BOWIE, MD – The Trenton Thunder held a 3-1 lead entering the bottom of the 8th inning, but the first four batters in the inning reached and all four scored in the Thunder’s 5-3 loss to the Bowie Baysox Friday night.
Before 4,583 fans at Prince George’s Stadium, Thunder reliever Johnny Barbato entered for the bottom of the 8th inning with a two-run cushion, but then allowed consecutive singles to Ozzie Martinez and Rossmel Perez to begin the frame. After a full-count walk to Trey Mancini to load the bases, Mike Yastrzemski nailed a triple to left-centerfield to clear the bases and give Bowie a one-run lead. Barbato was removed from the game in favor of Casar Vargas, who allowed the inherited run to come home but recorded a scoreless inning on his ledger.
The Thunder trailed Bowie 1-0 after the Baysox scored a run in the first inning off starter Brady Lail with a two-out RBI double from Mancini. Trenton rallied for a run in the 5th inning off Bowie starter Joe Gunkel who retired all 12 batters he faced in the first four innings. After a leadoff double by Aaron Judge and a bunt single by Mark Payton, Taylor Dugas bounced a single through the right side of the infield to tie the game 1-1.
Two innings later after Judge knocked a hard single to left field before Payton delivered his first Double-A homerun, and sixth career MiLB HR, to put the Thunder ahead for the first time in the game, 3-1. Lail offered a strong 7.0 innings at the start for the Thunder and exited the ballgame in-line for the victory. Over his seven frames, he scattered seven hits and one run while matching an Eastern League career-high with eight strikeouts. Though he did not factor in the decision, Lail lowered his season ERA To 2.62 after the outing.
A season ago, the Thunder were 1-11 against the Bowie Baysox—including 0-6 at Prince George’s Stadium. In the first four meetings between the two clubs this season, Trenton is 1-3.
The four-game series resumes Saturday with a 6:35 scheduled first pitch between the two clubs. Trenton throws LHP Miguel Sulbaran (3-4, 4.45) in Game 2 which features pre-game coverage beginning at 6:20 p.m. on 91.3 FM WTSR, 1490 AM WBCB and online at www.trentonthunder.com.