TRENTON, NJ – The Thunder dropped the finale of their series with the Richmond Flying Squirrels with a 3-2 decision on Sunday evening at ARM & HAMMER Park.
With the loss, the Thunder remain 3.5 games back of Binghamton for the second playoff spot in the Eastern League’s East Division with 16 games remaining to in the regular season.
The Thunder offense grabbed the first two runs of the game in the bottom of the first inning. Tony Renda doubled with one out and Tyler Austin and Rob Segedin followed with RBI singles to grab a 2-0 lead.
Starter Jaron Long suffered his fifth loss of the season by allowing three runs in the top of the fourth inning. With two out and runners on first and third, Long struck out Devin Harris, however, the ball got away and allowed Rando Moreno to score. After a walk to load the bases, Juan Ciriaco singled in a run and Harris came around to score on Jake Cave’s error in left field. The Thunder escaped further damage in the inning when Tyler Austin threw out Harris at the plate to protect the 3-2 deficit.
Long ended up throwing eight innings and allowed just three hits outside of the fourth. He struck out an Eastern-League-career-best eight batters on Sunday evening.
The Thunder had opportunities to draw even by getting the tying run into scoring position in each the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Cito Culver was thrown out at home by RF Hunter Cole.
Joan Gregorio earned the win with six innings of two-run ball. Richmond’s bullpen held the Thunder to just two baserunners over the final three innings.
Dante Bichette Jr. added two more hits and is batting .366 (11-for-30) with six RBI over his last eight games. Jake Cave extended his on-base streak to 13 games with a seventh inning walk and Rob Segedin recorded his fifth straight two-hit game on Sunday night.
Your Thunder will begin a three-game series with the Akron RubbberDucks on Monday night at 7pm. RHP Eric Ruth (7-4, 3.22) will go for the Thunder, RHP Mike Clevinger (8-7, 3.00) will start for Akron. Listen live to Thunder baseball on 91.3 WTSR and online at Trentonthunder.com beginning at 6:40pm on Sunday afternoon.