BINGHAMTON, NY - The Trenton Thunder beat the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, 9-1, in Game 4 of the Eastern Division Championship Series on Saturday night at NYSEG Stadium. The Thunder took advantage of ten walks issued by Ponies pitching to punch their ticket to the Eastern League Championship Series for the second straight year. Trenton grabbed the series 3-1 and will play the Altoona Curve in the title series.
Trenton opened their attack early versus Mickey Jannis, cracking the scoreboard in the first inning for the fourth straight game. Jeff Hendrix kicked off the inning with a double and scored when LJ Mazzilli's throw to second on an attempted fielder's choice sailed wide. Garrett Cooper added an RBI groundout to cap the two-run inning.
The Thunder kept the offense rolling in the third, scoring three runs thanks to four walks and three passed balls. Thairo Estrada supplied a run-scoring single and Nick Solak tacked on with a sacrifice fly. Trenton salted the series away with another three-run push in the fifth against Ben Griset.
Binghamton's offense had no answer for Trenton starter Will Carter. Making his third career postseason start for Trenton, the righty coaxed 13 groundouts from Binghamton over six strong innings.
The only blemish the Ponies put on Carter's tab came in the sixth. Kevin Kaczmarski waved at a pitch in the dirt with two outs, but reached safely when the ball skipped away from Francisco Diaz. Following another wild pitch, Peter Alonso scorched an RBI double into the right-field alley.
Carter (1-0) allowed three hits and struck out five over 6-1/3 innings to help the Thunder seal the series-clinching game. Raynel Espinal and Stephen Tarpley combined to carry the game to the finish line.
Jannis (0-1) walked five and was touched for five runs (four earned) over 2-1/3 innings in the loss.
The Binghamton Rumble Ponies are set to open the 2018 season April 5 at NYSEG Stadium against the Portland Sea Dogs.
POSTGAME NOTES: David Thompson's double in the fifth snapped an 0-for-43 slump for the Rumble Ponies…in their last four trips to the postseason, Binghamton has lost in the Division Championship Series three times…the eight-run deficit was Binghamton's largest margin of defeat in 2017
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.