RICHMOND, VA - The Thunder used five runs in the final two innings to pull away from the Richmond Flying Squirrels 6-1 Friday night at The Diamond.
The game was 1-0 until the top of the 8th inning thanks to Rob Refsnyder's home run on the first pitch of the third inning against Squirrels' starting pitcher Ty Blach. That would be the only blemish against Blach in his six innings of work, but the lone run for Richmond came in the bottom of the 9th once Trenton had already staked themselves to a 6-1 lead.
Offensively, the Thunder offense was paced by Refsnyder's homer and Gary Sanchez' homer in the top of the 8th inning which pushed a 1-0 lead to 3-0 and made things more comfortable for the Thunder bullpen. Sanchez set a Double-A career-high with a 4-for-5 performance.
Thunder starting pitcher Jeremy Bleich matched his career-high with 7.0 innings pitched and set a career-high with 10 strikeouts over those seven shutout frames. He improves to 4-4 with the win and lowers his ERA to 3.47 on the season.
Pitching in relief of Bleich was LHP Tyler Webb who converted his first Double-A save with two innings of one-run ball. In the 8th inning, Webb struck out four batters which was the first time a Thunder pitcher had done that in five years, dating back to Jose Valdez pulling the trick on April 9, 2009 vs. Binghamton. Thunder pitching set a season-high with 15 strikeouts of Richmond batters.
The Thunder continue their seven-game road trip Saturday in Richmond, Va. against the Richmond Flying Squirrels. First pitch is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. start time with a 6:50 pre-game show that can be found streaming on 91.3 FM, the TuneIn Radio app and on www.trentonthunder.com.