Baseball: Monsters Salvage Final Game at Tri-City

Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

TROY, NY — Nick Ward’s sacrifice fly in the top of the 11th inning gave the Vermont Lake Monsters a 7-6 extra-inning victory in a back-and-forth New York-Penn League game against the Tri-City ValleyCats Sunday evening at Bruno Stadium.

After the two starting pitchers combined to allow just one base runner over the first three innings, the Lake Monsters scored three times in the top of the fourth before the ValleyCats tied the game 3-3 with two runs in the fourth and an unearned run in the fifth.

The teams exchanged one-out solo home runs in the sixth as Vermont’s Lawrence Butler connected for his first home of the season and ValleyCat Nathan Perry matched with his first homer of the year bottom sixth to again tie game 4-4. Jordan Diaz, who had an RBI single in the fourth inning, notched another RBI single in the seventh for a 5-4 Vermont advantage.

Tri-City took its first lead of the game on a Zach Biermann two-run homer in bottom of eighth off reliever Jeferson Mejia. But it was then Vermont’s turn to rally as Yedel Vargas led off ninth with double and later scored on a Diaz sacrifice fly to tie the game 6-6.

Vermont got the winning run in the 11th as pinch runner Nick Osborne, who opened the inning placed at second base, advanced to third on a Vargas groundout to first. Ward followed with the go ahead sac fly to centerfield, Jorge Martinez (1-0), who had come on to record final out of the 10th, then stranded the tying run at second base in bottom 11th to secure the victory.

Diaz went 2-for-4 with three RBI to lead Vermont (5-5), which snapped a four-game losing streak with the victory. Vargas and Kevin Richards each had two hits for the Lake Monsters, while starter Yorlenis Noa allowed two runs on four hits over four innings. Grae Kessinger was 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI for Tri-City (4-5).

After an off day on Monday, the Lake Monsters return to historic Centennial Field Tuesday to open a six-game homestand with the first of a three-game series against the Connecticut Tigers. Game time is 7:05 pm with gates opening at 6:00 pm for the first of three 25-cent Hot Dog Hysteria’s this season.