Baseball: Monsters Win at Lowell 3-1

Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

LOWELL, MA — The Lake Monsters scored all three runs on four of their six hits in the top of the second inning as Vermont opened a three-game New York-Penn League series against the Stedler Division-leading Lowell Spinners with a 3-1 victory at LeLecheur Park Thursday night.

Vermont (24-29) has now won eight of its last 10 games overall and are 6-1 in last seven road games (after going 6-14 in first 20 away contests). The 3-1 victory was just the third Lake Monsters win this season when scoring three runs or less (now 3-23).

Dustin Harris reached on a one-out walk in the second and scored the first run of the game on a Kevin Richards RBI double to centerfield. Lawrence Butler followed with another RBI double to center and later scored the third run of the inning on a Jorge Gordon two-out single to right.

Vermont had a chance to extend the lead after loading the bases with no outs in the third on a single sandwiched around a pair of walks, but were held scoreless and had just one more hit (a Richards sixth-inning bunt single) over last six innings.

Lake Monsters starter Colin Peluse allowed four hits with one walk and six strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings, lowering the 2019 ninth-round pick out of Wake Forest’s ERA to 2.25 overall with six walks and 24 strikeouts over 24 innings in eight appearances this season.

The Spinners got a run back in the fifth off reliever Leudeny Pineda (2-0) on a Kervin Suarez leadoff triple followed by a Stephen Scott RBI single, but Pineda got out of a second-n-third, no-out jam with a popout, strikeout and bases load flyout to keep game 3-1.

Lowell also got back-to-back singles to open the sixth and a leadoff single/hit batter in the eighth, but Lake Monster relievers were able to work out of trouble both times to keep the lead at two runs as the Spinners finished the game just 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Jose Mora struckout three of the four batters he faced to earn his seventh save.

The Lake Monsters and Spinners will play the second of the three-game series at Lowell 7:05 pm on Friday followed by the series finale Saturday at 5:05 pm. Vermont returns to Centennial Field to open a six-game homestand at 5:05 pm on Sunday.