Lake Monster, Iron Birds split a pair

The Vermont Lake Monsters split a pair of games with the Aberdeen Iron Birds at home last Thursday and Friday nights. Originally scheduled to be a three game series, Saturday's series finale was rained out. With the regular season ending Thursday night, Sept. 3, there isn't enough time to make the game up, so Vermont will play just 75 games this year.

Yhonson Lopez singled home Ronnie LaBrie with the only run of the game in the bottom of the eighth inning, while Mitchell Clegg and Evan Bronson combined on a three-hit shutout to lead Vermont Lake Monsters past Aberdeen 1-0 in the series opener last Thursday night at historic Centennial Field.

Lopez and LaBrie accounted for all four of the Lake Monster hits in the game. Lopez had a leadoff single in the third inning and the RBI single in the eighth. LaBrie walked in the second, singled to leadoff the fifth and then led off the eighth inning with a double down the rightfield line. After Dan Killian sacrificed LaBrie to third with a bunt, Lopez punched a 1-0 pitch into leftfield to score LaBrie.

That one run would stand up as Clegg allowed three hits over 5 2/3 scoreless innings and Bronson retired 10 of the 11 batters he faced, including six by strikeout. After giving up two hits over the first five innings, Clegg got into a jam in the sixth by allowing a walk, hit and another walk to load the bases with two outs. Bronson came on in relief and got out of the jam by getting Justin Dalles to flyout to center on the first pitch.

Bronson (3-0) then struckout two batters in each of the next three innings, allowing just a one-out walk in the eighth innings. The left-hander has now allowed just three earned runs on 26 hits with only three walks and 37 strikeouts over 45 2/3 innings in his 18 appearances.

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