Baseball: Squier’s Five Hits Carry Monsters Past Renegades 15-5

Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

BURLINGTON — Payton Squier went 5-for-6 with 2 doubles and three RBI, while Anthony Churlin and Aaron Arruda both hit two-run homers as the Vermont Lake Monsters scored their most runs in a game at historic Centennial Field in 17 years with a 15-5 New York-Penn League victory over the Hudson Valley Renegades Friday night.

Squier had a hit in each of his first five at bats making him just the second player in Vermont’s 25-year history to record a five-hit game at Centennial Field (Scott Hodges was 5-for-7 in 13-inning game on August 1, 1998). Squier had a single in the first, RBI bunt single in third, RBI double in fourth, single in sixth and and RBI double in eighth.

His double in the eighth started a seven-run outburt in the inning that allowed Squier to bat again with the bases loaded loaded, but leftfielder Bryce Brown was just able to run down a line drive to rob Squier of a sixth hit. With the 5-for-6 night, Squier’s average jumped from .296 to .318 and the second-year lake Monsters is now 19-for-38 over his last nine games.

The 15 runs are the most for the Lake Monsters in a game at Centennial Field since July 21, 2001 when Vermont scored 17 times in a victory over Pittsfield. The 17 hits were also just two off Vermont’s home record of 19 vs. Lowell back on July 7, 1998.

Arruda was 3-for-4 with three runs and a two-run homer in the sixth inning which gave Vermont an 8-2 lead. It was the first home run of the season for Arruda and the second of the night for the Lake Monsters (just their second two-homer game of the year: June 16th at Tri-City). Churlin’s two-run homer, his third of the season, cam in the foruth inning to give Vermont a 4-0 lead at the time.

Vermont also had two triples in a game for the first time this year. Joesph Pena’s three-bagger in the third gave the Lake Monsters a 1-0 lead, while Jeremy Eierman tripled and scored on a wild pitch for a 6-0 lead in the fifth. Nick Osborne was 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI, while Pena and Jonah Bride both had two hits (Bride a two-run single in the seven-run eighth). Along with Arruda’s three runs scored, five other Lake Monsters scored twice.

Starter Gus Varland tossed four scoreless innings, his longest outing in seven games with the Lake Monsters. The 2018 14th-round pick out on Concordia University scattered four hits with four strikeouts and has not allowed an earned run over his last 16 2/3 innings (since allowing two runs in his first pro appearance back on June 29th).

The Renegades got two runs in the sixth on a Connor Dodson solo homer (his second of the year) and a Jacson McGowan sacrifice fly off reliever Clark Cota (1-1), who earned his first professional win with two runs (one earned) over two innings of relief.

Hudson Valley got two more runs in the seventh and another in the eighth on their third sacrifice fly of the night to cut the Vermont lead to 8-5, but Charlie Cerny record the final out of the eighth with a runner aboard and a scoreless ninth for his second save of the year.

Dodson was 2-for-5 with the solo homer for Hudson Valley (28-18), which was scored nine runs in the first two games of the series despite going 0-fo-16 with runners in scoring position. Chris Betts and Marvin Malone both had two hits for the Renegades, while starter Miller Hogan (2-1) two runs over three innings to take the loss.

Vermont (23-24) has won two straight for just the second time since July 4th and will look to complete a three-game sweep of Hudson Valley as the Lake Monsters become the Maple Kings for the 6:05 pm game Saturday at Centennial.