Baseball: Lake Monsters Extend Player Development Agreement with Oakland, Then Shutout Aberdeen 4-0

Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

BURLINGTON — The Vermont Lake Monsters and Oakland Athletics are pleased to announce that the two teams have extended their Player Development Contract for the next two seasons through the year 2020, the New York-Penn and American League teams jointly announced today.

The two-year agreement assures that the Lake Monsters will continue as Oakland’s short-season Single-A New York-Penn League affiliate for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, the ninth and 10th years of the partnership between the two teams. Vermont’s affiliation with the Athletics began in 2011 when the Lake Monsters won the first of their two Stedler Division titles (also won division last season).

“The Lake Monsters are thrilled to continue our relationship with the Oakland Athletics,” Vermont Lake Monsters General Manager Joe Doud said. “There are not enough positive things we can say about the A’s and they are a great organization to be affiliated with. We look forward to continuing to be one of the first steps in Professional Baseball for their players as they begin their path to become Major Leaguers.”

Since becoming the New York-Penn League affiliate of the Athletics, 22 former Lake Monsters have made their way through the Minors and reached the Major Leagues. 17 of those 22 “Major League Monsters” are currently, or have been, on a MLB roster during the 2018 season.

ABERDEEN, MD — Four Lake Monster pitchers combined on a six-hitter as Vermont recorded its second shutout victory in the last five days with a 4-0 win over the Aberdeen Ironbirds in New York-Penn League action Thursday night at Ripken Stadium.

With three Vermont pitchers recently promoted to Single-A Beloit, Bryce Nightengale made his first professional start after nine relief appearances and retired each of the first eight Ironbird batters that he faced (two by strikeout) before a two-out walk and single in the bottom of the third. Clark Cota came on in relief of Nightengale to get the final out of the third.

By then Vermont had built a 3-0 lead with single runs in the first, third and fourth innings. Alfonso Rivas led off the game with a walk and later scored on a balk for the first run of the game. Another balk helped the Lake Monsters score another run in the third as Devin Foyle led off with a single, advanced to second on a balk and scored on a pair of flyouts including a Marcos Brito sacrifice fly.

Nick Osborne gave Vermont a 3-0 lead in the fourth with an opposite field solo home run to right. It was Osborne’s second homer in the last three days, although his first home run on Tuesday in a suspended game at Lowell won’t be official until August 23rd when the game is completed.

Cota (2-1) worked a 1-2-3 fourth inning before getting into a two-jam in the fifth with a walk and single, but Brandon Marsonek came on to get final out of the inning. Marsonek then gave up one hit with one walk and two strikeouts over the next two innings to keep Vermont ahead 3-0 after seven innings.

Slater Lee gave up a leadoff single in the eighth that was quickly erased by Vermont’s second double play of the night. Another single and fielding error brought the tying run to the plate, but Lee struckout Nick Horvath to keep the shutout intact. Lee worked around a one-out single in the ninth to nail down his fifth save of the season and give Vermont its fifth shutout win of the year.

J.J. Schwarz went 2-for-4, including a double and run scored in the ninth that gave the Lake Monsters a 4-0 lead. Foyle was 2-for-4 with a run for Vermont (27-25), which has now won six of its last seven and 10 of last 14 games to move two games over the .500 mark for the first time since July 5th (11-9)

Milton Ramos was 3-for-4 to collect half of the six hits for Aberdeen (21-30). Starter Cody Sedlock (0-1) allowed two runs on two hits over three innings in his Ironbirds debut, while reliever Juan Echevarria tossed three scoreless innings.

The Lake Monsters wrap up the five-game roadtrip at Aberdeen 7:05 pm Friday before Vermont returns to historic Centennial Field for a two-game series against the Tri-City ValleyCats Saturday (6:05 pm) and Sunday (5:05 pm).