RICHMOND, VA - The Trenton Thunder exploded for early runs off the Richmond Flying Squirrels in Tuesday's series-opening 8-3 win at The Diamond.
Trenton used a five-run 2nd inning to jump out to an early large lead against starting pitcher Adalberto Mejia. The 6'3" lefty was pulled from the ballgame after 1.2 innings after having allowed five runs on six hits and a walk. The inning began with a strikeout to Peter O'Brien, but continued when Rob Refsnyder launched his sixth home run of the season to left-centerfield for a 1-0 lead.
Mason Williams strode to the plate with the bases loaded and delivered a two-run single to give the Thunder a 3-0 lead. Ben Gamel would tap an infield single past Mejia to score Ali Castillo for an RBI and then Tyler Austin poked a sacrifice fly to right-centerfield to score Williams for a 5-0 edge.
The next inning, Williams connected on his third hit of the game and plated two more runs to make the score 7-0. The Thunder would add another run in the 4th inning on a fielder's choice ground out, and the score remained 8-0 until the 7th inning when Richmond broke through for its first run of the game.
Thunder starting pitcher Manny Banuelos went a scheduled 2.0 IP and did not allow a run on one hit while striking out four. Eric Wooten entered in relief of Banuelos and tossed six innings for his second Double-A win. Wooten has allowed 2 ER in 13.0 IP since being transferred from High-A Tampa and is now 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA.
The win was the second consecutive win for the Thunder who improve to 32-27 and are 0.5 games behind the Binghamton Mets for second place in the East Division.
The Thunder get back to action Wednesday for the second game of the three-game series. First pitch of Wednesday's ballgame is 6:35 p.m. with the Trenton Thunder Pre-Game Show beginning at 6:20 p.m. which can be found on 91.3 FM and www.trentonthunder.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.