Baseball: Monsters Shutout at Connecticut

Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

NORWICH, CT — The Connecticut Tigers scored all three of its runs in the fourth inning and five Tiger hurlers combined on a three-hit shutout to hand the Vermont Lake Monsters its first loss of the season with a 3-0 New York-Penn League victory at Dodd Stadium on Monday Night.

Vermont got back-to-back two-out singles from Kevin Richards and Jordan Diaz in the top of the first, but that would be the only hits allowed by Connecticut starter Chavez Fernander (1-0) over his five scoreless innings with two walks and four strikeouts.

The Lake Monsters only other hit of the night was a Diaz one-out single in the sixth as four Connecticut relievers each tossed one scoreless inning to complete the three-hit shutout, including two strikeouts in a perfect ninth inning for Austin Anderon to earn the save.

Vermont starter Hogan Harris, Oakland’s third-round pick in the 2018 draft, made his professional debut on Monday. After hitting the leadoff batter and allowing a one-out single to put runners on the corner, Harris got back-to-back strikeouts to end the first, then retired the next six Tigers (three by strikeout).

Connecticut (2-2) got the three runs in the fourth as they loaded the bases with a walk, single and one-out hit batter to chase Harris from the game. Kelvin Smith greeted reliever Austin Briggs with a line drive two-run single to center and Matthew Jarecki later plated the third run with a sacrifice fly.

Harris (0-1) was charged with three runs on two hits with one walk and five strikeouts over his 3 1/3 innings to take the loss. Reliever Carlos Sanchez had one walk and three strikeouts over 2 1/3 hitless innings for the Lake Monsters (3-1).

Vermont returns home to historic Centennial Field for a three-game series against the Hudson Valley Renegades beginning on Tuesday night at 7:05 pm. It is Sun Safety Night and the first 1,000 fans will receive sunscreen samples.