BURLINGTON, VT — Vermont scored four unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning and held on to win their 2023 Futures League season opener with a 6-4 victory over the Brockton Rox on Wednesday night at historic Centennial Field.

After a pair of Rox errors in the bottom of the first inning, the Lake Monsters scored the first run of the game on a Ryan Grace (Colby College) one-out RBI single. Colby Brouillette (BFA./Central Connecticut) followed with a first pitch line drive two-run triple to right center for a 3-0 advantage.

Brockton cut the deficit to 4-3 on a Manny Ramirez Jr. solo home run in the top of the third inning before a Cooper O’Brien (Vergennes/Colby-Sawyer) two-run single in the sixth inning restored a three-run lead for the Lake Monsters.

Vermont led 6-4 in the eighth when the Rox loaded the bases with no outs on three straight walks to open the inning. Wyatt Cameron (Middlebury/Central Connecticut) came on in relief to strikeout the side on just 14 pitches (11 strikes) to keep the advantage at two runs, then had one strikeout in a 1-2-3 top of the ninth to earn the save.

Francis Ferguson (Eastern Nazarene) 4 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO
Georgdon Jackson Murphy (UMass-Dartmouth) 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO (earned win)
Ryan Grace 2-for-4 with 1 run and 1 RBI

* Vermont’s 4th run in the 1st inning scored on a Antonio Perrotta (Virginia) RBI fielder’s choice
* Teams combined for 9 hits (Brockton 4, Vermont 5) and 15 walks (Rox 7, Monsters 8).
* Wyatt Cameron retired all 6 batters he faced (4 strikeouts) on 27 pitches (21 strikes)
* Lake Monsters won their FCBL season opener for the 1st time in 3 seasons (lost at Westfield in 2021 and 2022 openers)
* Vermont is now 10-19 in its 29 season opener all-time and now 2-1 in FCBL home openers

NEXT GAME: Thursday vs. Norwich, 6:35pm at Centennial Field