LOWELL, MA --- Jarrett Costa snapped a 1-1 tie with a one-out, two-run double in the top of the sixth inning to lead the Vermont Lake Monsters to a 3-1, seven-inning New York-Penn victory over Lowell Thursday afternoon at LeLechuer Park after the Spinners had taken the completion of a suspended game from Wednesday 1-0 on a walkoff triple.
The 2017 Stedler Divison Champion Lake Monsters finsh the regular season with a 42-33 record, tying for rhw fourth-most wins in a season over Vermont's 24-year NYPLhistory. The 42 wins tied the total won by the first-ever Vermont Expos team in 1994, while the Expos also won 49 games in 1995, 48 in 1996 and 45 in 2000).
The Lake Monsters also finished the regular season with a 20-19 record in road games, the first time since 2009 (20-18) that Vermont has had a winning road record and just fourth time with 20 or more road wins (22-15 in 1994 and 21-16 in 1995). Javier Godard, who had two hits in the completion of the suspended game, gave Vermont a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the second inning of the regularly-scheduled game before the Spinners tied the game in the fourth on a Zac Sterry RBI single off Lake Monsters starter Oscar Tovar, who allowed the one run on three hits over four innings.
After Malik Jones (1-2) tossed a 1-2-3 bottom of the fifth inning, Vermont took the lead on Costa's two-run double in the sixth after Anthony Churlin reached on a leadoff fielding error and Jordan Devencenzi singled to right. Josh Regan and Michael Danielak (fourth save) both tossed 1-2-3 innings as the Lake Monsters retired the final 10 Lowell batters.
With just one run allowed in each game, the Vermont pitching staff finished the regular-season with a 3.01 ERA, the second-lowest team ERA in Lake Monsters history behind a 2.86 staff ERA back in 1995. Over the last 15 games of the season, Vermont pitchers allowed just 28 earned runs over 123 innings (a 2.05 ERA).
In the completion of Wednesday's game that was suspended after two innings, Michael Osinski's RBI triple in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Spinners a 1-0 walkoff victory. It was the eighth walkoff loss of the season for the Lake Monsters and their fifth shutout defeat (second by a 1-0 score), while 16 of Vermont's last 26 losses were by just one run.
Starter Jesus Luzardo retired all six batters that he faced, including two by strikeout in each of the two frames. Ivan Andueza allowed three hits with three strikeouts over four scoreless innnigs, while Branden Kelliher one walk in two hitless frames. Bryce Conley (0-3) allowed three hits in the bottom of the ninth, including the walkoff triple to take the loss.
Vermont now heads to the playoffs for just the fourth time in team history and first since 2011. The Lake Monsters will open a best-of-three semifinal series at historic Centennial Field on Saturday at 6:05 pm against either the Pinckney Division champion Mahoning Valley Scrappers or McNamara Division champion Staten Island Yankees.
Tickets for Game One on Saturday can be purchased online by clicking here. Tickets can also be purchased by phone at (802) 655-6611 or in person at the Centennial Field Ticket Office on Friday 10am-6pm or Saturday starting at 6pm.
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.