Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters
BROOKLYN, NY — With the help of nine walks by Vermont pitchers and nine stolen bases, the Brooklyn Cyclones took the opener of a two-game New York-Penn League series 4-1 over the Lake Monsters Wednesday night at MCU Park.
Brooklyn got a run without a base hit in the bottom of the first inning as Vermont starter Jose Mora (1-4) walked the leadoff batter Ross Adolph, who then stole second base and scored on back-to-back Cyclone groundouts. Brooklyn added two more runs in the second after another Mora leadoff walk and a Brian Sharp stolen base on a Hayden Senger one-out RBI double and Adolph two-out RBI single for a 3-0 Cyclones lead.
The two Cyclone hits in the second were half of their four for the game. Brooklyn’s only other hits were a leadoff double in the seventh and an Anthony Diocie one-out single in the eighth (a fielding error by Nick Osborne in right on the single allowed Sharp, who had just walked for the fourth time, to score an unearned run for a 4-1 Cyclones lead).
Vermont got its run in the top of the fifth with two outs when Anthony Churlin reached safely on catcher’s inference before scoring on back-to-back singles from Noah Vaughan and Devin Foyle. The back-to-back singles were also half of the Lake Monsters hits in the game (Osborne two-out single in fourth and J.J. Schwarz triple in seventh).
Schwarz’s seventh-inning triple came with one out, but a Churlin pop up to first and a Vaughan strikeout got Brooklyn reliever Tommy Wilson out of the jam. The Lake Monsters also got a Foyle leadoff walk in the eighth, but Wilson got back-to-back called strikeouts and a groundout keeping Brooklyn lead at 3-1.
Bryce Nightengale came on in relief of Mora to start the bottom of the third and retired eight of the nine batters he faced over three scoreless innings. Only baserunner against Nightengale was a leadoff walk in the fourth that was erased on a double play.
Cyclones starter Jose Butto (1-0) allowed one run on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts over six innings to earn the victory, while Ezequiel Zabaleta tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his first save with Brooklyn (31-25).
The Lake Monsters and Cyclones will wrap up the two-game series at Brooklyn 7:00 pm on Thursday. Vermont (27-29), which has lost four straight, then returns to historic Centennial Field for a six-game homestand beginning on Friday against the Staten Island Yankees.