Baseball: Monsters Drop 5th Straight, Fall at Aberdeen 5-2

Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

ABERDEEN, MD — Matt Hammonds tossed six scoreless innings and Adam Hall went 3-for-4 to lead the Aberdeen Ironbirds to a 5-2 New York-Penn League victory at Ripken Stadium on Monday night and hand the Vermont Lake Monsters its fifth straight loss.

Aberdeen took a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on Adam Hall leadoff double followed by a Robert Neustrom two-run homer, his first of the season and the fifth allowed by Vermont starter Rafael Kelly in three starts on the young season.

The Ironbirds added single runs in the second on a Hall RBI single and in the third on a Milton Ramos RBI groundout after a Willy Yahn leadoff triple. Kelly (1-2) allowed four runs on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts over five innings to take the loss.

Hammonds (1-0) two hits with one strikeout and eight strikeouts over six innings in his Ironbirds debut. He faced just two over the minimum as Alfonso Rivas was caught stealing after a reaching on an error in the second and Marcos Brito was picked off after a walk in the sixth. Both Vermont hits off Hammonds came in the fifth on singles from Brito and Jameson Hannah.

Bryce Nightengale (16th-round from George Mason) had a walk and strikeout in a scoreless seventh in his Lake Monster debut, while Clark Cota (10th-round from UNC-Wilmington) allowed an unearned run on two hits with a walk and two strikeouts in the eighth inning of his Vermont debut.

The Lake Monsters offense, which had scored just two runs (both on a two-run homer Sunday) over the previous 30 innings and had just two hits over the first eight innings on Monday, finally showed a sign of life in the ninth inning

Lana Akau led off the ninth with a double followed by back-to-back one-out doubles from Payton Squier and Jameson Hannah off Ironbirds reliever Nich , who had retired the Lake Monsters 1-2-3 in both the seventh and eighth. An infield single and walk loaded the bases with one out, but Diogenes Almengo struckout Aaron Arruda and got Jeremy Eierman on a groundout to end the game.

Squier, who was named the NYPL Player of the Week after going 11-for-19 (.579) June 18-24, extended his hitting streak to six straight with the ninth-inning RBI double. Willy Yahn was 2-fo-3 with two runs and a triple for Aberdeen (6-5)

The five-game losing streak, which follows a five-game winning streak for the Lake Monsters, is the longest for Vermont (5-6) since losing five straight August 25-29, 2016. The Lake Monsters will look to avoid going 0-6 on a six-game roadtrip for the first time since twice in 2012 when they wrap up the series at Aberdeen Tuesday at 7:05 pm.