TRENTON, N.J. – Since he was drafted by the Yankees out of Irondequoit High School in Rochester, N,Y., as the Yankees’ top pick in 2010, Cito Culver has been working to make his game complete.
His defensive play at shortstop has always been stellar, his hitting record shows a .232 average in six minor-league seasons. It was his bat, however, that brought the Trenton Thunder (8-5) a 2-1 victory over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (6-8) before a Wednesday morning school-day crowd of 3,780 at Arm & Hammer Park.
Culver singled Taylor Dugas home in the bottom of the sixth with what proved to be the winning run. So far this season, Culver is hitting .200 (9-for-45), but has a homer and nine RBIs.
The Thunder took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, as Mason Williams, who was 2-for-3 and is hitting .310 (13-for-42) hit a deep sacrifice fly to score Dugas. The Fisher Cats tied the score at 1-1 in the top of the fourth when former Chicago Cub Jake Fox homered off Thunder starter Taylor Garrison.
Garrison recorded a quality start, allowing only Fox’s run, five hits, one walk and notching three strikeouts in five innings. He threw 85 pitches, 53 of which were strikes. Casey Lawrence took the tough-luck loss for New Hampshire.
Johnny Barbato (2-0), with two scoreless innings of relief in which he allowed just a single hit and struck out three, picked up the win. Mark Montgomery earned his third save.
The Thunder, after a 5-2 homestand, embark on a seven-game read trip – four in Portland and three in Manchester, N.H., against the Fisher Cats – before returning home Friday, May 1 to host Akron.