Thunder 2 RubberDucks 1
WP: Caleb Frare (1-0) LP: Leandro Linares (1-1) Save: Joe Harvey (1)
Trenton's Chris Gittens drilled an RBI double in the top of the eighth inning to break a 1-1 tie, and three Thunder pitchers combined on a two-hitter, as the Thunder claimed a 2-1 victory over the Akron RubberDucks Friday night in the 2018 home opener at Canal Park in Akron, Ohio.
With the game tied, 1-1, in the eighth, Trenton leadoff hitter Gosuke Katoh reached on a single to center field of Akron reliever Leandro Linares (1-1). Gittens followed with a double off the wall in center to score Katoh and give the Thunder (4-4) the lead. It was Gittens' second hit of the night and his third RBI of the season.
Akron starter Michael Peoples worked five innings of shutout baseball. He allowed only one hit, a fifth-inning double by Ben Ruta, struck out two and walked one. Lefty Matt Whitehouse followed Peoples to the mound and allowed a run in the seventh inning on a brazen steal of home by Trenton's Mandy Alvarez that tied the game, 1-1.
Joe Sever smacked a solo homer to right in the fifth inning. It was his first of the season and gave the RubberDucks (4-4) a 1-0 lead. It was the only run allowed by Trenton starter Justice Sheffield.
The Alvarez steal of home came on a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh. It was his first steal of the season…Caleb Frare (1-0) earned the win in relief with 2.1 scoreless innings…Trenton closer Joe Harvey struck out the side in the ninth to claim his first save…Thunder pitching notched 13 strikeouts…Akron's Sam Haggerty made his first start in left field…The sellout crowd of 8,296 was the largest opening day crowd in Akron since 2006…Time of game: 2:33…Attendance: 8,296.
On the Pond
The RubberDucks and Thunder will play the middle game of the weekend series on Saturday afternoon at 2:00. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1350 AM, the WARF iHeart channel, and the TuneIn Radio App.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.