BINGHAMTON, NY - Corey Oswalt fired seven innings of one-run ball to guide the Binghamton Rumble Ponies past the Trenton Thunder, 4-1, in Game 1 of the Eastern Division Championship Series on Wednesday night at NYSEG Stadium. Backed by a pair of two-run doubles from Peter Alonso and Matt Oberste, three Ponies pitchers combined to rack up a dozen strikeouts, sending Binghamton to a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
Oswalt shook off a bumpy start and plowed through seven innings. The righty allowed four of the first eight batters he faced to reach before settling in. Starting with Francisco Diaz's groundout with two runners on in the second inning, Oswalt retired 17 of the final 19 Thunder hitters he faced.
Binghamton's offense supported the pitching staff and countered Trenton's first-inning tally in a flash in their first turn at the plate. Dillon Tate opened his first career postseason start by walking Luis Guillorme and Kevin Kaczmarski. Alonso made the righty pay and deposited a two-run double into the right-field alley.
The Rumble Ponies kept their momentum rolling in the third. Following a walk to Alonso and a single by Kevin Taylor, Oberste cleared the bases by ripping a double into the left-field gap.
The Rumble Ponies took the lead to the finish line with two scoreless innings. Tim Peterson worked a perfect eighth before Tyler Bashlor grabbed the wheel in the ninth. Garrett Cooper and Dante Bichette Jr. reached scoring position to start the inning, but the hard-throwing righty struck out the next three hitters to seal Binghamton's first postseason win since 2014.
Oswalt (1-0) struck out seven and scattered five singles over seven innings to earn the win in his first career postseason starter. Bashlor earned the save and extended the Rumble Ponies' bullpen scoreless streak to 29.1 innings.
Tate (0-1) was tagged for four runs on five hits over three innings. Melky Mesa Jr. closed Trenton's pitching tab with five scoreless innings.
The Rumble Ponies, owning a 1-0 series lead, continue the best-of-five series against Trenton on Thursday at 6:35 PM. RHP Ricky Knapp takes the hill against RHP Brody Koerner. The Horizons Federal Credit Union Pregame Show can be heard starting at 6:20 PM on NewsRadio 1290 AM WNBF and the Binghamton Rumble Ponies channel on TuneIn.
POSTGAME NOTES: Binghamton's last postseason game came on September 12, 2014 when they clinched the Eastern League title against the Richmond Flying Squirrels…the Rumble Ponies have won nine straight games, their longest winning streak since 2006…the Rumble Ponies bullpen has not allowed a run since August 26
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.