With the best record in the New York Penn League, and a five and a half game lead in the Stedler Division, the Lowell Spinners were looking to sweep the Vermont Lake Monsters on Wednesday night. Looking for his first win of the season, Lowell sent Yasel Santana to the hill. Hogan Harris was Vermont’s starting pitcher making his third start of the year and his fourth appearance of the season. With the sweep, the Spinners marked their third series sweep so far this season.
Both pitchers were dealing from the start. In Hogan’s case, making contact was a problem. Six Spinners hitters came to the plate and all six struck out. Santana was just as good for Lowell retiring six of the first seven batters he faced. Nick Osborne reached base by way of a single to left field. After throwing 60 pitches and striking out eight batters, Harris was relieved with two out and a man on in the fourth. Jorge Martinez was brought on by Lake Monster manager Aaron Nieckula. Santana was just as good through five and gave up only two hits, no runs, and six strikeouts.
The pitching duel entered the seventh and Santana’s night was over after six strong innings for Lowell. His line for six innings was three hits no runs, six punch outs were excellent. Hildemaro Requena came on in that frame and kept the zeroes coming. Martinez departed after getting two outs and giving up a single to Jaxx Groshans. Clark Cota was called upon to keep the game scoreless. The first man Cota faced was Xavier Legrant who singled in the hole into right field with Groshans moving to third. Cota was able to get out of it by getting Ricardo Cubillan to ground out unassisted to shortstop.
In the eighth, Vermont (8-11) put something together vs Requena. A leadoff walk to Lawrence Bulter was followed by a single to left field by Yerdel Vargas with Butler moving to second base. A sac bunt by Jorge Gordon move both base runners to second and third. Requena got himself out of the jam by getting Michael Woodworth to ground out to third base and then got Kevin Richards to strike out swinging. The game moved to the ninth with each team looking for the game’s first run.
Vermont did not score in their half of the ninth. The Spinners gave themselves a shot at a walk off in the bottom of the inning. With one down, Wil Dalton was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a walk to Groshans. Another base on balls to Nick Northcut loaded the bases with one away and forced a pitching change by the Lake Monsters. Calvin Coker was brought on to keep the game alive for Vermont. Legrant had other ideas as he lined a single to left center on what he called after the game “either a moving fastball or cutter”. The hit scored Dalton and gave the Spinners a one to nothing walk off win. It’s the third series sweep by Lowell in the young season. The win goes to Requena (3-0) and the loss to Cota (1-1).
Lowell Spinners starter Santana, despite the lack of run support, once again pitched well. He said location and throwing strike one has been a key for him. Luke Montz is running out of things to say about the way his team is playing and who can blame him. They are finding different ways to win every night as their 14-4 record would suggest.
On the Fourth of July, Lowell will try to keep this going as they play host to the Staten Island Yankees at 4 pm.