Baseball: Monsters Hold on for 10-9 Win Over Connecticut

Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

BURLINGTON — Starter Adam Reuss was dominant over six innings as Vermont built a 10-2 lead after five frames, but the Lake Monsters had to withstand a seven-run ninth for the Connecticut Tigers to hold on for a 10-9 New York-Penn League victory Monday night at historic Centennial Field.

Adam Reuss was in control throughout, allowing just three baserunners and striking out seven over his six innings (74 pitches, 53 strikes) to earn the victory. After retiring the first six Tigers, Reuss gave up a leadoff walk in the third followed by a Ulrich Bojarski two-run homer to left. Only other Connecticut baserunner off Reuss came on a two-out Luke Sherley single in the sixth.

Anthony Churlin lined a 3-1 pitch 376-feet over the leftfield fence to give Vermont a 2-0 lead two batters into the bottom of the first (Joseph Pena was hit by a pitch leading off). It was the Lake Monsters first home run at Centennial since June 20th, snapping an eight-game homerless streak at home for Vermont.

The Lake Monsters built the lead to 5-0 with three more runs in the second on a Pena RBI single followed later in the inning by back-to-back sacrifice flies from Alfonso Rivas and Aaron Arruda. Vermont broke the game open with five runs in the bottom of the fifth, highlighted by a Jonah Bride RBI double to center and Robert Mullen two-run groundball double down the leftfield line.

Arruda capped off the fifth with a RBI single to center for a 10-2 lead. It was the sixth time this season that the Lake Monsters have scored five or more runs in an inning and the third time Vermont reached double figures in a game.

Charlie Cerny tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Reuss, but the Tigers scored seven times on five hits and four walks in the ninth. Luke Sherley’s two-out bases loaded two-run single and Sam McMillan RBI bloop single cut the Vermont lead to 10-9 before Slater Lee got Nick Ames to flyout to right ending the game with the tying run on second.

Bride went 3-for-3 with a walk, two runs and the RBI double, while Pena was 2-for-3 with a walk, hit by pitch and three runs scored. Arrruda and Mullen each had two hits and Jeremy Eierman a three-hit night for Vermont (12-12), which snapped a four-game losing streak with the win.

Tigers starter Gio Arriera was charged with five runs on six hits over just 1 2/3 innings to take the loss. The two-run homer was Bojarski’s first of the season for Connecticut (11-13), while Sherley and Isrrael De La Cruz both had two hits.

After an off day on Tuesday, the Lake Monsters head out on a six-game roadtrip with a pair of three-game series at State College and Connecticut, beginning with the series opener at State College on Wednesday. Vermont returns to Centennial Field on Tuesday, July 17th for a three-game homestand against the Staten Island Yankees.