CURVE, PA – Early offense from the Thunder was just enough Thursday night, after a 5-0 lead in the 4th inning resulted in a 6-4 win over the Altoona Curve.
The offense struck for five runs (four earned) off Altoona starting pitcher, Jason Creasy, who exited the ballgame after 3.1 innings. He allowed nine hits and 13 total baserunners as the Thunder mounted an early advantage. With two outs and none on in the first inning, the Thunder received consecutive singles by Tony Renda, Tyler Austin and Mark Payton for a 1-0 lead.
Two innings later, Trenton had runners at first and third base with Cito Culver at the plate. He delivered a two-out, two-run triple to extend Trenton’s lead to 3-0. Then in the 4th, with two outs and none on the Thunder loaded the bases with one out when Mark Payton was hit on the foot by a pitch to force in a run. Dante Bichette Jr. followed with a dribbler over the mound to make it 5-0.
Altoona rallied for two runs in the 4th and single runs in the 5th and 6th innings to make it a 5-4 ballgame against Thunder starter, Cale Coshow. Coshow lasted 5.2 innings for his second Double-A victory, but handed the ball to Evan Rutckyj out of the bullpen. The Thunder lefty dominated over 2.1 hitless, scoreless innings in which six of the seven outs he recorded were strikeouts. The final three outs of the game were notched by closer, Mark Montgomery, who slammed the door on his 15th save of the season.
With an 9-5 victory by the Binghamton Mets over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Thunder remain 3.0 games behind the B-Mets for the second playoff spot in the East Division with 12 games left in the season. The Thunder have now struck for the first run of the game in 8 of their last 9 contests. Overall, the team batted (14-for-41, .341 AVG) in the game including multi-hit efforts from Francisco Arcia (three hits), Jake Cave, Renda, Austin and Bichette. Jr.
The Thunder return to action Friday against the Altoona Cuve at Peoples Natural Gas Field with a scheduled 7:00 p.m. first pitch. The Thunder send RHP Jaron Long (3-5, 3.42) to the mound to face Altoona’s RHP Chad Kuhl (10-4, 2.50). Pre-game coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on 91.3 FM or online at www.trentonthunder.com.