STATEN ISLAND, NY --- A ninth-inning rally came up just short for the Lake Monsters on Wednesday night as the Staten Island Yankees held on for a 3-2 New York-Penn League victory over Vermont at Richmond County Bank Ballpark.
Trailing 3-1 to start the ninth, the Lake Monsters got three straight hits to score a run and put the tying/go ahead runs on base. Greg Deichmann led off the inning with an opposite field double to left and scored on a Will Toffey RBI single to center. Logan Farrar followed with his first Vermont hit on a groundball single to right moving Toffey to second.
After Toffey advanced to third on a forceout at second for the first out of inning, Payton Squier hit a line drive to right where Leonardo Molina made a shoestring catch and was able to hold the potential tying run Toffey at third. Ryan Gridley followed with a groundout to shortstop to end the game and give the Yankees a 2-1 edge in the four-game series.
Vermont starter Jared Poche', Oakland's ninth-round pick in 2017 draft out of LSU, tossed two scoreless innings with two strikeouts in his professional debut. Poche' worked around a one-out single in the first before allowing a one-out single and two-out double in second.
Oscar Tovar allowed two runs over four innings of relief for Vermont, but struggled with command as he walked five batters including the leadoff hitter in fourth who later scored on fielder's choice for a 1-0 Yankees lead. Tovar also walked batters back-to-back with one out in the sixth before a Dalton Blauser go ahead RBI single.
The Yankees added an insurance run in eighth inning as after a one-out Jason Lopez triple, Vermont's Logan Salow also stuggled with his contol as he walked, hit a batter and walked the next three hitters to force home Lopez with Staten Island's third run.
Yankees starter Alexander Vargas allowed just the one unearned run on four hits with four strikeouts over six innings for the win. Vermont's only run off Vargas came in the top of the sixth as Gridley scored on a throwing error as he and Jack Meggs attempted a double steal.
Deichmann, Toffey and Gridley each had two hits for Vermont (14-8), while Blaser, Wikerman Garcia and Francisco Diaz each had two hits for Staten Island (17-5). Both teams finshed the night with seven base hits, but Vermont pitchers walked seven batters and hit two others (Staten Island pitchers three walks).
The Lake Monsters and Yankees will wrap up the four-game series at Staten Island on Thursday at 7:00 pm. Vermont returns to historic Centennial Field for a six-game homestand that begins on Friday against Auburn and rus through July 19th.
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.