runs on four hits in the ninth inning. Jesse Wikening, who had tied game 5-5 with a one-out RBI single in the seventh, reached on a fielding error in the ninth that scored Keudy Bocio with the tying run.

After a Jesus Henriquez bunt single, Ben Aklinski lined a two-run double to leftcenter to give Williamsport a two-run lead. Henriquez then scored on a Jonathan Guzman RBI single to right, the 16th and final hit of the night for the Crosscutters (6-for-19 with runners in scoring position compared to Vermont’s 1-for-11).

Vermont had built its 4-0 lead with three runs in the first and another second. After three straight one-out walks in the first, Jeremy Eierman plated the Lake Monsters first run with a line drive RBI single to center, which was followed by a Jose Rivas RBI forceout and a Max Schuemann bases loaded walk.

Alfonso Rivas added another run in second on a one-out RBI double to leftcenter. The double gave Rivas a seven- game hitting streak and nine of Vermont’s 32 total hits over the seven games.

Lake Monsters starter Jose Mora worked in-and-out of trouble over the first four innings before the Crosscutters got to him in the fifth. Danny Mayer cut the Williamsport deficit in half with a one-out, two-run blast to left for his second home run of the season. A Ben Pelletier double ended the night for Mora, who gave up three runs (one earned) on four hits, four walks and seven strikeouts in 4 1/3 inninings).

Wiilliamsport tied the game 4-4 off reliever Oscar Tovar on a pair of two-out RBI singles in the fifth from Bryan Gonzalez and Jesus Henriquez. Vermont retook lead 5-4 in sixth as Devin Foyle collected his second hit and second stolen base before scoring on a fielding error.

Pelletier went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, while five other Crosscutters had two hits in the 16-hit attack. Williamsport (14-22) had to use five relievers to get through 8 1/3 ininngs after starter Jhordany Mezquita was knocked out of the game in the first inning. Tyler Carr (1-1) pitched a 1-2-3 bottom eighth to earn the win, while Keylan Kigore a perfect ninth for his fourth save.

The Lake Monsters and Crosscutters will play the second of the three-game series 7:05 pm Wednesday at historic Centennial Field with the first 500 fans receiving a 25th Season Challenge Coin.