No less than five Cyclones hurlers could not stop the might of Vermont’s batters, who swung their way to victory for the Lake Monsters last night, delivering our boys their first series loss of the season.
Vermont held a tight 2–1 lead five innings in, with the Cyclones starting pitcher and first reliever, Jaison Vilera and Ezequiel Zabaleta, giving up one run apiece in the second and fifth innings, and Brooklyn getting on the board in the fifth when Jose Brizuela doubled to bring in Chandler Avant, after he was hit by a pitch then stole second and third on a wild throw.
But the Lake Monsters blew the game open in the sixth, after Clones hurler Tylor Megill — the Mets eighth selection in the 2018 draft — relieved Zabaleta, struck two batters out swinging, then hit Lake Monster Joseph Pena with a pitch — and threw three more wild pitches in a row to Jeremy Eierman, allowing Pena to advance to second, third, and home, making it 3–1.
Megill, in his first game of the season, then walked three batters — Eierman, who subsequently stole second, and then third on another wild pitch; Jameson Hannah, who also stole second; and Alfonso Rivas III — loading the bases with Lake Monsters before being pulled off the mound in less than an inning of play.
Trent Johnson replaced Megill for Brooklyn, but failed to stop Vermont’s momentum, giving up a triple to right to Payton Squier that scored Eierman, Hannah, and Rivas, bringing the tally to 6–1 before Brooklyn shortstop and native son Manny Rodriguez caught the third out of the inning on a fly ball by Jose Rivas.
Our boys encroached on the Monsters in the seventh — when Brizuela, who had doubled, scored on a fielding error by Eierman — and in the eighth — when Ross Adolph, who had walked; moved to second on a Kendall Coleman single; and to third after Chandler Avant was hit by a pitch; rounded home after Jose Miguel Media was also walked — making it 6–3 going into the bottom of the eighth.
But the Lake Monsters put another run on the board before the end of the inning, when Squier cracked a line-drive single off Clones reliever Yeudy Colon — who replaced Johnson on the mound with two outs — and drove in Hannah, who had singled and moved to second when Johnson walked Rivas III before being relived.
And Brooklyn batters failed to strike back in the ninth, ending the game at 7–3.
The loss puts the Cyclones at 10–5 on the season, still in second behind Hudson Valley.
Our boys hope to return to the win column tonight when they take on the evil Staten Island Yankees — currently in dead last in the New York-Penn League — at MCU Park at 6:00 pm.