RICHMOND, VA - The Thunder used 12 runs in the final five innings to erase a 6-1 deficit for an offensively-charged 13-9 win over the Richmond Flying Squirrels Monday afternoon.
Trenton had not led against Richmond since the 2nd inning, but with one out and the Thunder trailing 9-8, Peter O'Brien stepped to the plate and launched a pinch-hit two-run homer to give the Thunder a 10-9 lead. It was the first pinch-hit home run for the Thunder since May 1, 2006 vs. Reading.
The Thunder scored three runs the final two innings to extend their lead to 13-9 and make things more comfortable for the bullpen down the stretch.
Trailing 6-1 in the top of the fifth inning, the Thunder loaded the bases with no outs and used a single by Ben Gamel and a walk to Rob Segedin to pull back to within 6-3. The next batter was Gary Sanchez who deposited a double down the left field line to send Segedin to third base and bring the Thunder within a run. After the first six had reached in the inning, Tyler Austin followed with an RBI groundout to tie the score 6-6.
Offensively, the Thunder scored 13 runs on 16 hits including the second four-hit game of the series by Gary Sanchez. Richmond pitching also walked eight batters to help pace the patient offensive attack.
In his 2014 season debut, Francisco Rondon needed just 15 pitches to record six outs over two perfect innings. The left-hander made 24 relief appearances for the Thunder in 2013, but was shut down by the Yankees in Spring Training and had not appeared in an affiliated game prior to Monday.
The Thunder continue on the road to Reading, Penn. after taking three out of four from the Flying Squirrels. The three-game series against the Fightin Phils kicks-off Tuesday with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch and 6:20 p.m. pre-game show on 91.3 FM and www.trentonthunder.com.