TRENTON, NJ – Richmond catcher Jackson Williams drove in four on a pair of doubles to lead the Flying Squirrels to a 5-4 victory over the Thunder on Saturday night in front of 5,197 fans at ARM & HAMMER Park.
Trailing 5-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Thunder offense went to work against Richmond closer Derek Law. With one out, Mark Payton doubled and Tony Renda walked to put two on with one out. After Cito Culver struck out, Eddy Rodriguez crushed a three-run home run to left to draw the Thunder within a run.
After a pitching change, Rico Noel singled and stole second to put the tying run at second base for Ali Castillo. Phil McCormack got Castillo to bounce out harmlessly to the first baseman to end the game.
The Thunder grabbed the game’s first run in the bottom of the first inning when Ali Castillo led off with a single and promptly stole second and third base. With two outs, Rob Segedin drove him in with a base hit to left to take a 1-0 lead for the Thunder.
Richmond grabbed the lead in the top of the fourth inning with three runs. With two out Ricky Oropesa walked, Devin Harris reached on an error by Brendan Ryan and Austin Slater reached on an infield single to load the bases. Flying Squirrels catcher Jackson Williams capitalized with a three-run double down the right field line to take a 3-1 lead.
Myles Schroder struck for a solo home run off of Thunder starter Jaron Long (L, 0-1) in the top of the fifth to take a 4-1 lead for the visitors.
Long took the loss despite surrendering only one earned run, he allowed six hits, one walk and struck out three.
Mark Payton led the Thunder offense with a three hit game at the plate. Tony Renda reached base three times with a second inning double, a single in the seventh and a walk in the bottom of the ninth. Ali Castillo recorded his 15th multi-hit game (in 34 games) of the season with the Thunder.
Beach Weekend continues at ARM & HAMMER Park on Sunday at 5:00pm when the forst 1,000 fans, age 18 and up, will receive Beach Towels, presented by ARM & HAMMER. LHP Matt Tracy (0-2, 3.55) will throw the Thunder, RHP Edwin Quirarte (0-1, 3.94) will go for Richmond. Tickets can be ordered online at Trentonthunder.com/tickets or by phone at 609-394-3300