Monsters rally late, open playoffs with a win
Vermont scores 5 in 7th en route to 6-2 victory
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Monday almost turned into a very frustrating night for the Vermont Lake Monsters, but a little bit of luck led to a big inning as the top seed opened their best-of-three Futures League Semifinal Series with a 6-2 win over Westfield at Centennial.
Tim Noone got the start and battled through a tough, wet environment with a short rain delay in the fourth inning. He wasn’t as sharp after the stoppage, but managed to make it through five innings allowing just one run while striking out six.
But the Monster bats struggled mightily in clutch situations through the first six innings, leaving 14 runners on base throughout the night.
Trailing 2-0 entering the bottom of the seventh, Vermont got a bit of a reprieve as both Gio Cueto and Jimmy Evans were hit by pitches. But with two outs and two strikes on Brian Schaub, it appeared they’d be kept off the board again...until Schaub’s swinging strike three fluttered past the catcher to the backstop.
With the bases loaded, Kyle Hoog came up with the biggest hit of the night, a towering double that short-hopped the left field wall, bringing Cueto and Evans to the plate to tie the game. Vermont would score three more in the inning without the benefit of another hit. Schaub would score the eventual winning run on a wild pitch, Hoog would come around on yet another hit by pitch with the bases loaded, and a bases loaded walk to Tommy Martin would bring Tyler Favretto to the plate, pretty much sealing Westfield’s fate.
The Monsters can advance to their second consecutive FCBL Championship Series with a win in Tuesday’s Game 2 in Massachusetts. First pitch in that contest is slated for 6:30 p.m.
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