NEW BRITAIN, CT — In the rubber-game of a three-game series with the New Britain Rock Cats, the Trenton Thunder dropped the contest on a walk off single in the bottom of the ninth inning.
With two outs and runners on first and second, Mike Tauchman slashed a single into left field off Alex Smith to score Jan Vasquez, giving the Rock Cats a 6-5 victory. Following 2.2 scoreless, hitless innings out of the bullpen from Evan Rutckyj, the game entered the final inning deadlocked.
The Thunder put the game in that situation by rallying from a 5-1 deficit in the 7th on the back of five hits off the New Britain bullpen. The first three batters of the inning reached off Shane Broyles before he was replaced by Austin House who proceeded to put runners on base.
The offensive attack was paced by Mark Payton, who began the scoring with his fourth home run of the season to lead-off the 2nd inning. His blast gave the Thunder a 1-0 lead and put Payton atop the team lead among active hitters in homers. Jake Cave continued his hot hitting with another multi-hit effort. His 2-for-4 night now makes him 10-for-20 over his last five games, raising his season batting average from .262 to .272.
With the loss the Thunder fall to 3.5 games back of the Binghamton Mets and 6.0 games back of the Reading Fightin Phils, who both secured victories Thursday night.
The Trenton Thunder pile on the bus and return home Friday to kick-off a three-game series with the Reading Fightin Phils at ARM & HAMMER Park. First pitch for Friday’s ballgame is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. with post-game fireworks following the action plus an appearance by the Phillie Phanatic presented by Princeton Healthcare System. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:40 p.m. on 91.3 FM WTSR and online at www.trentonthunder.com. Tickets are available by calling (609) 394-3300 or going to www.trentonthunder.com/tickets.