BURLINGTON, VT --- The Vermont Lake Monsters clinched their first New York-Penn League Stedler Division title since 2011 with a 7-4 victory over Tri-City in the second game of a doubleheader Monday night at historic Centennial Field after the ValleyCats had taken the opener 6-5.
Tri-City had tied the nightcap 4-4 in the top of the fifth with its fifth and sixth home runs of the twinbill, but Jarrett Costa led off the bottom of the inning with a 397-foot home run off the videoboard to give the lead back to the Lake Monsters. Vermont added two more runs in the inning on a Hunter Hargrove RBI infield single and a run-scoring wild pitch.
The Lake Monsters had taken a 4-1 lead in the first on a Logan Farrar RBI grounder and a three-run homer to right for Greg Deichamann, who also had a solo homer in the first game of the twinbill and now has eight home runs of the season.
After giving up a leadoff homer and walk in the top of the first, Vermont starter Wyatt Marks retired the next 14 Tri-City batters before Miguelangel Sierra reached when shortstop Jesus Lage dropped a pop up in short leftfield with two outs in the fifth. Andy Pineda followed with a two-run homer to right and Jacob Meyers with his third home run of the doubleheader to tie the game 4-4.
After Meyers home run tied the game, Vermont reliever Logan Salow (2-3) got the final out of the top of the fifth and then, after Vermont took the 7-4 lead in bottom fifth, retired the ValleyCats 1-2-3 in both the sixth and seventh innings to clinch the Lake Monsters fourth division title all-time (won McNamara Division titles in 1995 and 1996).
Logan Farrar and Will Toffey both scored two runs for Vermont in game two, while Marks was charged with four runs (one earned) on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings. Ben Smith (7-5) allowed all three runs in the fifth to take the loss, while all three Tri-City hits in the nightcap were home runs.
The ValleyCats also hit three home runs in the opener, including back-to back homers in a four-run fourth inning, for the 6-5 win. After a one-out walk, Jake Adams gave Tri-City a 4-3 lead with his league-leading 10th home run of the season and Kyle Davis followed with a line drive solo homer to left for his third ValleyCat homer. Tri-City added another run in the inning on a Jacob Meyers RBI single for 6-3 advantage.
The Lake Monsters got a couple of runs in bottom of the sixth after loading the bases with no outs.on a Toffey RBI forceout to second and James Terrell collected his second two-out RBI single of the game, but could not get any closer as they dropped their 16th one-run game of the season.
Diogenes Almengo (1-4) allowed two runs on two hits in 2 2/3 innings to earn the win for Tri-City, while Luis Ramirez retired the final four Lake Monsters to earn his fourth save. Argenis Blanco (5-7) gave up all six runs on four hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings to take loss or the Lake Monsters.
Terrell went 2-for-4 with the pair of RBI singles and Ryan Gridley 2-for-4 with a double for Vermont, while Meyers 2-for-4 with a solo homer in third and the RBI single in fourth for the ValleyCats.
Vermont (41-32) will host Tri-City at 7:05 pm on Tuesday in the Lake Monsters regular-season home finale. After two games at Lowell Wednesday and Thursday to close out the regular-season, Vermont will open the playoffs on Saturday with place, time and opponent to still be determined. For playoff ticket information, call the Centennial Field box office at (802) 655-6611.
Paul Stanfield is the Media Relations Director for the Vermont Lake Monsters
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.