Archive for May, 2012

Game 51: Pre-Game Notes

May 31, 2012

3:40 PM — Thunder lineup: A. Almonte CF, Joseph DH, Adams 2B, Johnson LF, Murton 1B, Mahoney 3B, Gil C, Sublett RF, Maruszak SS, Marshall P

Erie lineup: Johnson CF, Romero SS, Brantly C, Lennerton DH, Bishop 1B, Plagman RF, Gaynor LF, Jones 2B, Pounds 3B, Segovia P

No BP today, so I probably won’t have anything for you until after the clubhouse opens at 5:15.  Brett Cecil scheduled to take the ball for New Hampshire tomorrow, by the way…could be interesting to watch.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

12 Innings, Two Wins

May 31, 2012

(PR) (Trenton, NJ) – Cody Johnson and Kevin Mahoney each snapped a tie game with a solo HR home run in Trenton’s final at-bat to catapult the Thunder to a doubleheader sweep of the Erie SeaWolves, 4-3 and 3-2, Wednesday night at Waterfront Park. Trenton (28-22) moves a season-high six games above .500 with the pair of close wins.

In game one, a resumption of Tuesday’s rain-suspended game, the score was tied at 3 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth when Johnson blasted his league-leading 13th home run of the season against Michael Morrison (1-2). Morrison had retired the previous 11 Trenton batters before the game-winning bomb.

In game two, the game was knotted at 2 with two away in the bottom of the sixth (of a seven-inning game) when Mahoney crushed the first pitch he saw from Ramon Garcia (3-4) way out to right. It was his fifth long ball of the season and the team’s league-leading 54th of the campaign.
Ryan Pope (2-4) retired all five he faced to finish the first game victory, including a flawless 1-2-3 ninth. Francisco Rondon had tossed 2.2 scoreless innings after relieving Adam Miller to start the night. Johnson’s game-winning homer snapped an 0-for-14 skid.

Addison Maruszak had homered in the fifth inning of game two against Garcia to put Trenton ahead 2-1, but Kelvin Perez (2-0) allowed a run on two walks and a single in the top of the sixth, setting the stage for Mahoney’s go-ahead blast. Preston Claiborne finished the doubleheader sweep by tossing a 1-2-3 seventh inning.

The Thunder and SeaWolves conclude the series on Thursday at 7:05 pm, with right-hander Brett Marshall (5-2, 2.69) slated to start for the Thunder and be opposed by righty Zack Segovia (5-4, 5.20). Limited tickets are available by contacting the Thunder box office at 609-394-3300 or online at http://www.trentonthunder.com.

Why This Blog Has Sucked For A Month And A Half

May 30, 2012

Usually, there isn’t a conflict. 

If there’s anything you can count on a Trenton hockey team to do, it’s miss the playoffs.  So I fully expected to be able to just jump into my coverage of the Somerset Patriots and Trenton Thunder this season and not expect there to be any hockey coverage getting in the way.

The Titans actually went well out of their way for me this year, turning in a season that had statistically had them as the worst team in the ECHL.  But you’re here for the Thunder, so you don’t care.

What you should care about, then…is an opportunity to cover the Stanley Cup Playoffs came along.  Anyone who knows me at all knows that hockey is my favorite sport.  Isn’t close, really.  Not to disservice my baseball readers or my own baseball acumen, but hockey is where my passion truly is.  So there was no passing on this.

For the first two rounds, I worked exclusively for ECHL.com, covering only the games in Newark.  In the Eastern Conference Finals, I was very fortunate to cover all six games — both in the Prudential Center and Madison Square Garden — for The Trentonian.  And now, I get to cover my very first Stanley Cup Finals.  I cannot even begin to tell you what an amazing experience this has been, and the first game hasn’t even started yet.  To be able to interview people I idolized growing up and to have a chance to cover what is, in my mind, the biggest sporting event there is…I cannot tell you what this has meant to me and how happy I am.

You can see my stuff in The Trentonian, as well as The Los Angeles Daily News…and those stories will get picked up in other smaller California papers like the Long Beach Express Telegram, etc.  But, back to my point…that’s a long way of saying that my focus hasn’t been where I thought it would be at this time of year.

