Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters
NORWICH, CT — The Connecticut Tigers got an unearned run in the bottom of the first and two sacrifice flies in the eighth inning, then held off a Vermont ninth-inning rally for a 3-1 New York-Penn League victory Friday night at Dodd Stadium that extended the Lake Monsters losing streak to seven straight.
The losing streak is the longest for the Lake Monsters since losing 11 straight games August 1-11, 2016. During the current seven-game swoon, Vermont has not had more than six hits in a game and is batting just .157 (34-for-216) including 4-for-38 with runners in scoring position (1-for-9 Friday).
Vermont just avoided its fifth shutout loss in last seven games with a run in the ninth on a Jose Rivas two-out bases loaded walk after the Lake Monsters put together three straight one-out singles (after just three hits over first eight innings). Kory Behenna came out of the bullpen to earn his second save, getting Yerdel Vargas on a flyout to end the game.
Connecticut jumped out to a 1-0 lead with the unearned run bottom first as Jack Kenley reached on catcher’s interference and later scored on a Bryant Packard RBI double, the only hit allowed by Vermont starter Seth Shuman in his two innings of work with two strikeouts. The Tigers added two insurance runs off Jose Mora in the eighth on the sacrifice flies for 3-0 advantage.
Lake Monsters reliever Jhenderson Hurtado tossed three scoreless inning of relief, including six strikeouts in a seven-batter stretch from last out of the third inning to striking out side in the fifth. Kyle McCann was 2-for-3 with a walk for Vermont (8-13), while Michael Woodworth (who was drafted out of the University of Connecticut) had a double.
Packard was 3-for-4 with a run scored along with his first-inning double for Connecticut (9-11), while reliever Cristhian Tortosa (1-0) allowed one hit over three scoreless innings to earn the victory.
The Lake Monsters will wrap up the six-game roadtrip against the Tigers in Connecticut 7:05 pm on Saturday before returning to historic Centennial Field for a three-game series against Hudson Valley beginning Sunday at 5:05 pm.