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Vermont 7-4 Win In Season Finale09/05/2010 8:30 PM ET
By Paul Stanfield / Vermont Lake Monsters
STATEN ISLAND, NY --- Connor Rowe went 2-for-5 with four RBI on a two-run triple and two-run single to lead the Vermont Lake Monsters to a 7-4 victory over Staten Island in the 2010 New York-Penn League season finale on Sunday afternoon at Richmond County Bank Ballpark.
The victory combined with Vermont's win in game two of Saturday's doubleheader gave the Lake Monsters back-to-back wins for the first time since July 22-23, a stretch of 39 games without winning two straight. After a franchise-best 21-8 start to the season, Vermont went just 15-40 over the final 45 games to finish with a 36-38 record.
The Lake Monsters scored three times in the second inning on Sunday as Jason Martinson doubled home David Freitas and Rowe smacked a triple to rightfield scoring Ronnie LaBrie and Martinson for a 3-0 lead. The Yankees scored single runs in the second and third innings to cut the deficit to one, but Vermont pitchers 14 straight Staten Island batters from the third to seventh innings.
Vermont loaded the bases in the sixth on a Russell Moldenhauer leadoff double and a pair of one-out walks before Rowe's two-run single to center scored Moldenhauer and Kevin Keyes, while Martinson advanced to third and scored on a fielding error by centerfielder Michael Ferraro.
Lake Monsters then scored their final run of the season in the seventh as Moldenhauer's second double of the game scored Blake Kelso from first base for a 7-2 lead. Staten Island got a two-out, two-run homer from Casey Stevenson in the bottom of the ninth, but reliever Wilson Eusebio got Ferraro to groundout to end the game and the season.
Kelso went 2-for-5 to finish the season with a team-high .309 average and Freitas 1-for-3 to finish with a .307 average, marking the best batting averages for a Lake Monster player since the 1999 season. Freitas also had a double, giving him a team-high 19 for the year and third-most in Vermont history. Moldenhauer's two doubles were his seventh and eighth of the season to go along with his team-high eight home runs.
Vermont used six pitchers in the season finale, including two innings for starter Ryan Mattheus and three innings for Billy Ott. Christian Meza (1-1), who allowed four runs without recording an out in his first Lake Monster appearance August 29th at Aberdeen, struckout two in a perfect sixth inning and was credited with the win.
The seven runs gave Vermont 365 total runs for the season, the fifth-most runs that the Lake Monsters have scored in their 17-year history. Vermont also finished with third-most doubles at 112 and a team-record 340 walks drawn, which helped give Lake Monsters its second-best on-base percentage of .347 overall. Vermont pitchers had eight strikeouts on Sunday to finish the year with four-best ever 587 strikeouts.
The 36-38 record gives Vermont a 591-684 all-time record in its 17 years. The Lake Monsters also hit 34 home runs during the year, leaving them with 498 homers all-time and two short of the 500 mark heading into the 2011 season.