BINGHAMTON, NY - The Binghamton Rumble Ponies were no-hit by Justus Sheffield and Taylor Widener and fell to the Trenton Thunder, 2-0, in Game 3 of the Eastern Division Championship Series on Friday night at ARM & HAMMER Park. Sheffield fired four spotless innings before Widener struck out seven in five no-hit innings to send Trenton to a 2-1 series lead.
Making just his second appearance with Trenton following a two-month stint on the disabled list, Sheffield kept the Ponies in check for four innings. With a limited pitch count, the southpaw stranded four and struck out three.
The only question mark came in the second when Tomas Nido hit a weak chopper to the left side. Dante Bichette Jr. charged the bouncer, but fired wide of first. Nido was initially awarded a single, but the play was overturned upon a review five innings later.
For the third straight game, Trenton drew first blood with a first-inning score. Jeff Hendrix opened the inning with a single. Marcos Molina followed by hitting Thairo Estrada, prompting home plate umpire Mike Savakinas to warn both benches. Clint Frazier put the Thunder on the board by pulling a single into left.
Molina settled down after Trenton's early rally and stifled the Thunder lineup into the sixth inning. He used a double play to snuff out a bases-loaded rally in the first, stranded two in scoring position in the third, and capped the night by retiring the final six batters he faced.
When Widener took the hill for his Double-A debut for the Thunder in the fifth, the Ponies still owned a hit. The righty side-stepped a fielding error to start the frame, but cruised through three innings with ease.
When Widener returned to the mound in the eighth, Nido's hit had been changed and a chance at making history returned to Trenton's scope. Widener delivered with a perfect eighth and a spotless ninth. The righty struck out Matt Oberste to close the game,
Nido's overturned single was one of several close calls for the Rumble Ponies. Clint Frazier made a diving catch to rob LJ Mazzilli of a hit in the first and shortstop Thairo Estrada made a lunging catch to snag Gustavo Nunez's liner in the eighth.
Widener (1-0) earned the win while Molina (0-1) was handed the loss.
Facing elimination, the Rumble Ponies continue the best-of-five series against Trenton on Saturday at 7:00 PM. RHP Mickey Jannies takes the mound against RHP Will Carter. The Horizons Federal Credit Union Pregame Show can be heard starting at 6:45 PM on NewsRadio 1290 AM WNBF and the Binghamton Rumble Ponies channel on TuneIn.
POSTGAME NOTES: The Rumble Ponies were no-hit for the first time since May 9, 2013 when Paul Demny and Ian Krol combined to perform the feat for the Harrisburg Senators…it was the first no-hitter in the postseason in the Eastern League since Bill Pulsipher (Binghamton Mets) no-hit Harrisburg in Game 2 of the ELCS on September 12, 1994…Binghamton has overcome a 2-1 series deficit and won a playoff series twice (1992 ELCS & 2014 EDCS)
Tickets for Binghamton's playoff schedule can be purchased at the NYSEG Stadium box office, online on www.bingrp.com and over the phone at (607) 722-FUNN.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.