Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters
BURLINGTON — Jeremy Eierman went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh that turned out to be the difference as the Vermont Lake Monsters held on for a 5-4 New York-Penn League victory over the Hudson Valley Renegades Thursday night at historic Centennial Field.
Vermont led by a run in the bottom of the seventh when Eierman, who had already scored runs in the second and fifth innings, lined a two-out, 3-2 pitch 347-feet to the opposite field in right to give the Lake Monsters a 5-3 lead. It was the fifth home run of the season for Eierman and his first of the season at Centennial.
The Renegades got a run back in the top of the eighth on a Tyler Frank sacrifice fly, but Brandon Withers stranded the tying run at second. Hudson Valley got a runner to second base with one out in the ninth, but Withers again stranded the tying run at second on a flyout and groundout to earn his fourth save of the season.
The victory snapped a seven-game regular-season losing streak to Hudson Valley for the Lake Monsters (nine straight including the two-game sweep by the Renegades in the 2017 NY-Penn League championship series). Vermont was 0-6 with four one-run losses at Hudson Valley earlier this season.
The Renegades had taken 2-0 lead in the first on a bases loaded passed ball and wild pitch by Vermont starter Jhenderson Hurtado, who settled down after the first in allowing just two hits and a walk over the next three innings. Vermont tied the game 2-2 with single runs in the second on Devin Foyle bases loaded walk and third inning on a Jonah Bride RBI single after an Alfonso Rivas double.
Vermont took a 4-2 lead in the fifth when Bride lined a one-out double down the leftfield line and scored the go ahead run from second when third baseman Adrian Rondon’s throw to first on an Eierman groundball bounced past first baseman Jacson McGowan for a three-base error. J.J. Schwarz followed with his second hit of the night, an RBI single to rightcenter for a 4-2 Lake Monsters lead.
Chris Kohler came on in relief of Hurtado to start the fifth and tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings before allowing an Erik Ostberg RBI double to left after a two-out walk in the top of the seventh. Kohler (2-2) finished his night with the one run allowed on three hits over three innings to earn the win. Renegades starter Blake Pflughaupt allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits with four walks and four strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings.
Ostberg was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles for Hudson Valley (28-17), while McGowan 2-for-4 with two runs and a double. Eierman, Bride and Schwartz each had two hits for Vermont (22-24), which has won five of its last eight games.
The Lake Monsters and Renegades will play the second of the three-game series at Centennial Field 7:05 pm on Friday as part of Princess and Superhero Night at the ballpark.