Baseball: Monsters Shutout State College 3-0

Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

STATE COLLEGE, PA — Three Vermont pitchers combined on a two-hit shutout, while three Lake Monsters each had a three-hit night as Vermont opened a six-game roadtrip with a 3-0 victory over the State College Spikes in New York-Penn League action Wednesday night at Medlar Field.

Gus Varland, making his second start and third appearance overall for the Lake Monsters, retired nine of the 10 batters he faced with two strikeouts over three scoreless innings. The only baserunner against the 14th-round pick out of Concordia (MN) University, was a two-out single in the second.

Hurtado relieved Varland to start the fourth and gave up just one hit (a leadoff single in the fifth) with seven strikeouts in his first four innings. He started the eighth by hitting the leadoff batter before retiring the next two Spikes. Brandon Withers came on for a strikeout looking to end the eighth, then tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his first save.

Vermont struck first in the top of the fourth inning as Jonah Bride led off with a double and scored when Jose Rivas followed with his second single in as many at bats. The Lake Monsters had eight hits over the first five innings off Spikes starter Jake Dalhberg, but could manage just the one run as they also hit into three double plays.

Dahlberg scattered one run on 10 hits with no walks and seven strikeouts over seven-plus innings, coming out after giving up a leadoff single in the eighth to Marcos Brito (his third hit of the game). The Lake Monsters left two more runs on base in the inning following a one-out single from Alfonso Rivas (also his third hit of game).

But the Lake Monsters were able to add a pair of insurance runs in the ninth as Bride walked (first for either team), Jose Rivas followed with his third single and both scored one-out later on a Noah Vaughan groundball single to right. It was Vaughan’s second hit and Vermont’s 13th of the game.

Both pitching staffs combined to for just one walk and 17 strikeouts in the game, while the shutout was the third of the season for the Lake Monsters. Brito, Alfonso Rivas and Jose Rivas each finished with three hits for Vermont (13-12), which has won two straight to move back over the .500 mark.

The three-game series at State College continues on Thursday and Friday at 7:05 pm before the Lake Monsters head to Connecticut for a three-game series against the Tigers Saturday-Monday. Vermont returns home Tuesday for a three-game homestand against Staten Island.