Baseball: Monsters Open Home Season With Doubleheader Sweep

Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

BURLINGTON – The Lake Monsters first hit of Tuesday’s scheduled seven-inning contest was a game-winner as Robert Mullen’s line drive single to left scored Javier Godard from third base in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Vermont a 1-0 victory over the Connecticut Tigers at historic Centennial Field.

Vermont had earlier walked off with a 5-4 victory over Connecticut in the completion of a suspended game from Monday night.

Neither team could muster much offense in the nightcap as the Tigers had just three hits and the Lake Monsters were hitless through seven innings. The eighth inning started with the new extra-innings rule that puts a runner automatically at second base with no outs.

Connecticut was unable to score in the top of the eighth with a runner on third and one out as Vermont pitcher Chris Kohler struckout Moises Nunez and Yomar Valentin. In the Lake Monsters half of the eighth with Godard starting the inning at second, Enrry Pantoja advanced Godard to third with a chopper to the pitcher. Mullen then lined a 3-2 pitch into left field for Vermont’s first hit of the game.

Kohler (1-0) worked the final 3 1/3 innings, allowing just one hit and striking out seven in relief of starter Adam Reuss, who allowed two hits with two walks and seven strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings. Connecticut starter Jack O’Loughlin struckout five and retired 12 of 13 batters faced over four innings (only baserunner on hit by pitch), while Billy Lescher walked two in three hitless innings of relief. Aaron Fernendez (0-1) was charged with the unearned run in eighth to take the loss.

With the two wins on Tuesday, Vermont is now 4-1 overall for the first time since 2010. The Lake Monsters and Tigers will wrap up the series on Wednesday night at 7:05 pm.

Payton Squier went 4-for-5 with a solo homer and scored the game-winning run on a walk after tripling with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to give the Vermont Lake Monsters a 5-4 victory over the Connecticut Tigers in the completion of a suspended game Tuesday night at historic Centennial Field.

Squier got his night started with a 379-foot solo homer in bottom second that tied game 1-1 befor Vermont took lead on a Javier Godrd RBI groundout later in the inning.

Connecticut took a 3-2 lead in the fourth on a Jose King two-run double before the Lake Monsters tied the game with a run in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single from Alfonso Rivas, the first professinal hit for the fourth-round pick out of the University of Arizona

Vermont retook the lead 4-3 in the sixth on back-to-back leadoff singles from Squier and Aaron Arruda, a one-out walk to Jesus Lage and an RBI bloop single to center from Marcos Brito. Connecticut tied the game in the eighth on a run-scoring wild pitch from Lake Monsters reliever Oscar Tovar.

Game stayed tied until the bottom of the ninth when Squier, who had also singled in the seventh, lined a two-out triple to rightcenter off Tigers reliever Jhonny Mateo, who then walked Arruda nine pitches and Lana Akau on four pitches to load the bases before also walking Jesus Lage on a 3-2 pitch to force home Squier with the winning run.

Marcos Brito went 3-for-5 with a run scored and two RBI for the Lake Monsters, while Jhenderson Hurtado allowed two runs on three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts over five innings of relief. Tovar (1-0) allowed an unearned run with two walks and three strikeouts over two innings for the win.

Cesar Gonzalez was 2-for-3 with two runs for Connecticut (2-2), while reliever Drew Crosby allowed one run on two hits with no walks and six strikeouts in three innings.