Tigers triumph in home opener

The Connecticut Tigers delighted a crowd of over 3,000 fans with a 7-1 victory in Saturday’s long-anticipated home opener against the Vermont Lake Monsters.

The scoring opened in the third inning when Tigers center fielder Jeff Rowland crossed the plate after an RBI single from James Robbins.  Matt Perry and Brett Anderson followed Robbins with RBI singles, giving the Tigers a 4-0 lead they would never relinquish.

The Tigers scored two more runs in the fourth inning thanks to doubles from Londell Taylor, Alexander Nunez and Julio Rodriguez.

Josh Ashenbrenner led the Tigers offense with three hits, but catcher Julio Rodriguez may have been the most impressive hitter on the night.  Rodriguez displayed excellent raw power in each of his first two at bats, hitting deep fly balls to right center field.  He was not rewarded with a hit until his RBI double in the fourth inning, which landed in the left center field gap.

Tigers starting pitcher Josue Carreno picked up the win, pitching five shutout innings, allowing two hits and striking out seven.  His fastball sat between 88 and 91 miles per hour and touched 92 on the radar gun a couple times.

Drew Gagnier and Kevan Hess finished the game in relief of Carreno.  Gagnier allowed one unearned run, walked two and struck out two in two innings of work.  Hess pitched two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out four.

The Tigers play the Lake Monsters again Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at Dodd Stadium.  Lance Baxter (0-1, 12.00) is the Tigers’ scheduled starting pitcher.  He will be opposed by Shane McCatty of the Lake Monsters (0-1, 9.00).

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