Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters
BURLINGTON — Oscar Campos went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI doubles and Logan Mattix added a two-run homer as the Tri-City ValleyCats held on for a 6-3 New Yok-Penn League victory over Vermont Saturday night at historic Centennial Field and elminating the Lake Monsters from playoff contention.
Down 6-3 in the ninth, Vermont loaded the bases with a leadoff walk, one-out walk and a two-out walk bringing Payton Squier, playing in his first game since August 4th, to the plate. Squier blooped one into right that the diving Mattix couldn’t catch, but Marcos Brito on first base was not running on the two-out play and was forced out at second to end the game.
Vermont starter Jose Mora, who last just 1/3 of an inning in his last start on August 26, went 5 2/3 innings on Saturday but struggled with two outs throughout the start. After retiring the first two batters of the game, Mora walked Granden Goetzmen before allowing back-to-back RBI doubles to Campos and Luis Encarnacion (3-for-4).
The Lake Monsters tied the game in the third as Devin Foyle andBrito led off the inning with back-to-back doubles into the leftfield corner to cut the deficit to 2-1. After a bunt single from Squier, Brito scored from third on a Jonah Bride RBI groundout to tie the game at two.
The ValleyCats got an unearned run in the fifth when Duery Carrasco reached on a fielding error, advanced to second on a passed ball and third on a flyout before scoring on a Carlos Machado RBI groundout. Mora again retired the first two batters in the sixth before an Austin Dennis double followed by Mattix’s two-run homer to left for a 5-2 Tri-City advantage.
Mora (1-5) was charged five runs (four earned) on six hits with one walk and three strikeouts over the 5 2/3 innings. Tri-City went just 1-for-13 at the plate against Mora with less then two outs, but was 5-for-10 with all four earned runs scoring with two outs.
Vemont got a run back in the bottom of the seventh as Foyle tripled with one out and scored on a balk by Tri-City reliever Felipe Tejada, but ValleyCats got that run back in the Campos’ second RBI double of the night.
With a double and triple, Foyle is now 4-for-7 in the last two games after a 4-for-52 slump. Reliever Charlie Cerny allowed one run on four hits over 2 1/3 innings, while Josh Reagan two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth. Tri-City starter Juan Pablo Lopez (4-1) allowed two runs on six hits over five innings for win, while Tejada one run on one hit with five strikeouts over the final three innings for the save.
Vermont (37-37) and Tri-City (42-31) will play the second of the three-game series 6:05 pm on Sunday and the Lake Monsters will then wrap up the 2018 season vs. the Stedler Division champion ValleyCats at 1:05 pm on Monday.