AKRON, OH – The Trenton Thunder and Akron RubberDucks split a pair of ballgames Thursday night in the final two games between those two teams at Canal Park in 2015.
With Game 1 of the doubleheader resuming in the bottom of the 3rd inning from a suspended game due to rain the previous night, the Thunder held a 1-0 lead but Akron had a chance to apply some pressure. The game got underway with Giovanny Gallegos facing Jordan Smith with a 2-1 count and the bases loaded with two outs, but Gallegos induced a ground ball to Cito Culver to end the threat after two pitches.
Gary Sanchez homered in the first at-bat of the 4th inning for his fifth home run in the last 11 games, and Trenton stretched its lead to 3-1 before Akron tied it with a pair of runs in the bottom of the 6th.
With Nick Goody on in relief of Gallegos, the Thunder pushed the game to extra innings when Eric Jagielo and Sanchez each singled to begin the inning, and were advanced to second and third base with one out following a sacrifice bunt by Taylor Dugas. Dante Bichette Jr. hit a fly ball to the warning track to score Jagielo without a play at the plate and gave the Thunder a 4-3 lead. Goody tossed a scoreless bottom half of the inning for his first win of the season.
The second game featured a two-run first inning by the RubberDucks, but neither team scored again until Trenton rallied for a pair of runs with two outs in the 5th inning. Trailing 2-0 with the bases empty and two outs, the Thunder used three hits and a walk to plate a pair of runs to tie it off Akron starter Shawn Morimando. However, Morimando escaped the inning with the go-ahead runners in scoring position when Bichette Jr. was retired to end the frame.
Akron scored twice more off Thunder starting pitcher Miguel Sulbaran (6.0 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 7 K) in the 5th inning to snatch back the lead, 4-2. Even though the Thunder brought the tying run to the plate in the 6th and 7th innings, they ultimately could not mount a late comeback.
The Thunder and Portland Sea Dogs begin a series Friday at ARM & HAMMER Park with post-game fireworks to immediately follow the final out. The first of three games between the two clubs over the weekend features a 7:00 p.m. scheduled first pitch with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:40 p.m. on 91.3 FM and online at www.trentonthunder.com.