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Fiorito paces Thunder to victory

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TRENTON – Despite some sloppy defensive play in the fifth inning, the Trenton Thunder had more than enough offense to defeat the Erie SeaWolves 5-3 at ARM & HAMMER Park on Friday night.

Dan Fiorito paced the Thunder offense with three hits, including a pair of RBI doubles in his second multi-hit effort of the season. Rob Refsnyder went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a walk on the evening, while Mason Williams added a pair of singles.

Fiorito and the Thunder got started early, producing three runs in the first inning thanks to a pair of RBI singles from Gary Sanchez and Refsnyder. Fiorito’s RBI double to center field scored Sanchez, giving the Thunder a 3-0 lead.

Three innings later, it was Fiorito’s RBI double into left field that scored Refsnyder. He came around to score on a Mason Williams single, giving the Thunder a 5-0 lead.

“He’s playing pretty good baseball,” Thunder manager Tony Franklin said of Fiorito. “Every time we seem to score, he’s right in the middle of it.”

Matt Tracy failed to produce a quality start for the first time this season, though still took a no-hitter into his fifth and final inning. However, his defense committed three errors in the frame, leaving Tracy having allowed two runs (one earned) on just one hit before exiting. The left-hander recorded six strikeouts, but also issued five walks on 89 pitches.

“I was able to mix it up,” Tracy said after the game. “Gary did a pretty good job back there of mixing it up and keeping the guys off balance.”

Despite blanking the SeaWolves in the first four innings, Tracy was not very satisfied with how his outing ended.

“Just lost focus a little bit out there,” Tracy said when talking about the fifth inning.

Pat Venditte, Taylor Garrison, and Manny Barreda would hold Erie to just one additional run over the final four innings to preserve the win. For Barreda, it was his first save of the year and first in parts of two seasons with the Thunder.

The Thunder and the SeaWolves wrap up a three-game series on Saturday night, with a 5:05 PM start at ARM & HAMMER Park. Trenton’s staff ace Bryan Mitchell (1-2, 5.14 ERA) will take the hill, squaring off against Erie right-hander Wilsen Palacios (0-1, 7.71 ERA).

Dan is Examiner.com’s beat writer for the New York Yankees and the Trenton Thunder. Follow him on Twitter at @danpfeiffer74 for all the latest New York Yankees news.

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