BURLINGTON, VT --- Sean Murphy went 3-for-3 with two runs, a solo homer and three RBI as the Vermont Lake Monsters scored five runs on just one hit in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 9-5 come-from-behind victory over the Lowell Spinners in their New York-Penn League season finale Monday afternoon at historic Centennial Field.
Murphy, who was playing just his third game since July 18th and first home game since July 16th, tied the game 3-3 with an RBI single in a Lake Monsters three-run bottom of the third inning. He then gave Vermont a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning with an opposite field homer to right, his second home run of the season. After Lowell retook the lead 5-4 with two runs in the seventh, Murphy again tied the game 5-5 with an RBI single in the five-run eighth inning.
Vermont started the eighth with three straight walks from Spinners reliever Brad Stone (3-2) before Murphy lined the RBI single to leftfield, the Lake Monsters only hit of the inning to plate Eli White with the tying run. Vermont took the lead 7-5 when two runs scored on a fielding error by first baseman Jerry Downs on a hard groundball from Tyler Ramirez. The Lake Monsters added two more runs in the inning on sacrifice flies from Luke Persico and Steven Pallares.
Lake Monsters starter Logan Shore allowed a three-run homer to Carlos Tovar in the top of the second inning for a 3-0 Lowell lead. The Spinners had three hits in the second, but Shore allowed just one other hit (a C.J. Chatham one-out double in third) with five strikeouts over his career-high five innings of work in his final start of the year. The 2016 second-round pick finished his first professional season with a 2.57 ERA, seven walks and 21 strikeouts over 21 innings in his seven starts.
After a 1-2-3 sixth inning, Vermont reliever Brandon Bailey allowed three straight singles to start the seventh including a Yoan Aybar RBI single that tied the game 5-5. After a foul out and strikeout, Matt McLean gave the Spinners a 6-5 lead with an RBI infield single to second base before Bailey retired the final seven batters he faced including three of his six strikeouts in the ninth inning. The 2016 sixth-round pick finished his year with a 3.08 ERA, nine walks and 42 strikeouts over 38 innings in his 10 appearances.
Vermont's only other hit besides Murphy's three in the game was a leadoff single in the third from Pallares, who had a walk and RBI in the game, while JaVon Shelby had two walks and two runs scored. Victor Acosta was 2-for-4 with two runs scored for Stedler Division champion Lowell (47-29), who will begin its best-of three NYPL semifinal series against the Hudson Valley Renegades on Wednesday.
Winners in four of their last seven games, the Lake Monsters finish the 2016 season with a 28-48 record for the fewest wins for a Vermont team since 2006 (23-52). After starting the season with a 17-17 record, the Lake Monsters went just 11-31 in their final 42 games of the season.
Miguel Mercedes went homerless on Monday and finishes with a league-leading 12 home runs, tying him with Matt Cepicky (1999) for most Vermont home runs in a season. Nate Mondou went 0-for-5 for just the third time this season to drop his average below .300 for the first since July 8th, but finishes sixth in the NYPL with a .298 average.