MANCHESTER, NH – Though the Trenton Thunder did not allow an unearned run in the ballgame, it was a pair of unearned runs in the 5th inning for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats that earned them a 2-1 victory over the Thunder Thursday night.
Before 4,377 fans at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, the Trenton Thunder and New Hampshire Fisher Cats were scoreless into the 4th inning when Cito Culver doubled with one out. He advanced to third base on a wild pitch with Jake Cave batting, but Cave bounced back to the pitcher Taylor Cole and Culver couldn’t score.
Gary Sanchez was the next batter up and he drilled a line drive into the right field corner to score Culver and give Trenton a 1-0 lead.
That would be the only run surrendered by Cole over his eight innings of work in which he allowed just five hits and struck out five batters. Two innings later, Cole’s offense would rally for their only runs of the game.
After Thunder starting pitcher Eric Ruth retired the first batter of the inning, Ian Parmley reached on an error by Thunder second baseman Tony Renda. Jorge Flores singled and then with two outs and runners at second and third base, Jon Berti laced a single to left field to drive home a pair of runs.
Trenton threatened in the 9th inning of Thursday’s 1:59 game, with Culver beginning the frame with a base hit off Will Browning. He later moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Cave, however, Sanchez and Rob Segedin both struck out with the potential tying run in scoring position as the game ended.
Ruth wound up with a tough-luck loss after going seven innings and not allowing an earned run on just four hits. He lowered his ERA to 1.89 with his performance, but his record dropped to 6-2. Andrew Bailey pitched out of the bullpen for the second consecutive day and went a scoreless 8th inning for the Thunder on just 12 pitches.
Even with the loss, the Thunder still hold a one game lead over the Reading Fightin Phils for first place in the East Division after the Fightins fell to the Portland Sea Dogs Thursday night.
The Thunder pile on the bus and head home to begin the final series before the Eastern League All-Star break. The first of four games against the Richmond Flying Squirrels begins Friday night at ARM & HAMMER Park.
Trenton sends RHP Brady Lail (5-3, 2.43) to the mound against Richmond RHP Joe Biagini (7-5, 1.86) who leads the Eastern League in individual ERA. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:40 p.m. on 91.3 FM WTSR, 1490 AM WBCB or online at www.trentonthunder.com.