What a Game

As of this writing, the Vermont Lake Monsters had dropped three in a row, including the first two games of a three-game series played at home last Wednesday and Thursday against the Williamsport Crosscutters (Class A Affiliate o the Philadelphia Phillies). With those three losses, the Monsters had slipped to 15-14, and lost sole possession of first place in the New York-Penn Leagues Stedlar Division. As of our deadline they were tied for first place with the Oneonta Tigers. The difference July 16 at Centennial Field was that one home run that came with a runner aboard and the other with the bases empty as the Williamsport Crosscutters used a two-run homer to defeat the Vermont Lake Monsters 2-1 in New York-Penn League action. The Crosscutters would get their only two runs of the game in the top of the second inning as Troy Hanzawa walked with two outs and Daniel Hargrove followed with a two-run homer to leftfield off Lake Monsters starter Ricardo Pecina (0-2). It was the first home run of the season for Hargrove, who entered the game hitting just .116 (7-for-61) with two RBI in 17 games. Vermont answered in the bottom of the second with a two-out solo home run from Blake Stouffer. It was Stouffers third home run of the season with all three coming at Centennial Field. Both pitching staffs would take over after the Stouffer home run as each team had just one hit over the final seven innings. Williamsport starter Freddy Ballestas (2-0), who entered the game with a 6.75 ERA in his first five starts. allowed one run on two hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts in his six innings for the win. He was followed to the mound by two new additions to the Crosscutters from the Gulf Coast League. Sean Grieve had one strikeout in his one inning of relief, while Jordan Ellis had four strikeouts in his two innings for the save. The three Williamsport pitchers combined to issue no walks and strikeout 15 Lake Monster batters, including seven looking. Pecina allowed just the two runs on the homer with three hits, three walks and three strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings to take the loss. Reliever Jose Pinales recorded three strikeouts in his 2 1/3 innings, while Kevin Light worked out of a runner on third with no outs jam in the ninth with a groundout and two strikeouts. After the Stouffer home run in the second, Vermont had just two base runners over the final seven innings. Michael Guererro had a leadoff single in the fifth and was stranded at second base with two outs, while Dani Arias reached second base on a throwing error to lead off the sixth and couldnt advance any further. Cody Overbeck went 3-for-4 with two runs, two doubles and a two-run homer to lead the Williamsport Crosscutters to a 5-1 victory over the Vermont Lake Monsters in New York-Penn League action July 17 at Centennial Field. Overbecks night began with a two-run homer in the top of the first inning off Vermont starter Tommy Milone (1-2), who would settle down to retire the next eight batters before allowing a one-out double to Overbeck in the fourth inning. The game stayed 2-0 until the sixth when with one and a Travis dArnaud on first, Overbeck doubled to right-center to move dArnaud over to third. As Overbeck came into second base on the double, the throw from right fielder Michael Guerrero deflected off him into short left field allowing dArnaud to score and Overbeck to move to third. Overbeck then scored on a wild pitch from reliever Johan Figuereo, who also gave up a solo home run to Troy Hanzawa in the inning for a 5-0 Williamsport lead. Crosscutter starter Robert Roth, who entered the game 5-0 with a 1.05 ERA, got out of a little trouble in the first and second innings. The Lake Monsters got runners to second and third with two outs in the first on a Derek Norris single and Michael Guerrero double, but Blake Stouffer popped out to end the inning. Vermont got runners to first and second with two out in the second, but Jake Dugger lined out to first to end that threat. Roth then retired the next 10 batters until a bit of wildness cost him a run in the sixth. With one out Roth walked Norris, threw a wild pitch that moved Norris around to third and then threw another wild pitch to score Norris with Vermonts only run of the game. Roth (6-0) finished with one run allowed on four hits over six innings for his sixth win in six starts. A trio of Crosscutter relievers each tossed a scoreless inning and had six strikeouts over the final three innings as Williamsport won for the second straight night at Centennial. That is nothing new as the Lake Monsters have now lost six straight games at Centennial to the Crosscutters and are just 2-12 against Williamsport at Vermont since 2001. Dani Arias went 2-for-4 for the Lake Monsters, who had just six singles in the game and just eight total hits in the first two games of the series. Yhonson Lopez had an infield single in the seventh inning for his first hit in two games with Vermont since being promoted from the Gulf Coast League.

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