TRENTON, NJ – Tyler Austin and Cito Culver each hit two-run home runs and Jordan Montgomery tied his career-high with nine strikeouts to lead the Thunder to a 5-4 win over the Harrisburg Senators in front of 5,132 fans at ARM & HAMMER Park on Friday night.
Austin put the Thunder ahead against former teammate Jaron Long with an opposite field shot in the bottom of the first inning. Long, who was making his third start with the Senators, was touched for three runs, two earned, in 4.2 innings suffered his first loss of the season.
Jordan Montgomery struck out six of the first nine batters he faced in the game and kept the Senators off the board until the fifth. Stephen Perez worked a one out walk and moved to second on Cutter Dykstra’s base hit. After a groundout by Rafael Bautista moved the runner to third, Perez scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-1, Thunder.
In the sixth, Juan Silva walked against reliever Dakota Baucus to lead off the inning and Culver followed with an opposite field two-run home run to extend the Thunder lead to 5-1. Culver, who had nine hits in 20 games entering Friday, went 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.
Harrisburg rallied with two runs in the eighth against Daniel Camarena and Zach Collier led off the top of the ninth with a solo home run off of Jonathan Holder to make it a one-run game. Holder then walked the next batter, Stephen Perez, but recovered to record his first save of the season.
The Thunder snapped a season-high three game losing streak with their victory on Friday night.
Your Thunder will play game two of their series against the Senators on Saturday night at 7pm. RHP Brady Lail (1-2, 4.23) will start for the Thunder, RHP Tyler Mapes (4-1, 3.41) will go for Harrisburg. Saturday features post-game fireworks and is Military Appreciation Night. Tickets are available by phone at 609-394-3300 or online at TrentonThunder.com.