The radar gun in center field flashed double zeroes as the baseball zipped past the catcher to the backstop. Uncatchable and borderline unhittable.
Domingo Acevedo was more of the latter, baffling Vermont Lake Monster batters with his high 90’s fastball, giving up just three hits over four and a third innings, leading the Staten Island Yankees to an 8-3 victory.
Throwing 96 mils per hour consistently through the fifth inning, Acevedo lived up to his billing as the Yankees 30th ranked prospect by MLB.com. Acevedo mixed his high heat with a decisive changeup, dropping to 87 miles per hour with his change, keeping Vermont batters off balance.
Acevedo gave up three runs, none earned, all coming in the first inning on a Nick Collins three run home run, while striking out three.
“He had good stuff,” said Collins. “Made a mistake early, we were able to capitalize. After that he settled in, located his changeup, spotting up with his fastball, mixing it up for strikes.”
While Acevedo dominated, Vermont starter Jonnie Massad was hurt by untimely Vermont errors.
With the bases loaded in the fifth inning, Skye Bolt misplayed a Zach Zehner single to center field, allowing all three runners to score and putting Staten Island ahead 5-3. Zehner came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Junior Valera.
Massad took the loss, going five innings, giving up eight hits and six runs, four of which were earned.
Moments That Mattered:
In and Out: Vermont nearly made a pair of fantastic defensive plans that would have prevented multiple runs from scoring. In the fourth inning and Vermont leading 3-0, Massad retired the first two batters of the inning before Valera reached on a bunt base hit.
Ryan Krill followed by launching one to right field. Steven Pallares ranged all the way back to the fence, leaping and snagging the ball above the fence, robbing Krill of a home run. But as Pallares smashed into the right field fence, the ball popped out his glove, allowing Valera to score from first.
Kevin Cornelius followed with an RBI single to cut the lead to one.
With two outs in the seventh inning and the Lake Monsters trailing 6-3, Valera laced a tailing line drive to centerfield. Bolt charged hard and made a diving attempt, picking the ball off the ground. But, much like Pallares, as Bolt landed hard on the outfield grass, the ball popped out of his glove, allowing Jeff Hendrix to score from second.
A two-out error at first base allowed Valera to come around to score.
“Those plays would’ve been huge,” Collins said. “Obviously those guys made incredible efforts to get to those balls, but the ball didn’t bounce our way.”
Silent Bats: After Acevedo left in the fifth inning, the Vermont woes remained. Travis Hissong worked through an inning and two thirds of perfect baseball, while Ethan Carnes followed with a perfect inning of his own.
Following the two hit, three run first inning, Vermont managed just one hit and a walk over the following seven innings. The Lake Monsters had an opportunity in the fifth inning to cut into the deficit.
After Acevedo departed with one gone, Vermont had runners on first and second for the top of the lineup, but Trace Loehr grounded into a fielders choice at second before being caught trying to steal second base, ending the threat.
Staten Island following with their four run fifth inning, putting the game out of reach for the Lake Monsters.
“We just have to bring the focus everyday,” said Collins. “We’re making too many mental errors. I made a bad throw early in the game that luckily didn’t hurt us. But we have to bring the focus and hopefully those mental errors don’t happen.”
Trouble in the Field: Despite managing just three hits against the league’s fourth best pitching team, Vermont did themselves no favors, committing three errors, resulting in four Staten Island runs.
Bolt’s error in center in the fifth resulted in three runs, while a Jesus Lopez in the seventh inning allowed a run to score. The three errors marks the ninth consecutive game the Lake Monsters have committed at least one error.
On the season, Vermont has given up the fifth most unearned runs with 32. Their 171 earned runs against is the most in the New York-Penn. League.