In a game that saw four lead changes, it was the two-run 7th inning by the Thunder that made the difference. Reegie Corona’s RBI single had tied the game, and an RBI groundout by Ali Castillo gave Trenton their final lead of the night.
That inning got started when Tyler Austin and Kyle Roller worked back-to-back walks against Harrisburg reliever Richie Mirowski. Ben Gamel then singled to right field, loading the bases for Corona, who worked a six-pitch at-bat before his single.
Trenton had struck first in the scoring column, with leadoff man Mason Williams reaching on an error and Ramon Flores hitting a single to right field before Williams scored on a Jose Pirela sacrifice fly in the first inning. Trenton also turned outs into runs with a pair of RBI groundouts by Roller and Gamel in the fifth inning.
Thunder starter Bryan Mitchell struggled a bit with his control, walking seven hitters and tossing just 48 of 91 pitches for strikes. He gave Trenton 5 1/3 innings on the hill, allowing four runs – three earned – and three hits while striking out a pair, but clearly did not have his best outing. Relievers Francisco Rondon and Danny Burawa combined to get Trenton through their next three innings. Burawa, who touched 99 MPH on the radar gun, was pulled with one out in the ninth in favor of closer Tommy Kahnle, who shut the door on Harrisburg to secure the 5-4 victory.
“He didn’t have his best stuff today, but his stuff was still good enough to keep us in any game,” Burawa said of Mitchell. “He has unbelievable stuff and he’s an unbelievably talented kid.”
Afterwards, Thunder manager Tony Franklin was flowing with excitement over the victory.
“That was pretty exciting stuff,” Franklin said. “The way we won tonight is typical the way we’ve won for the last month and a half. These guys are really starting to amaze me, to be honest with you.”
Tyler Austin, who is the team’s unofficial leader in the clubhouse, returned from injury just prior to the playoffs and sparked life into an offense that had been struggling. After Wednesday’s victory, he made it clear that the team’s chemistry is what has allowed them to come this far.
“We’ve all been feeding off each other all year,” said Austin. “This is a great team, and it’s been a fun year.”