(PR) (Manchester, NH)- Trenton Starting Pitcher Ryan Pope hurled eight shutout innings to lead Trenton to a 9-4 victory of New Hampshire on Wednesday night from Merchantsauto.com Stadium. Trenton has won two of the first three games in the series, and five of its first seven games since the all-star break. Trenton is now in sole possession of second place in the Northern Division for the first time since June 9th.
Trenton took a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Third baseman Marcos Vechionacci led off the frame with a double against New Hampshire Starting Pitcher Luis Perez (6-8). He scored the first run of the game on an RBI triple by Center fielder Austin Krum. After a walk to Second baseman Reegie Corona, Shortstop Eduardo Nunez drove home Krum with an RBI ground out. The Thunder added to the lead in the sixth inning on an RBI single by Vechionacci.
The Thunder would blow the game open with a four-run seventh inning to increase the lead to 7-0. The Thunder batted around in the seventh inning. Krum led off the inning with a single against New Hampshire Reliever Casey Janssen. After a walk to Corona, Shortstop Eduardo Nunez reached on an infield single. Krum was able to score from second base on the infield hit. Designated Hitter Noah Hall followed by chopping a ball down the first base line. Janssen picked up the ball and made an errant throw down the first base line past New Hampshire First baseman David Cooper. The error allowed Corona and Nunez to score and make it 6-0. Catcher Jesus Montero capped off the scoring in the frame with an RBI single to score Hall. Trenton (48-46) tallied two runs in the eighth inning to extend the lead to 9-0. Montero had an RBI double, and Malec connected on an RBI single in the inning. New Hampshire scored four runs in the ninth inning. New Hampshire Designated Hitter Scott Campbell and Right fielder Nick Gorneault each hit two-run home runs off of Thunder Reliever Humberto Sanchez.
Pope tossed a season-high eight innings and struck out a season-high seven batters. He scattered three hits and walked only one. The eight innings equals the longest outing of the season for a Thunder starting pitcher. Its the first time a Thunder pitcher has pitched eight innings since Ivan Nova tossed eight innings vs. Binghamton on June 12th. The Fisher Cats did not have a runner in the game past first base in the first eight innings. Pope has won two of his last three starts, after going nine straight games (eight starts) without a win. The win puts Trenton two games over .500 (48-46) for the first time since June 28th. Five Thunder players had multi-hit games in the win (Krum, Gonzalez, Malec Montero, Vechionacci).
Trenton wraps up its four-game series with New Hampshire on Thursday afternoon. RHP Jason Stephens (1-0, 3.54) will start for Trenton against New Hampshire RHP Marty McLeary (2-2, 1.38). McLeary pitched for the Thunder from 2000-02. Game time is set for 12:05 p.m.