Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters
BURLINGTON — Marty Bechina hit a go ahead two-run homer and Kevin Richards had a pair of doubles to lead the Vermont Lake Monsters to a 6-3 New York-Penn League victory over the Tri-City ValleyCats Sunday evening at historic Centennial Field.
Vermont trailed 3-1 in the fourth when Richards led off the inning with a groundball double down the leftfield line and scored on a Jose Rivas one-out RBI single to left to cut the deficit to one run. Bechina then snapped an 0-for-15 skid with the two-run homer to left off Tri-City reliever Juan Pablo Lopez (2-3) for his first Lake Monsters home run of the season.
The home run was Vermont’s 10th in its last 12 games after hitting just one home run over the previous 11 contests. The Lake Monsters have now scored 41 of their 123 total runs (33%) on homers, compared to just 23 of opponents 145 runs on homers (15.9%).
Game stayed 4-3 until the eighth when the Lake Monsters tacked on a couple of insurance runs after a Logan Davidson leadoff bunt single and Kyle McCann single to center. One out later Richards drilled a 1-2 pitch off the leftfield fence for an RBI double, his third two-double game of the year. Lawrence Butler followed with a sacrifice fly to center scoring McCann.
Lake Monsters starter Tyler Baum was charged with two unearned run on two hits and had four strikeouts, while reliever Colin Peluse earn his first professional win after allowing one run on one hit with two walks and five strikeouts over the middle three innings. Jhenderson Hurtado picked up his first save with two strikeouts over the final three scoreless innings.
Vermont got a run in the first without a hit as Michael Woodworth was hit by a pitch to leadoff the inning, advanced to third on a pair of walks and scored on a wild pitch. The ValleyCats scored single runs in the second on Bryan Arias sacrifice fly, third on a Wilyer Abreu RBI single and in the fourth on an Arias RBI groundout.
Vermont (15-21) and Tri-City (13-21) will wrap up the three-game series at Centennial on Monday starting at 7:05 pm. The first 750 fans will receive a free Lake Monsters Pet Food Bowl.