Archive for May 17th, 2011

Banuelos’ Strong Start Not Enough

May 17, 2011

(PR) (Erie, PA) – The Trenton Thunder (20-18) fell to the Erie SeaWolves 1-0 Tuesday night at Jerry Uht Park in Erie, PA in the first game of a three-game series. Thunder starter Manny Banuelos shut down the SeaWolves’ bats in his six scoreless frames, but Erie plated the only run they needed in the bottom of the seventh inning against Thunder reliever Josh Schmidt.

Making his seventh start of the season, Banuelos was dominant in his six scoreless frames. Not only did he pitch a season-high seven innings, but he struck out a season-high seven batters and allowed a season-low two hits. Despite Banuelos’ 1-0 record, the loss was just the Thunder’s second in 2011 with Banuelos on the mound (5-2).

The decisive inning in the game came in the bottom of the seventh after Banuelos had left the game. He was relieved by Josh Schmidt, who walked the first man he faced in Bryan Pounds. After a strikeout and two wild pitches, allowing Pounds to advance to third, SeaWolf catcher Bryan Holaday lined a single to center, scoring Pounds from third and giving Erie their 1-0 lead. Schmidt has now taken back-to-back tough losses for the Thunder with both instances involving him surrendering late runs in a close game.

The big hit eluded the Thunder all night at the plate. The team was 0-10 with runners in scoring position and was held to just four hits by four SeaWolves’ pitchers.

The Thunder continue their three-game series and road trip in Erie Wednesday night at 6:35 PM in game two of the series at Jerry Uht Park. LHP Shaeffer Hall (2-3, 3.43) will get the ball for the Thunder. Hall will oppose Erie’s RHP L.J. Gagnier (3-2, 3.86). Tune-in to the game on 91.3 WTSR-FM and on trentonthunder.com. The SBLI Pre-Game Show with Hank Fuerst begins at 6:20 PM.

Snyder Signs With St. Paul

May 17, 2011

When I heard that Justin Snyder had signed with the St. Paul Saints of the independent American Association, I knew I needed to find a photo that would accurately represent my memories of his time in Trenton.

I think that one’s perfect.

Snyder spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons at Waterfront Park and was often the life of the clubhouse, with his light-hearted nature often having the guys laughing for what seemed like an endless amount of time.  His over-the-top impression of Tony Franklin was a particular favorite.

But what will get overlooked with Snyder was how hard he worked.  Listed at 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds, the 25-year-old was always viewed as an underdog, but always took his on-field work seriously.  While I certainly recall the fun moments with Snyder, I also think back to a time where he cursed loudly out of frustration for not getting to a ball that he had to range way to his left for and ultimately had no chance to get while at second base…during batting practice.

Snyder was a league All-Star in his first two seasons in the organization (NYPL in 2007 and SAL in 2008), but his career took a turn for the worst when he was skipped a level from Low-A to Double-A to start the 2009 season.  The versatile native of California endured an abysmal year, hitting just .195 with three home runs and 29 RBI and while the numbers improved last season, the highlight of his 2010 campaign was arguably his scoreless inning of relief that he spun at Waterfront Park in a miserable, blowout game.

Snyder, who did have a brief call-up to Triple-A Scranton last season, was released on the last day of minor league spring training by the Yankees and signed with St. Paul several days ago.  In his first three games with the club, he’s hitting .308 with an RBI, a walk, two strikeouts and two errors.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com