Baseball: Monsters Fall to Tri-City 3-2

Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

BURLINGTON — Gilberto Celestino gave Tri-City an early 2-0 lead with a two-run double and five Valley Cat pitchers combined to hold the Vermont Lake Monsters to six hits in a 3-2 New York-Penn League victory Tuesday at historic Centennial Field.

Celestino’s two-out, two-run double came in the top of the third inning scoring Trey Dawson and Enmanuel Valdez, while Vermont got its first run in the bottom of the third on an Anthony Churlin RBI single to left scoirng Max Schuemann to cut deficit to 2-1.

The ValleyCats added another run in the fifth on a Dawson one-out double and Alex McKenna two-out RBI double for a 3-1 Tri-City advantage. Vermont had chances to score with two on in the bottom of the fifth, but Payton Squier lined out to left to end the inning.

Lake Monsters loaded the bases with one out in seventh on three walks, but scored just one run on a wild pitch. With one out and runners on second and third, Alfonso Rivas was out at home on a Squier fielder’s choice grounder to third and Aaron Arruda struckout to end the threat keeping the game 3-2 Tri-City.

Vermont got a leadoff walk in the eighth, but a strikeout and double play ended that inning before Tim Hardy came on to toss a perfect bottom ninth with two strikeouts to earn his first save of the season.

Reliever Carlos Hiraldo (10) tossed three scoreless innings with two walks and three strikeout, while Juan Pablo Lopez came on after the three walks in the seventh to work out of that jam and toss a scoreless eighth for Tri-City.

Both Rivas (triple) and Churlin had a hit and two walks, while Squier went 0-for-4 on the night and had his 12-game hitting streak snapped. Brady Feigl (1-1) allowed one run on one hit and four strikeouts over first 2 2/3 innings to take the loss, while reliever Jose Mora one hit, one walk and seven strikeouts over final four scoreless innings for Vermont.

The loss drops Vermont back into a Stedler Diviion first-place tie with Tri-City, each team sporting identical 9-8 records. The Lake Monsters and ValleyCats will wrap up the Centennial Field portion of their six-game home-and-home series Tuesday with a 12:05 pm start.