Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

BURLINGTON — The Lake Monsters rallied from an 8-6 10th inning deficit with two runs, then won the game in the bottom of the 11th inning on a Payton Squier bases loaded single for a Vermont 9-8 New York-Penn League victory over the Tri-City ValleyCats Sunday evening at historic Centennial Field.

The ValleyCats scored twice in the top of the 10th on Gilberto Celestino and Trey Dawson two-out RBI singles, but the Lake Monsters cut the deficit to 8-7 on an Arron Arruda sacrifice fly. With no runners and one out, Vermont was able to tie game as Jameson Hannah reached on an error, advanced to second on a Joseph Pena single and scored on a Marcos Brito RBI double.

Tri-City had a chance to retake lead in 11th with one out and runnner on third, but Carlos Machado flied out to right and Anthonny Churlin threw out Juan Pineda at the plate to end the inning. Then in bottom of 11th the Lake Monsters loaded the bases on a walk and Churlin swinging groundball single to pitcher Luis De Paula (0-2). before Squier lined the first pitch he saw over Celestino’s head in right for the walkoff RBI single.

Vermont (9-7) has now four of its last five games and take over sole possession of first-place in the Stedler Division over Tri-City (8-8). The Lake Monsters have also now scored 46 runs over their last five games (9.2 runs per game) after just 39 runs combined in the first 11 games of the season (3.55 rpg).

Trailing 2-0 early, the Lake Monsters scored four times in the bottom of the fifth inning. Alfonso Rivas got the rally started with a line drive RBI single to center before Payton Squier blooped a bases loaded two-out, 3-2 pitch in front of centerfielder McKenna for a two-run single giving Vermont a 3-2 lead. The hit extended Squier’s current hitting streak to 12 straight games (longest by a Lake Monster since Luis Barrera in June 2016).

The Lake Monsters added another run in the fifth when Devin Foyle got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, but the ValleyCats responded with four runs of their own in the top of the sixth to retake a 6-4 lead, Luis Encarnacion, who had solo homer in the second, had the big blow in the sixth with a bases-clearing three-run double to leftcenter.

But Vermont rallied again with two runs in the bottom of the sixth with a hit batter, single and sacrifice bunt in front of a Rivas two-run single to center tying the game 6-6. Rivas went 3-for-5 with a walk, run scored and three RBI for Vermont, while Brito was 2-for-5 with two runs and the RBI double. Oscar Tovar (2-0) allowed two runs (one earned) over the final two innings to earn the win.

With the win, Vermont is now 6-1 at Centennial Field to begin the season. It is the first time that the Lake Monsters have won six of their first seven home games since starting the 2010 season 8-1 at Centennial.

Vermont and Tri-City will play the second of the three-game series Monday night at 7:05 pm. It is the first of three “Hot Dog Heavens” at the ballpark this season with 25-cent hot dogs on sale all night after the gates open at 6:00 pm.