TRENTON, NJ - Trenton used a five-run third inning to erase an early 2-0 deficit against the Harrisburg Senators en route to an 8-2 win in Game 1 of the Eastern League Championship Series Tuesday night at ARM & HAMMER Park.
After allowing single runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings, Trenton's offense responded with an explosion off Harrisburg starting pitcher Blake Treinen that knocked him out of the game. Treinen, who pitched only 2.2 innings, ran into trouble after retiring all six batters he faced in the first two innings.
The inning started with a pair of walks to Ben Gamel and Reegie Corona which brought Ali Castillo to the plate attempting a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Instead, his bunt at the third baseman came to a stop just past the pitcher's mound for a base hit that loaded the bases with no outs. Mason Williams' two-run single and Jose Pirela and Tyler Austin's RBI singles brought home additional runs to make it 5-2 Thunder.
Trenton scored two more runs in the 4th inning on an RBI triple by Ali Castillo and a sacrifice fly by Williams, before Gary Sanchez's RBI double in the 7th inning capped the scoring for the night for both teams.
Thunder starting pitcher Nik Turley settled into his outing after allowing five baserunners in the first three innings by posting scoreless frames in the 4th, 5th and 6th innings. He fanned a career-high 10 batters including recording five of his final six outs via a strikeout. The La Canada, Calif. native earned the victory by allowing two runs over six innings on five hits and three walks.
Zach Nuding (2.0 innings) and Branden Pinder (1.0 innings) combined to retire nine of the final 10 Harrisburg batters to close out the win. With the win, the Thunder lead the best-of-five series 1-0.
Trenton and Harrisburg continue the ELCS at ARM & HAMMER Park with Game 2 Wednesday night. RHP Bryan Mitchell (0-0, 1.93) is scheduled to start for the Thunder against RHP A.J. Cole (4-2, 2.18) for the Senators. Limited tickets are available for Game 2 by going to www.trentonthunder.com/tickets or by calling the Thunder Ticket Office at (609)394-3300. Radio coverage of Wednesday's game on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and online begins at 6:45 p.m.