For only the third time in franchise history, the Vermont Lake Monsters are headed to the New York-Penn League championship series. Led by teenage phenom Jesus Luzardo, the Lake Monsters one-hit the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in a 3-0 win to sweep the semifinal series, two games to none.
Luzardo threw five innings to earn the win. He allowed only one hit and one walk and he struck-out five. He recorded seven outs on the ground.
The 19-year-old left-hander set the tone for the rest of the Lake Monsters’ pitching staff, which held the Scrappers hitless over the final four innings. Wyatt Marks struck-out two and allowed a walk and a hit by pitch in two-plus innings. Logan Salow retired both batters he faced and Michael Danielak earned the save with 1.1 perfect innings. He struck-out the side in the ninth to send Vermont to the championship series.
After scoring eight runs and hitting three homers in Game One, the Lake Monsters managed just one extra-base hit and three runs in Game Two, but that was all they would need. The one extra-base hit came off the bat of Logan Farrar, who hit a grandslam in Game One. He doubled on Monday, driving in the first run of the game. That hit came in the third inning, when Vermont did all of its scoring. Greg Deichmann and Jordan Devencenzi followed Farrar’s double with sacrifice flies to account for the Lake Monsters’ other two runs.
Farrar finished the game with two hits and a walk. Ryan Gridley also reached three times on a single and two walks. Deichmann didn’t have a hit, but he drove-in a run and threw out a runner at second base.
The championship series will begin on Wednesday, but the Lake Monsters’ opponent is still to be determined. If the Staten Island Yankees move into the finals, the series will begin at Vermont. If the Hudson Valley Renegades win, the series will begin with the Lake Monsters on the road.
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