TRENTON, NJ – The Trenton Thunder could not get anything going as they were shut out by the New Hampshire Fisher Cats 6-0 in front of 6,360 fans during Thursday’s Opening Day matchup at ARM & HAMMER Park.
After looking dominant while recording a pair of strikeouts and touching 98 MPH on the radar gun in the first inning, Thunder starting pitcher Bryan Mitchell saw everything go wrong during a four-run, 36-pitch second inning.
“First inning, I felt really good. Got out there, got in a good rhythm,” Mitchell told reporters after the game. “Second inning, I just kinda fell behind, they put some good swings on a few pitches and I got into a little bit of trouble.”
Mitchell lasted just four innings on the evening after allowing four runs on four hits and a pair of walks while striking out four hitters. His command was iffy on the day, though he did manage to throw 49 of his 76 pitches for strikes.
“His cutter was very good at times,” Trenton manager Tony Franklin observed after the loss. “I thought his velocity was pretty good early in the game, it’s just a matter of he got behind in the count, and it’s tough to pitch when you’re behind in the count.”
The Thunder offense had no way to get on track against Fisher Cats starter Aaron Sanchez, and the Toronto Blue Jays’ top prospect allowed just one hit – an opposite field single by Mason Williams – over five shutout innings before giving way to the bullpen. The Thunder would be able to record just two more hits against the New Hampshire bullpen.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t do a whole lot tonight offensively,” Franklin said. “But, its opening night, we’ll see if we can capture one tomorrow.”
Thunder left-hander Jeremy Bleich will square off with Fisher Cats righty Deck McGuire in the second game of the four-game series on Friday night. First pitch from ARM & HAMMER Park is slated for 7:05 PM.