Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters
ABERDEEN, MD — Vermont snapped a 1-1 tie with five runs, including a pair of two-run homers, in the top of the eighth inning, as the Lake Monsters picked up their fourth win in last five games with a 6-1 victory over the Aberdeen Ironbirds in New York-Penn League action Saturday night at Ripken Stadium.
Vermont had just one hit (a Jordan Diaz homer in the third) over the first seven innings, but opened the eighth with a Yerdel Vargas leadoff infield single and Logan Davidson followed with a perfect hit-n-run groundball single to left moving Vargas to third with no outs. After a strikeout, Diaz plated Vargas with a sacrifice fly to left for a 2-1 Vermont lead.
Kyle McCann followed the Diaz sac fly with a two-out, two-run homer to left for his second opposite-field homer in the last five games and fifth home run overall. Then after a Marty Bechina single, Kevin Richards connected on a two-run homer to leftcenter for his fourth home run of year.
It marked Vermont’s first three-home run game and first two-homer inning since game one of the 2017 NYPL semifinals vs. Mahoning Valley at Centennial Field. It was also the first regular-season three-homer game since August 23, 2017 at Lowell and first regular-season two-homer inning since July 26, 2016 at Tri-City.
Diaz’s solo homer in the third was his seventh four-bagger of the season (third in NYPL), while his two RBI increased his league lead to 33 (also leads NYPL with 88 total bases). Vargas added an RBI single in the ninth for the 7-1 lead.
Aberdeen had tied game 1-1 in bottom of third on back-to-back two-out walks by Lake Monsters reliever Seth Shuman after Vermont starter Osvaldo Berrios had given up a leadoff single and walk. Shuman allowed just one hit, a leadoff single in the sixth, over 3 2/3 scoreless innings with four walks and six strikeouts.
Vince Coletti (1-0) tossed a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh to earn his first professional victory, while Austin Briggs one hit and three strikeouts over the final two innings. Vermont relievers have allowed just two hits with four walks and 15 strikeouts over the last 9 2/3 innings pitched in series.
With the win, Vermont (20-28) has clinched its second straight series win as the Lake Monsters have gone 4-1 over the first five of the six-game roadtrip which wraps up at Aberdeen 4:05pm Sunday. Vermont then returns to Centennial for a three-game homestand vs. Staten Island beginning Monday.