Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters
NORWICH, CT — The Lake Monsters won their third straight game to start the season as a Lawrence Butler bases loaded triple in the top of the seventh inning helped lead Vermont to a 4-2 New York-Penn League victory over the Connecticut Tigers Sunday night at Dodd Stadium.
The Lake Monsters are now 3-0 for just the third time in team history, matching the 3-0 starts in both 2001 and 2007. The only 4-0 start in Vermont history came in 2001 when they won their first eight games of the season.
Vermont trailed 1-0 and had been held hitless until a Danny Bautista one-out double in the sixth before the bats came alive in the seventh. A Jordan Diaz leadoff single was followed by a Jose Rivas walk and Nick Osborne single to load the bases before Butler lined a 1-1 pitch to centerfield for the three-run triple.
Earlier the Lake Monsters had trailed for the first time this season when the Tigers scored a run in the bottom of the first when Clark Brinkman led off the inning with a double and later scored on a Jose Quero RBI groundout. Connecticut loaded the bases with one out in the second inning, but Lake Monsters starter Richard Morban got back-to-back strikeouts to get out of the inning.
Morban then issued back-to-back one-out walks in the fourth, but got an inning-ending double play to again work out of trouble. He finished his start with one run allowed on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts over five innings. Connecticut starter Alfredo Silva tossed five hitless innings with three walks and six strikeouts.
After the Tigers got a run back in the bottom of the seventh, Vermont added an insurance run in the top of the ninth on a Bautista RBI groundball single to right for a 4-2 advantage. Connecticut cut the deficit again to one run on a one-out bases loaded RBI groundout, but reliever Calvin Coker entered to record a strikeout to end the game with tying run on third and winning run on second for the save.
Vermont and Connecticut will wrap up the two-game series 7:05 pm Monday before the Lake Monsters return home for a three-game series at historic Centennial Field against the Hudson Valley Renegades beginning on Tuesday.