Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters
LOWELL, MA — Jeremy Eierman and Jonah Bride both went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and smacked a two-run homer to lead the Vermont Lake Monsters to an 8-2victory over the Lowell Spinners in New York-Penn League action Friday night at LeLecheur Park.
After Spinners starter Yorvin Pantoja retired the first two Lake Monsters, Jonah Bride lined a single to center and Jeremy Eierman followed with a two-run homer to leftcenter to give Vermont a quick 2-0 lead. It was a team-leading seventh home run of the season for the 2018 second-round competitive balance pick out of Missouri State.
The Spinners got a run back in the bottom of first on back-to-back two out walks and a Tyler Esplin RBI single the only run allowed by Vermont starter Rafael Kelly over 5 2/3 innings. Kelly worked out of a first-and-third one-out jam in the fouth, then a second-and-third no-out jam in the sixth with two strikeouts before reliever Josh Reagan came on to get a groundout to end the inning with Lake Monsters still leading 2-1.
Anthony Churlin followed the Eierman homer in the first with a single and Marcos Brito had a two-out single in the second, but then 12 Lake Monsters were retired in order until a Churlin leadoff walk in the seventh. After a pair of strikeouts, Churlin scored from first to give Vermont a 3-1 lead when rightfielder Esplin misplayed a Jose Rivas single for a two-base error.
Then after a walk in the eighth, Vermont got its first base hit since the second inning as Bride smacked a one-out, two-run homer to left giving the Lake Monsters a 5-1 lead. Along with it being its second two-run shot of the night, it also marked just the third multi-homer game of the season for Vermont (June 16th and August 3rd).
Lake Monsters followed the Bride homer with two more runs in the eighth after loading the bases on an infield single, walk and throwing error. Eierman scored on a Nick Osborne RBI forceout and Rivas followed with an RBI single to plate Churlin for a 7-1 advantage. Vermont added another run in ninth on a Churlin sacrifice fly.
Kelly (5-5) allowed the one run on four hits with four walks and three strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings, while Reagan 2 1/3 scoreless innings with one hit, one walk and two strikeouts. Rivas added two hits, while Churlin and Joseph Pena each scored two runs for Vermont (32-34), which has earned three wins in last two days at Lowell.
Pantoja allowed two runs on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts over five innings to take the loss, while Devlin Granberg collected two of the six hits in the game for Lowell (33-32). Lake Monster opponents are hitting just .157 (53-for-337) against Vermont pitching over the last 11 games.
The Lake Monsters and Spinners will wrap up the series in Lowell at 5:35 pm on Saturday before Vermont returns home to historic Centennial Field for a three-game series against the Brooklyn Cyclones Sunday through Tuesday.