Williamsport, Pa. - The Crosscutters put together a strong performance in all facets of the game in a 3-2 victory over the Vermont Lake Monsters on Thursday night at BB&T Ballpark. The Crosscutters have now won three of their last four games as they bounced back from an 11-2 loss on Wednesday.
Corbin Williams picked up two more stolen bases and went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double while scoring two of the three runs. Williams leads the league with 14 steals and has six swipes in the last four games. Williams generated a run with his own speed in the fifth by drawing a walk and then stealing second and third. He then came charging in to score on a ground out even though Vermont had drawn in its infield.
Alejandro Made finished off his first career professional save with five strikeouts in two innings.
Tyler Burch (1-0) recorded the win for Williamsport (7-19) with three effective innings in which he gave up a home run to Jose Rivas (1st) in the fifth inning for the only damage against him.
Lefty Taylor Lehman was strong in his starting performance for the Cutters with four solid innings of shutout baseball in which he scattered four hits while also surrendering no walks for his second outing in a row.
The Cutters jumped in front in the opening inning against Vermont starter Seth Shuman. Williams doubled to right-center and advanced to third on a fly out and then scored on another fly via Jake Holmes's sacrifice to right.
Williamsport had great chances to build on its lead in the third and fourth with a pair of bases loaded situations but the Lake Monsters worked out of it both times beginning with Holmes bouncing into a double play to end the third.
Then in the fourth Tucker Maxwell crushed a deep drive to left-center that looked like a guarantee to bring in at least two runs...except for right fielder Marty Bechina who made a leaping catch crashing into the wall on a spectacular play to end the inning and deny the Cutters. Bechina had just been denied a half-inning earlier on a terrific diving catch in shallow left by Corbin Williams as part of a contest that featured some stellar defense by both sides.
Vermont catcher Jose Rivas jumped on a Tyler Burch offering in the fifth for a lead-off home run over the left field wall. His first of the season evened the score at 1-1.
But the Cutters re-took the lead right after that with Williams walking to begin the frame and then swiping second even though there was a pitch-out and then taking third as well for his league-leading 14th theft of the year. Vermont pulled the infielders close but Williams left on contact and, even on a hard grounder right at the shortstop, was able to score without a play at home to put Williamsport back on top at 2-1. The ground out was the second RBI of the game for Jake Holmes.
D.J. Stewart tacked on a valuable additional run in the sixth after he doubled into the left field corner. Logan O'Hoppe singled him up the third. And then Stewart was able to come in and score on a throwing error following a missed squeeze-bunt by Hunter Markwardt. Stewart was stuck in a run-down but catcher Jose Rivas threw the ball off the back of Stewart who was still in the baseline and therefore was able to come home on the mis-throw to push Williamsport's lead to 3-1.
Alejandro Made was one strike away from a two-inning save when a fly to right was lost by Tucker Maxwell for an error that kept the game going. A single and a walk brought the Lake Monsters one run closer and they had the tying and go-ahead runs on. But Made induced a swinging strikeout of Michael Woodworth on a devastating curve to finish off his first save in a five strikeout performance.
The farm clubs of the Philadelphia Phillies and Oakland A's will meet again for the rubber-match of the three-game series on a Fireworks Friday at Historic Bowman Field with RHP Leonel Aponte the pitching probable for Williamsport.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.