AKRON, OH — The Yankees’ No. 1 prospect, Luis Severino, was better than advertised in his 2015 season debut, but the Akron RubberDucks scored five runs in five innings off the Thunder bullpen to win 5-4 in 10 innings at Canal Park Tuesday night.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, Kyle Haynes was on in relief for the Thunder and had runners on first second with two outs against Akron shortstop Erik Gonzalez. Gonzalez already had driven home a run earlier in the game and laced the first pitch he saw into right-center field to score Justin Lucas without a play at the plate.
Severino could not have provided more for the Thunder in his start over five innings. He surrendered one baserunner- a third-inning single to Justin Lucas- and fanned eight in his dominating performance. Notably, the 21-year old only threw 11 balls, peppering the strike zone with 42 strikes on 53 pitches on the night. It was the second straight season that the Thunder got a dominating performance from a starting pitcher on April 14th in Akron. Last season Bryan Mitchell went 6.0 shutout innings, scattering four hits while striking out 12 Ducks.
Greg Bird and Dante Bichette Jr. paced the offense for the Thunder which outhit Akron in the loss. With Eric Jagielo at second base after leading off the 5th inning with a double, Bichette Jr. tripled into the left field corner to put the Thunder on the board, 1-0. The next batter, Mason Williams, singled home Bichette Jr. for a 2-0 lead. With two outs and the bases empty the next inning, Bird launched a solo homer over the right-center field wall for a 3-0 Thunder lead, but Akron responded immediately with three runs in the bottom of the 6th to tie it, 3-3.
In the 8th inning, Jose Rosario scored on a two-out wild pitch to give the Thunder a 4-3 lead with six defensive outs to go, but Akron touched Nick Goody for a run in the bottom half of the inning to ultimately force extra innings. In both the 9th and 10th innings the Thunder had a baserunner at third base with one out and were unable to deliver him to the plate.
Both of Trenton’s losses this season have been by one run.
The Thunder and ‘Ducks wrap-up an abbreviated two-game series Wednesday with an afternoon affair, scheduled for a 12:05 p.m. first pitch. Trenton looks for the split by sending LHP Miguel Sulbaran (0-0, 6.00) to the mound against RHP Will Roberts (0-0, 7.20).