Monsters Win on Maple Kings Day

BURLINGTON, Vt. Jeremy Eierman went 2-for-4 with a double and solo homer, while starter Rafael Kelly five strong innings and reliever Slater Lee 2 1/3 scoreless innings to lead the Vermont Lake Monsters to a 6-2 New York-Penn League victory and a three-game sweep of the Hudson Valley Renegades Saturday night at historic Centennial Field.

The Lake Monsters came into the series 0-6 against the Renegades this season with all six losses coming at Hudson Valley June 21-23 and July 20-22, but Vermont returned the favor with this three-game sweep to get back to the .500 mark at 24-24 overall.

Vermont got on the board with one run in the first with the help of two walks and a throwing error, but also left the bases loaded with one out. They opened the second with a walk, single and walk to again load the bases, this time getting a Marcos Brito RBI single and Payton Squier sacrifice fly for a 3-0 lead after two.

The Renegades got a run back in the third on a Garrett Giovannelli leadoff double and Tanner Dobson RBI groundball single to center. Those would be the only run and hits allowed by Vermont starter Rafael Kelly, who walked two and struckout five in his five innings of work. Kelly has also given up just three runs over 21 innings (1.29 ERA) in his last four appearances.

Jake Stone led off the top of the seventh inning with a 406-foot blast over the billboards in rightfield to cut the Hudson Valley deficit to 3-2. The homer came off reliever Bryce Nightengale, who allowed one other hit and had to strikeouts over 1 2/3 innings.

Meanwhile after the Brito RBI single in the second, Hudson Valley relievers retired 18 of the next 19 Lake Monsters (allowing just a Eierman one-out double in the fifth) before Eierman led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a 389-foot home run to leftcenter to restore a 2-run lead. It was the sixth homer of the season for Eierman and his second in last three games.

The Lake Monsters tacked on a couple of more insurance runs on a Noah Vaughan (2-for-4) two-out RBI single scoring Nick Osborne (2-for-4), while Max Schuemann scored from third on a Tyler Frank fielding error at shortstop. Lee came on with two outs and a runner on first in the seventh to retire seven of the eight batters he faced (Frank two-single in eighth) for his fourth save.

Renegades starter Nick Lee (1-1) went just one-plus inning, allowed three runs on two hits and four walks, while Jesus Ortiz two hits and three strikeouts over four scoreless innings of relief. McNamara Divison leader Hudson Valley (28-19) has now lost five straight games, while the Lake Monsters have won three straight games for the first time since a five-game win streak June 16-20.

Vermont heads out on a six-game roadtrip to Lowell and Aberdeen, starting with the first of a three-game series against the Spinners Sunday at 5:35 pm. The Lake Monsters will return home to Centennial for a two-game series against Tri-City August 11-12.

Courtesy: Vermont Lake Monsters