Truth is, I’m 29 and haven’t moved up as much as I would assume everyone thinks since I started doing this ten years ago.  This is a huge opportunity for me to maybe get a chance to do something bigger — I’m never been full-time anywhere, just freelance — and my focus absolutely needs to be on hockey right now.  That is not to say that I am ignoring my current beats or have any thoughts of leaving them behind at this time.

In fact, I will be covering the Thunder tomorrow night for The Trentonian.  So, for those of you sick of my byline in there lately…tough luck.  But, for those of you who have always been behind me and supported me and inexplicably followed me wherever my career has taken me, thank you for understanding.  I felt I owed you all an honest explanation as to why I haven’t been better here lately, and will do my best to…well, do my best once this is all over with.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Thunder Game Suspended Last Night; Completed Today

May 30, 2012

(PR) (Trenton, NJ)- Tuesday night’s game between the Trenton Thunder and the Erie SeaWolves has been suspended due to rain with the score tied 3-3 in the top of the 5th inning.

The game will be completed as game 1 of a doubleheader on Wednesday, May 30 starting at 6:05pm. The regularly scheduled game will be played second and will be 7 innings. When the suspended game resumes, Erie’s Rob Brantly will be at bat with two outs and no runners on base in the top of the 5th inning.

Fans with tickets to the May 29 game may exchange them for tickets of equal or lesser value to another 2012 Thunder regular season home game except for August 27 and any Major League Rehabilition Assignments, subject to availability. Ticket stubs may be presented in person at the Thunder Ticket Office at Waterfront Park starting at 9:30 AM on Wednesday morning.

Oh Boy: O’Brien Dazzles Hometown Crowd In Win

May 28, 2012

(PR) (Richmond, VA) – Mikey O’Brien tossed 6.1 shutout innings pitching in his home state and the Trenton Thunder held off a furious late Richmond rally to get a 4-3 victory over the Flying Squirrels on Memorial Day in Virginia. O’Brien (2-1), from Roanoke, VA, allowed only two hits while pitching before many friends and family members.

Trenton carried a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth but Richmond rallied for three runs against Ryan Flannery. The Flying Squirrels then still had the bases loaded with two outs in the ninth, but reliever Preston Claiborne fanned Johnny Monell to end the victory.

After a bases loaded walk to Damon Sublett plated the Thunder’s first run in the top of the second, Luke Murton led off the fourth against Richmond starter Mike Kickham (3-5) with his fifth home run of the season. The blast to left put Trenton ahead 2-0, a lead that would last until the top of the ninth.

O’Brien, Lee Hyde and Kelvin Perez combined to shut down the Richmond bats until the ninth. David Adams then lifted a two-out, two-run double against Edwin Quiarte to double the lead to 4-0.

Flannery walked Tommy Joseph to start the bottom of the inning and Juan Perez followed with an RBI double to put the Flying Squirrels on the board. Two ground outs brought home Perez and made the score 4-2, but there were two outs and no runners on base.

Jose Flores and Nick Liles then drew two-out walks from Flannery who was lifted in favor of Claiborne. He proceeded to hit Gary Brown with a pitch and then walk Ehire Adrianza to force in the third Richmond run, setting the stage for the bases loaded battle with Monell that ultimately ended the game.

Trenton next returns home for a seven-game homestand, beginning with a three-game series against the Erie SeaWolves. Game one will be Tuesday night at 7:05 pm, with right-hander Adam Miller (0-0, 3.00) expected to start for Trenton against lefty Kelvin De La Cruz (2-5, 3.97). Limited tickets are available by contacting the Thunder box office at 609-394-3300 or online at http://www.trentonthunder.com.

Heston Shoots Down Thunder

May 27, 2012

(PR) Chris Heston struck out a career-high 11 hitters in six innings as the Richmond Flying Squirrels defeated the Trenton Thunder, 5-2, Sunday afternoon at The Diamond. Less than 24 hours after Trenton pitching fanned 14 Flying Squirrel batters on Saturday, three Richmond hurlers combined to strike out 14 Thunder hitters.

