WESTFIELD, MA — The Westfield Starfires scored five times in the bottom of the fourth inning for an 8-4 lead and went on to defeat the Vermont Lake Monsters 9-7 in Futures League action Friday night at Bullens Field.

Vermont had taken a 2-0 lead in the first on RBI singles from Tyler Favretto (Crowder) and Jimmy Evans (Tufts), then a 4-2 advantage on an Evans two-run double for his 39th and 40th RBI of the season (two off the FCBL lead).

The Starfires opened the fourth with 3 straight singles and a pair of walks to jump start the five-run inning before adding another run in the fifth for a 9-4 lead. Vermont got a Tommy Martin (Yale) sacrifice fly and Favretto’s second RBI single to cut the deficit to 9-6 in the sixth. Lake Monsters got a two-out bases loaded walk to Cam Conley (Pepperdine) in the ninth to get the tying run in scoring position, but a fly out to right field ended the game.

Favretto and Evans both finished with three hits, while Martin was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI for Vermont (39-16), which leads second-place Nashua (30-24) by 8 1/2 games. The Lake Monsters have clinched the top seed in the FCBL four-team playoff, but still need either one win or one Nashua loss to claim their second straight outright regular-seaon championship.

Monster Performances
Tyler Favretto 3-for-5, 1 R, 2 RBI
Jimmy Evans 3-for-5, 2B, 3 RBI
Liam Reiner 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 SO

Monster Highlights
* Starter Graham Cartwright (MIT) allowed 3 runs on 5 hits with 3 strikeouts over the first 3 innings
* Evan Clark (USC) 1 walk and 4 strikeouts over final 2 hitless innings
* 5 of Vermont’s 7 runs were unearned due to 3 Westfield errors (Monsters defense committed 4 errors)

Beyond The Boxscore
* Lake Monsters now 7-4 vs. the Starfires this season, but 0-2 at Westfield (lost season opener May 26th)
* Vermont (39-16) is 6-4 last 10 games after 5-game win streak and has franchise-best record after 55 games

Next Game: Saturday at Westfield, 6:30pm
Next Home Game: Thursday vs. Worcester, 6:35pm