The Trenton Thunder (19-10) prevailed, 6-4, over the Richmond Flying Squirrels (15-12) on Saturday night at ARM & HAMMER Park. With the win, the Thunder took the three-game series by virtue of taking the first two games.
The Thunder used back-to-back walks issued at the outset of the first inning by Richmond righty Kyle Crick to take an early lead. Following the walks, Ben Gamel flared a single into left field to load the bases. Crick fanned the next two batters, but Kyle Roller lined a two-run single into right field for a 2-0 Trenton advantage.
Trenton tacked on a run in the second inning to take a 3-0 lead. Carmen Angelina singled with one out to get the Thunder started. Crick recorded the second out in the inning, but Brendan Ryan kept the inning alive with a single to right-center field. Gamel then singled on the infield to plate Angelini with the third run of the night for the Thunder.
The Squirrels rallied in unconventional fashion to tie the game, 3-3, in the top of the third inning. Brett Krill led off and laid down a bunt-single. Skyler Stromsmoe followed and drew a walk from right-hander Jairo Heredia. Ryan Lollis then reached on a fielding error on Ryan, the shortstop. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Heredia balked in the first run of the night for Richmond. An out later, jarrett parker delivered a two-run triple through the alley in right-center field to pull the Squirrels even.
Crick had more trouble in the third, surrendering another two runs. That trouble started when he issued a one-out walk to Roller. Rob Refsnyder followed and laced a triple through the alley in right-center field. Roller scored on the play, as did Refsnyder when the Squirrels threw wildly to third base attempting to cut him down there. The final run charged to Crick was unearned.
Both starters departed after three innings. Heredia allowed three runs, two earned, while Crick was charged with five runs, four earned. Crick (1-1) endured his first loss of the season.
Right-hander Austin Fleet entered for Crick in the fourth inning and the first three hitters that he faced him all notched singles to load the bases. Roller then drove in his fifth run of the series with a sacrifice-fly to left field to give Trenton a 6-3 lead.
Fleet allowed just the lone run in a four-inning outing. In one stretch, he retired 10 consecutive batters, restoring some order for Richmond in the ballgame.
However, his effort came in a losing cause, as the Squirrels got no closer. Right-handers Taylor Garrison and Branden Pinder took it the rest of the way without further incident. Garrison worked two scoreless innings and Pinder struck out the side in the ninth to earn his fourth save of the year. Short (1-2) earned the win in relief, twirling three innings.
The finale of the three-game series with the Thunder is scheduled at ARM & HAMMER Park for Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. Richmond LHP Ty Blach (1-1, 1.54) will make the start against Trenton LHP Manny Banuelos (0-0, —). Pregame coverage will begin on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com at 12:35 p.m.