Baseball: Monsters Win 5th Straight , Rally Past Connecticut 10-3

Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

BURLINGTON – Alfonso Rivas’ first professional home run was a 404-foot three-run blast to right field to give Vermont a 5-3 lead and the Lake Monsters tacked on five more runs in the eighth to earn their fifth straight victory with a 10-3 win over the Connecticut Tigers in the New York-Penn League action Wednesday night at historic Centennial Field.

The victory improved Vermont’s record to 5-1 overall, tying for the second-best start in the Lake Monsters 25-year history. The 2010 Lake Monsters also started the season 5-1, while the 2001 Vermont Expos began 6-0 (won its first eight games).

Jesus Lage got the seventh-inning rally started with a one-out double and advanced to third on a single from second-round pick Jeremy Eierman (Missouri State) for his first pro hit. Rivas then drilled a 1-0 pitch from Victor Mueses over both sets of billboards in right field to give the Lake Monsters their first lead of the night.

Rivas picked up his fourth RBI of the night in the eighth on a bases loaded walk and Payton Squier capped off the five-run inning with a line drive two-run single to right to put Vermont in double-digit runs for the first time this season and first time at Centennial since an 11-2 win over Tri-City on July 25, 2017.

Earlier a couple of errors and a run-scoring wild pitch led to two unearned runs for the Tigers in the third inning off Vermont reliever Rafael Kelly. Connecticut added another run in the fifth on a Isrrael De La Cruz home run to right for a 3-0 Tigers lead.

Connecticut starter Carson Lance held Vermont hitless until the fifth when Lage’s infield single gave the Lake Monsters their first hit of the game (and just second over their last 12 innings played). After a walk loaded the bases, second-round pick Jameson Hannah (Dallas Baptist) lined a two-run single to left cutting the Vermont deficit to 3-2.

Charlie Cerny, a seventh-round pick out of Illinois-Chicago, started and tossed a 1-2-3 top of the first inning with a strikeout in his professional debut. Kelly (1-1) allowed three runs (one earned) on seven hits over six innings to earn the victory, while Jaimto Lebron two walks and three strikeouts over two scoreless innings for the save.

Lage was 2-for-3 with a walk, three runs scored and a double, while Eierman had two hits with two runs scored and Hannah finished with three RBI on the night. Cam Warner had two hits and an RBI for Connecticut (2-4), while Lance two runs on two hits wth five walks and three strikeouts over five innings of work. Mueses (0-1) was charged with seven runs (five earned) over 2 1/3 innings to take the loss.

Vermont heads out on a six-game roadtrip starting Thursday with a pair of three-game series at Hudson Valley and Aberdeen. The Lake Monsters return home to Centennial for a six-game homestand beginning on June 28th.