BINGHAMTON, NY - In a ballgame that featured 15 baserunners for the Binghamton Mets, Trenton's pitching was able to strand all 15 in a 3-0 series-clinching win at NYSEG Stadium.
Trenton's series sweep of the Binghamton Mets didn't come without extra-inning heroics (Game 1), 9th inning suspense (Game 2) or even a benches-clearing altercation (Game 3), but the Trenton Thunder advanced to the Eastern League Championship Series for the fifth time in seven years under manager Tony Franklin.
The Thunder used six shutout innings by Shane Greene to allow the Thunder offense to strike first in the ballgame. Greene- who has not allowed a run in 13.0 innings over his last two starts- earned the victory for the Thunder while Danny Burawa tossed a scoreless 1.1 innings for the save.
Trenton scored a pair of runs in the 5th inning to open the scoring. Ali Castillo doubled and was driven home on an opposite-field single by Zoilo Almonte for the first run of the game. And then Jose Pirela hit a ball to shortstop that Wilfredo Tovar threw wide to first base allowing Ramon Flores to score.
In the middle of a sequence in which Binghamton manager Pedro Lopez, second baseman Danny Muno and shortstop Tovar were ejected, Thunder second baseman Jose Pirela was thrown from the game as well. The scene unfolded in the bottom of the 7th inning with the Thunder ahead 3-0 and Binghamton trying to rally with runners on first and second base and no outs.
Wilfredo Tovar hit a ground ball to second base when Pirela flipped to Trenton shortstop Ali Castillo to begin a double-play. The relay throw from Castillo never materialized, however Danny Muno was ruled to have interfered with Castillo on the slide and Tovar was ruled out at first base as a result. From there, the four ejections were handed down as a flood of Thunder and B-Mets players and coached streamed from the dugout and bullpens towards the center of the diamond.
The fracas set-off a ten minute delay in the ballgame as the umpires restored order and tried to sift through the ejections. It appeared no punches were thrown.
Trenton awaits the winner of the Harrisburg Senators-Erie SeaWolves series to see which team from the West Division will travel to ARM & HAMMER Park for Game 1 of the Eastern League Championship Series starting Tuesday. Tickets are available for Game 1 of the ELCS by going to www.trentonthunder.com/tickets or by calling (609)394-3300. Radio coverage of Tuesday's game on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and online coverage begins at 6:45 p.m.