CURVE, Pa. - The Altoona Curve scored the final four runs but were topped by the Trenton Thunder, 6-5, on Friday night in opener of a four-game series at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
Jeff Hendrix led the way for the Thunder at the plate, going 4-for-4 with an RBI and run scored.
With the loss the Curve (60-56) fell back into second place in the Eastern League Western Division, a half-game behind the Bowie Baysox, while the Thunder (77-39) improved their league-best record
Trenton got the scoring started in the top of the second inning. With two outs, Francisco Diaz doubled before Rashad Crawford drove him in with a single. Hendrix followed with another double scoring Crawford to give the Thunder a 2-0 lead.
Altoona answered back in the bottom of the fourth. Jerrick Suiter doubled and Jin-De Jhang followed with an RBI single to cut the deficit to 2-1.
The top of the fifth inning led to trouble for Curve starter Alex McRae (Loss, 9-5). Four consecutive singles started the inning with Mike Ford driving in the first run. A sacrifice fly from Ryan McBroom and a two-run double by Zach Zehner extended Trenton's lead to 6-1. Curve reliever Sean Keselica relieved McRae and was summoned to get the final out of the fifth.
The Curve struck back in their half of the fifth with three runs. With the bases loaded Anderson Feliz rocked a bases clearing triple off the wall in center field to bring the score to 6-4.
Wyatt Mathisen closed the scoring when he smashed a solo home run to left center field in the sixth inning. It was Mathisen's fifth homer on the year.
McRae gave up six runs on 11 Trenton hits over 4.2 innings pitched. Keselica tossed one inning, walked two, allowed one hit and struck out one. Tanner Anderson pitched 2.1 scoreless innings in relief and Tate Scioneaux threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning with one strikeout.
Trenton starter Brody Koerner (Win, 4-3) threw six innings and allowed all five Altoona runs. He gave up five hits, walked three and struck out seven. Anyelo Gomez pitched two scoreless innings with two strikeouts and Cale Coshow (Save, 15) closed it out for the Thunder with a perfect ninth inning.
Altoona will continue the series against Trenton with a double-header on Saturday. Right-hander Mitch Keller (0-0, 3.00) will start on the mound for the Curve in game one of a double-header, while the Thunder will counter with lefty Dillon Tate, who will be making his Double-A debut. First pitch for game one is set for 4:30 p.m.
The game-two starter for the Curve will be the right-hander Austin Coley (4-3, 2.96). Jose Mesa (1-0, 1.80) will start for the Thunder in the second game of the double-header.
Saturday is Subaru Crosstrek night, presented by Stuckey Subaru. It is also Scout Night at PNG Field. Following the double-header there will be the Miracle League Ball Launch, kids run the bases and Elvis-Themed Fireworks.
For tickets or more information, visit AltoonaCurve.com, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the PNG Field box office.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.