(PR) Manchester, NH- In 23 regular season games against New Hampshire, Trenton won just six. In the first round of the Eastern League Playoffs, the Thunder held New Hampshire to just one run as they finished off the sweep with an 8-1 Game Three victory on Friday night in New Hampshire.
LHP Manuel Banuelos turned in seven-shutout innings in what was just his fourth Double-A start for the Thunder. Banuelos (1-0) allowed just five hits and struck out five batters. The left-hander was also supported by four double plays from the Trenton defense and two runners caught stealing by C Austin Romine.
The first run of the game came in the third inning, as Damon Sublett belted a solo home run off New Hampshire RHP Scott Richmond (0-1) to give the Thunder an early 1-0 lead. The score would remain the same until the seventh inning when Marcos Vechionacci reached base after a third strike got away from New Hampshire C Jonathan Jaspe. The next batter, Rene Rivera, clubbed a two-run homer to right field to extend Trenton’s lead to 3-0. It was Rivera’s third home run of the series.
After Richmond left the game, RHP Alan Farina came on to pitch the eighth inning and served up four runs to Trenton on three hits, highlighted by RBI base hits from Rivera and Luis Nunez, putting the Thunder ahead 7-0 after eight innings. A Vechionacci RBI double in the top of the ninth inning padded the lead to 8-0.
Pat Venditte and Adam Olbrychowski combined to pitch a scoreless eighth inning, and Olbrychowski came out to pitch the bottom of the ninth. The Pepperdine product gave up an RBI double to David Cooper to put New Hampshire on the board for the first time all series before striking out Jonathan Jaspe to end the game.
The Thunder will kick off the Eastern League Championship series on the road Tuesday night and will face the winner of the Altoona/Harrisburg series. The first championship game at Waterfront Park will be on Thursday at 7:05 PM. For tickets, call (609) 394-3300 or online at http://www.trentonthunder.com