BURLINGTON, VT — Tommy Martin, Trevor Cohen and Kyle Lodise each had two-out, two-run base hits, while starter Tristan Spalter four shutout innings followed by two scoreless innings from Ben Alekson and Sean Gamble as the Vermont Lake Monsters defeated the Worcester Bravehearts 6-1 in the third-and-deciding game of their Futures League semifinal series Saturday at historic Centennial Field on Saturday night.
With the win, the Lake Monsters will head to Norwich on Sunday for a winner-take-all championship game at Dodd Stadium against the Sea Unicorns starting at 5:00pm. It will be Vermont’s third straight year in the FCBL finals having won the title in 2021 and runner-up in 2022.
Neither team scored over the first four innings on Saturday as Spalter (Babson) scattered four hits and Worcester starter J.T. Raab two hits before the game was halted by rain for two and a half hours.
When the game resumed, Alekson (Stowe/Fairfield) had two strikeouts and allowed a two-out single in the top of the inning before the Lake Monsters put together four straight two-out hits in the bottom of the inning off Bravehearts reliever E.J. Nevills, who started with a leadoff walk to Jordan Kang (Harvard).
After a fielder’s choice and strikeout, Vermont loaded the bases on a Lodise (Augusta) line drive single to center followed by a Teddy Schoenfeld (MIT) infield single. After falling behind 0-2 and fouling off a 1-2 pitch, Martin (Yale) grounded a single into right to plate the first two runs of the game. Cohen (Rutgers) then doubled to left to score another pair of runs for a 4-0 advantage.
Then in the eighth after a two-out walk and Jake Gaudreau (Bryant) single, Lodise smashed the first pitch to leftcenter for another two-run double to give Vermont a 6-0 lead. The Bravehearts got their only run in the top of the ninth on a Sean Matos one-out solo homer to rightcenter off Callan Fang (Harvard), who struckout the other three batters faced in the inning to clinch the series.
- Cohen 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI
- Lodise 2-for-4, R, 2B, 2 RBI
- Alekson (W) 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO
- Vermont is now 6-1 in its 7 semifinal games played since joining FCBL in 2021
- Gamble (Minnesota State) retired 6 of 7 batters faced in the 7th and 8th innings
- Schoenfeld was 2-for-3 with a walk and run scored as Vermont outhit Worcester 10-8
- After going 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and leaving 13 runners on base in 7-5 game 2 loss Friday, Vermont 4-for-12 w/RISP and 6 LOB on Saturday
- Game time was 2:24, but also included a 2:25 rain delay at end of 4th and a 14-minute delay at start of game
- Centennial Field attendance Saturday was 1,455, giving Vermont a regular season/playoff total of 78,895 (average of 2,391 per game)
Best-of-3 Semifinal Series
G1 Wednesday: Vermont 7, Worcester 2 (Monsters lead 1-0)
G2 Friday: Worcester 7, Vermont 5 (Series tied 1-1)
G3 Saturday: Vermont 6, Worcester 1 (Monsters win series 2-1)
Best-of-3 Semifinal Series
G1 Tuesday: Norwich 3, New Britain 2
G2 Wednesday: New Britain 3, Norwich 2 (Series tied 1-1)
G3 Friday: Norwich 12, New Britain 2 (Norwich wins series 2-1)
Vermont at Norwich, 5:00pm Sunday