Heston (5-2) dazzled Trenton with breaking balls, going six innings and allowing one run on six hits and walking four. Nine of the final 11 outs he recorded came via strikeouts. Jake Dunning fanned two hitters in his two relief inning, while Brett Bochy struck out Zoilo Almonte with two runners on base to record his fifth save.

Trenton’s infield defense struggled behind starter Vidal Nuño (0-1). A Yadil Mujica error at shortstop opened the door for back-to-back two-out RBI singles in the fourth inning from Chris Dominguez and Juan Perez that gave Richmond a 2-1 lead.

With a runner at second and one out in the fifth, Ehire Adrianza grounded one to third-baseman Jose Pirela who threw the ball wide to first for a two-base error scoring Gary Brown from second base. Adrianza scored two batters later on Tommy Joseph’s RBI hit.

Jose Gil drove in Almonte with each Trenton run, the first on a two-out single in the second inning against Heston. Then trailing 5-1 in the eighth, Gil’s sac fly plated Almonte who had doubled against Dunning. Trenton has been limited to only four runs in the first three games of the series.

The Thunder and Flying Squirrels conclude the series on Memorial Day with a night game. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 pm from The Diamond, with righty Mikey O’Brien (1-1, 3.65) slated to start against lefty Mike Kickham (3-4, 3.76). Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 6:20 pm.

Marshall And Bullpen Combine For 14 K’s In Big Win

May 26, 2012

(PR) (Richmond, VA) – Brett Marshall and three relievers combined on a four-hit shutout with 14 total strikeouts as the Trenton Thunder defeated the Richmond Flying Squirrels, 1-0, Saturday night at The Diamond. Jose Gil’s second-inning home run provided all the offense that Trenton (25-21) would need in the game that team team’s combined for 25 strikeouts.
Marshall (5-2) struck out eight, one shy of his career high, in six shutout innings. He allowed four hits and walked four, throwing 96 pitches. Francisco Rondon struck out the side in the seventh and Ryan Pope fanned two in a perfect eighth. Ryan Flannery then pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to record his seventh save.

Gil connected with one out in the second against Richmond starter Andy Reichard, a blast way out to left for his third home run of the season. The blast ended an 0-for-14 draught for the Trenton catcher.

Each team was limited to four hits on the night with no batter collecting more than one. Chris Gloor (3.1 innings) and Tom Vessella (3 innings) threw shutout relief for the Flying Squirrels after Reichard was lifted after 2.2 innings of work.

The Thunder and Flying Squirrels play game three of the series on Sunday afternoon with first pitch slated for 2:05 pm. Lefty Vidal Nuno (0-0, 0.00) will start for Trenton while righty Chris Heston (4-2, 0.61) will pitch for Richmond. Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 1:50 pm.

Squirrels Drive Thunder Nuts In Opener

May 25, 2012

(PR) Craig Westcott and Austin Fleet combined on a five-hitter as the Richmond Flying Squirrels beat the Trenton Thunder, 4-1, Friday night in the opener of a four-game series at The Diamond. Richmond scratched together two runs in the fourth and fifth innings against Shaeffer Hall (4-5).
Westcott (4-4) threw six solid innings, allowing one run on four hits with one strikeout. Fleet then completed the final three innings for his second save of the season, allowing only one hit in the process and striking out the side in the ninth.
Tommy Joseph, a big catching prospect for the San Francisco Giants who was activated from the DL only minutes before the game, started the scoring with an RBI double in the fourth against Hall. Three batters later Joseph came in to score on Ehire Adrianza’s fielders choice grounder making the score 2-0.
After Abraham Almonte hit an RBI double against Westcott in the fifth to cut the lead in half, Hall issued a walk to Ryan Cavan to start the bottom of the inning. Third-baseman Kevin Mahoney then committed an error on Jose Flores’ grounder leaving runners on second and third, and Gary Brown was hit by a pitch to load the bases with none out.
Nick Liles then delivered the big hit of the game, a blooping two-run single against Hall on an 0-2 pitch that put Richmond in front 4-1.
The Thunder and Flying Squirrels play game two of the series on Saturday night with first pitch slated for 6:35 pm. Righty Brett Marshall (4-2, 2.98) will start for Trenton while righty Andy Reichard (0-1, 6.75) will pitch for Richmond. Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 6:20 pm.

