TRENTON, NJ – A five-run third inning erased an early 2-0 deficit and helped the Trenton Thunder defeat the Harrisburg Senators 8-2 on Tuesday night. The victory marked the third time in team history that Trenton has won four straight postseason games.
It was that third inning offensive explosion which chased Harrisburg starter Blake Treinen after just 2 2/3 innings. Treinen issued a pair of walks to Ben Gamel and Reegie Corona before Ali Castillo attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt. Instead, Castillo turned in a bunt base hit, loading the bases. Mason Williams’ two-run single and RBI singles from Jose Pirela and Tyler Austin would quickly give Trenton the lead, making the score 5-2 after three innings.
Castillo came through with a big hit in the fourth inning, ripping an RBI triple. Mason Williams then recorded his season-high third RBI of the night, blasting a sacrifice fly to score Castillo. Trenton capped their scoring for the night with an RBI double from Gary Sanchez in the seventh inning.
“The first week was a little rough for me, and I was a little anxious,” Williams said when talking about his best game since joining the Thunder. “I’ve definitely settled down and started to feel more comfortable.”
Nik Turley had a solid outing on the mound, striking out a career-high 10 batters over six innings of work, including recording five of his final six outs via strikeout. He limited Harrisburg to two runs on five hits and three walks.
“We got a heck of a pitched ballgame from Nik,” manager Tony Franklin said. “He started out a little shaky, but he settled down and pitched very well.”
Turley got plenty of support from his bullpen. Zach Nuding turned in two innings of work and Branden Pinder pitched the ninth as they combined to retire nine of Harrisburg’s final ten hitters.
With a 1-0 series lead, the Trenton is set to take on Harrisburg in Game 2 on Wednesday night. RHP Bryan Mitchell (0-0, 1.93) is scheduled to start for the Thunder against RHP A.J. Cole (4-2, 2.18) for the Senators. First pitch from ARM & HAMMER Park is set for 7:05 PM.