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Late comeback attempt not enough for Thunder

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TRENTON – A ninth-inning rally brought the Trenton Thunder close, but the team ultimately came up just short in their return to ARM & HAMMER Park, falling to the Bowie Baysox 3-2 on Monday night.

A leadoff single by Ben Gamel in the ninth got the rally started, and two runners would eventually score on a one-out, bases-loaded single from Tyler Austin. However, with runners on first and second, Taylor Dugas and Casey Stevenson each flew out, ending the Thunder comeback just one run short.

“We’re right in this game all the way to the end,” Thunder manager Tony Franklin said. “As dismal as it may have looked… we’re right in this, we’ve got the winning run aboard, what more could you ask for? Just have to come through.”

“Those are the games we’re having,” Franklin added. “We’re getting a minimum number of hits in the first five, six innings and then all of the sudden we’ll find a spark and we’ll put a couple runs on the board and we’ll rally a little bit then we’ll fall short.”

Tyler Austin was Trenton’s most reliable hitter on Monday night, recording the only multi-hit game on the team and driving home both runs. He is now riding a four-game hitting streak after a nice series against the New Britain Rock Cats.

Bowie Baysox starting pitcher Zach Davies shut down the Thunder offense over six shutout innings, scattering just two hits and two walks while earning his second win of the season. He turned the game over to his bullpen, where Oliver Drake stifled Trenton’s late rally, bailing out Anthony Vasquez and earning his 14th save of the season.

Davies’ counterpart, Jairo Heredia, lasted just three innings for the Thunder, but looked sharp while on the mound. Heredia allowed five hits and a walk, but just one run while striking out four Bowie hitters. He tossed 46 of his 61 pitches (75%) for strikes, though was handed his first loss of the season.

Taylor Garrison, returning to action for the first time since being placed on the disabled list with upper body soreness in late May, allowed five hits and a pair of runs to score over 1 1/3 innings of work.

Up next will be a pitcher’s duel between a pair of seven-game winners on Tuesday. Matt Tracy (7-2, 3.82 ERA) will take the hill for the Thunder, while Tyler Wilson (7-5, 4.28 ERA) gets the ball for the Baysox. First pitch from ARM & HAMMER Park will be 7:05 PM.

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