Sublett Joins Thunder; Brown To DL

May 25, 2012

(PR) (Trenton, NJ) – The Trenton Thunder, Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, announced Friday that OF Damon Sublett has been activated from the disabled list and will don a Thunder uniform for the third consecutive season. In addition, OF Shane Brown has been placed on the disabled list.

Sublett hit .280 with the team in limited action last season (54 games). He has been rehabbing an injury at extended spring training in Tampa. Brown is the fourth player this week to be placed on the team’s DL, bringing the season total to 17 DL stints.

Larry Bowa And The Batmobile…

May 25, 2012

(PR) (Trenton, NJ) Fans of the Trenton Thunder, the Double A Affiliate of the New York Yankees, will have the opportunity to meet former Major League All-Star Larry Bowa, have their picture taken with the Batmobile, and get autographs from the stars of the television show Yo Gabba Gabba at games next week at Waterfront Park.

On Tuesday, May 29, MLB Network’s Larry Bowa will be the Thunder’s special guest as Trenton faces Erie. Bowa, a 16 year Major League veteran, is a former All-Star and member of the 2,000 hit club. He spent most of his playing career with the Philadelphia Phillies and also managed in the Major Leagues including four seasons with the Phillies where he won the 2001 NL Manager of the Year award.

Bowa will be available for autographs on the main concourse from 5:30 to 6:30pm then throw out a ceremonial pitch. Fans interested in meeting Bowa should note the early time frame for the autograph session. Gates will open at 5:30pm for Season Ticket Holders and for the general public at approximately 5:45pm. In addition, nine lucky fans will win prize packs from MLB Network. All Tuesday night games are “Super Value Tuesdays” with Kids Eat Free courtesy of On The Border and Dollar Hot Dogs thanks to Black Bear Franks.

The Thunder will host “The Dark Knight Night” as they host The Tumbler (Batmobile) and Bat-Pod from the films “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises” at the game on Thursday, May 31 against Erie. Fans may take pictures with both vehicles and fans are encouraged to dress in Batman themed costumes for a chance to win great prizes from the movie. The Trenton Thunder are the only Minor League Baseball team to host a stop of the “Tumbler Tour” this summer. The Batmobile and Bat-Pod appear in Trenton courtesty of Warner Brothers. There will also be fireworks after the game thanks to the Daily Intelligencer and Thirsty Thursday beer specials presented by Budweiser.

Sunday, June 3 at 1:05pm when the Trenton faces New Hampshire is going to be a great day for kids as the Thunder welcome Brobee and Muno from the super-popular Nickelodeon children’s show Yo Gabba Gabba. Both characters will be available for autographs and photographs during the game.

In addition to the special guests and events coming up next week, a member of the Super Bowl Champion NY Giants and Spider-Man from Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark will be in Trenton next month.

The Thunder will welcome Steve Weatherford of the New York Giants on Wednesday, June 20 thanks to Steiner Sports Collectibles. Weatherford is a 2011-12 Super Bowl Champion and Franchise Tagged Punter. Weatherford will throw out a ceremonial pitch and be available for autographs on the main concourse.

On Thursday, June 21, Spider-Man from Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark at the Foxwoods Theater in New York City will be at the game. The appearance supplements the play’s season long partnership with the Thunder that includes Spider-Man Sundays in which a lucky family of four wins tickets to see Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark. On June 21, Spider-Man will throw out a ceremonial first pitch and pose for photos with fans. Additional details regarding the appearance are still being determined.

The Thunder are home against Erie Tuesday, May 29 through Thursday, May 31 and Friday, June 1 through Monday, June 4 against New Hampshire. Visit trentonthunder.com for the full schedule of promotions for all seven games.

All Trenton Thunder tickets are on sale now at trentonthunder.com.


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