Chad Pinder tied the game with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the eighth inning and Wilfredo Solano ended it with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth as the Vermont Lake Monsters beat Tri-City 2-1 on Wednesday afternoon to take two-of-three in the New York-Penn League series against the division-leading ValleyCats.
The game was delayed 48 minutes at the start due to rain and stayed scoreless until the fourth when Michael Martinez homered off Tyler Johnson, who started the game in place of Gregory Paulino because of the delay. Johnson would allow just one other hit, a two-out single in the first, over four innings of work and reliever Trevor Bayless tossed a scoreless fifth.
Tri-City starter Zach Morton allowed just one hit, a leadoff single to Boog Powell in the fourth, over his four innings and reliever Randall Fant just a B.J. Boyd infield single in the seventh in his first three innings before he gave up the game-tying home run to Pinder.
Powell led off the ninth with a walk from ValleyCat reliever Albert Minnis and advanced to third when Boyd grounded a single just off the glove of first baseman Conrad Gregor. Solano fouled off a couple of bunt attempts before lining a 2-2 pitch from Minnis up the leftcenter field gap for the game-ending base hit.
Paulino (1-2) came on in the fifth inning in relief of Bayless and gave up just two hits with a walk and a strikeout in four scoreless innings to earn his first win of the season. Boyd had two of Vermont's six hits in the game and increased his league-leading average to .414 overall. Each of the three games in the series, including Tuesday night's doubleheader split, ended with identical 2-1 scores.
Wednesday's game also saw the Lake Monsters debut of Ryan Huck (0-for-3), a 27th-round pick out of Western Kentucky University by the Oakland Athletics. A 2013 first-team All-Sun Belt Conference selection after hitting .367 with 16 doubles and 16 homers in 53 games, Huck joins Vermont after hitting .475 (19-for-40) with 7 doubles and two homers in 10 games for the Arizona League Athletics.
Courtesy: Vermont Lake Monsters
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