TRENTON, NJ – Behind an early 5-0 lead from the Thunder offense, starting pitcher Caleb Smith struck out a season-high 11 batters to lead the Thunder to a 6-0 victory on Friday night at ARM & HAMMER Park over the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
In the bottom of the first inning, Rob Segedin singled home two runs off Richmond’s starter, Chase Johnson. In the second, Tyler Wade and Francisco Arcia singled to put runners on the corners. With Jake Cave at the plate and one out, Arcia broke for second and 2B Austin Slater cut off the throw and threw toward third, however, his throw went into the dugout to score both runners and take a 4-0 lead for the Thunder. Later in the frame, Tony Renda scored on Rob Segedin’s single to take the early 5-0 advantage for the Thunder.
“It was definitely my best outing of the year,” said Smith. “Everything was working. “I could tell it would be a good night in the bullpen.
“Pitching to the first batter I faced, I could tell it was gong to be a good night. I felt very comfortable.”
The five runs of early support was all that Smith needed. The lefty went six innings and allowed just four hits and one walk. He finished his start by striking out the side in the sixth inning to give him 11 for the game. Smith fell just two strikeouts short of his career-high 13, set last season with the Charleston RiverDogs.
Conor Mullee and Alex Smith finished off the win with three shutout innings of relief, surrendering just one walk and combining for four strikeouts.
Jake Cave recorded his 20th double of the season and went 2-for-5 in the win. Thunder outfielder Danny Oh extended his on-base streak to nine games with a third inning single.
The Thunder recorded six stolen bases in the game, the most since May 2, 2011 at Akron. The team fell just one shy of their franchise record for stolen bases in a game, set on May 2, 2003 at New Britain.
“That’s what we are going to have yo do,” said Thunder manager Al Pedrique. “We need to get on base, run and score early.”
Your Thunder will play game two of their series with Richmond on Saturday night. Saturday is Macy’s Back to School Night and there will be post-game fireworks set to 90’s Pop Music. The Thunder will send RHP Cale Coshow (0-1, 4.50), the Flying Squirrels will send RHP Tyler Beede (2-7, 4.72). Listen live to Thunder baseball on 91.3 WTSR and online at Trentonthunder.com beginning at 6:45pm.