Baseball: Monsters Swept in Hudson Valley

Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

Wappingers Falls, NY — Jake Stone led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a triple and scored the walkoff run on a Ford Proctor sacrifice fly as the Hudson Valley Renegades completed a three-game sweep of the Vermont Lake Monsters with a a 2-1 New York-Penn victory Sunday evening at Dutchess Stadium.

With the game tied 1-1, Stone hit the first pitch from reliver Clark Cota off the fence in leftcenter for his second triple of the season. It was also just the third triple allowed by Vermont pitching this year. After a strikeout and pair of intentional walks loaded the bases, Proctor hit the first pitch he saw deep enough to score Stone well ahead of throw home from leftfielder Noah Vaughan.

The Lake Monsters finish 0-6 this season at Hudson Valley (also swept June 21-23 at Dutchess Stadium) with four Renegade walkoff victories. Vermont is also now 4-12 at Dutchess Stadium since September 1, 2016 with 10 of the 12 losses coming by 1 run and Sunday marking the seventh Renegades walkoff win in that stretch.

Vermont jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first on a Jonah Bride two-out double and RBI single from Alfonso Rivas. The Lake Monsters had a chance to take a 2-0 lead in the fourth as Bride walked and Rivas followed with a groundball down the rightfield line for a potential run-scoring triple, but the ball somehow went out of play for a ground-rule double.

Still with runners on second and third and no outs, Vermont was unable to score as Jeremy Eierman struckout, Jose Rivas lined out to short and Robert Mullen fouled out to the catcher to keep the lead at just one for the Lake Monsters. Lake Monsters finished game 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position (4-for-43 over last seven).

Lake Monsters were able to hold the 1-0 lead until the seventh when Stone led off the inning with a ground-rule double and scored on a two-out Justin Bridgman RBI single to left. It was the only run against reliever Rafael Kelly, who allowed five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts over six innings. He came on in relief of starter Gus Varland, who allowed two hit and struckout two in two scoreless innings.

Missing their three regular outfielders Anthony Churlin (9th straight game missed), Jameson Hannah (5th straight) and Payton Squier (late stratch Sunday), the Lake Monsters offense continued its recent struggles. Alfonso Rivas and Max Schuemann both had two of Vermont’s six hits, its seventh straight game with six total hits or less (Lake Monsters now 27-for-211, .128, with just 11 runs over last seven contests).

Vermont (17-19), two games under .500 for first time since starting 2017 season 1-3, return to historic Centennial Field for a six-game homestand against the Williamsport Crosscutters July 24-26 and Batavia Muckdogs July 27-29. The homestand opens 7:05 pm Tuesday with the second of three 25-cent “Hot Dog Heavens” at the ballpark.