WESTFIELD, MA — Down to their last out in both the bottom of the ninth and 10th innings, the Westfield Starfires ralllied to tie the game 5-5 and 6-6 before earning the victory by defeating the Vermont Lake Monsters in a Home Run Derby on Thursday afternoon in the Futures League opener for both teams.

The Starfires got a two-out RBI single in the ninth to tie the game 5-5 and then a Jake Lawrence two-out solo homer in the bottom of the 10th to send the game to the deciding HR Derby. Vermont’s Andrew Kanellis (Vassar) hit a home run on his third of 11 swings before Jackson Hornung won the game for the Starfires with homers on each of his first two swings.

Vermont had a 4-0 lead before the Starfires tied the game with one run in bottom of fifth and three unearned runs in the seventh. Ryan Marra (Brown), Donovan Montgomery (Siena) and Jimmy Evans (Tufts) all had two hits for the Lake Monsters.

Monster Stars
* Sean Matson 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 SO
* Ryan Marra 2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI
* Donovan Montgomery 2-for-4, 1 BB, 2 R, 1 RBI

Game Highlights
* Vermont scored 3 runs top 1st inning on Andrew Kanellis bases loaded walk and Ryan Marra 2-run single
* Sean Matson (Harvard) struckout side bottom 1st inning, then added 3 more strikeouts (1 walk) in 2nd
* Westfield tied game 4-4 with 3 unearned runs in bottom of 7th inning, including Jackson Hornung game-tying 2-run triple
* Donovan Montgomery, who had fielding error bottom 7th leading to the 3 unearned runs, gave Vermont a 5-4 lead top 8th with a 2-out RBI single scoring Connor Bowman (Tufts)
* Kyle Locklear (Clarkson) got strikeout with go ahead run on 3rd to end bottom 7th, then had walk and 2 strikeouts in scoreless 8th before Westfield tied game bottom 9th off Wyatt Cameron (NE College) with 2 infield singles and Nolan Lawrence 2-out RBI single.
* Vermont took 6-5 lead top 10th on hit batter, sacrifice bunt, single and run-scoring wild pitch.

Game Notes
* Vermont pitchers combined to strikeout 20 Westfield batters, one off team record 21 recorded July 29, 2021 vs. New Britain (Lake Monsters recorded 19 strikeouts in 2021 season opener at Westfield)
* The 9 strikeouts for Sean Matson tied a Lake Monsters Futures League record (done 5 different times during the 2021 season by Vermont pitchers)
* Vermont is now 0-2 in Future League season openers, having lost 2021 lidlifter at Westfield 3-2 in 10 innings
* 2021 Lake Monsters played just 1 game decided by a HR Derby (beat Worcester 1-0 in derby on July 18th)

Next Game:  Friday, May 27th vs. Westfield, 6:35
* Lake Monsters 2022 home opener with magnetic schedule giveaway for first 1,000 fans
* Celebration of 2021 FCBL Championship pre-game.