(PR) (Richmond, VA) – The Trenton Thunder (48-38) were swept in a doubleheader by the Richmond Flying Squirrels (45-39) Thursday evening, falling 3-2 and 2-1 evening at The Diamond. Accompanied with two wins on Tuesday, the Squirrels also sweep the four-game series from the Thunder, who have lost five straight games for the first time in 2011.
In game one, the Thunder took an early 2-1 lead on a two-run homerun from Jose Pirela in the top of the second inning. It was Pirela’s second homerun in as many nights and his sixth homerun of the season, which is good for third on the team.
Dellin Betances dominated the Squirrels in his six innings of game one on Thursday. The righty from Brooklyn allowed just one run on four hits and struck out nine, which is one shy of his season-high. With his team leading 2-1 heading to the bottom of the seventh, Betances left in line for the victory.
However, Pat Venditte, in search of his first career Double A save, could not close out the ballgame in the seventh. It was a sloppy inning for the Thunder as the team committed two errors. Accompanied with two Venditte walks, the Squirrels scored the tying run on a wild throw from Venditte at first base and the winning run on a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
Game two would feature much of the same frustration for the Thunder. The team got another solid start from Craig Heyer, who was rolling heading into the bottom of the sixth inning with the Thunder ahead 1-0. That’s when the righty ran into trouble, allowing two RBI-doubles to give the Squirrels a 2-1 advantage that would stand. Squirrel closer Heath Hembree slammed the door in the ninth to give Richmond the sweep of the day and of the series.
With the four-game series in Richmond behind them, the Thunder now head to Reading for a four-game set with the Phillies. Game one from FirstEnergy Stadium is scheduled for Friday night at 7:05 PM. The Thunder will give the pearl to LHP Manny Banuelos (3-2, 3.28), while the R-Phils will counter with RHP Tyler Cloyd (2-1, 3.79). The SBLI Pre-Game Show with Hank Fuerst and Ben Youngerman begins at 6:50 PM. Tune-in to the game on 91.3 WTSR or log-on to trentonthunder.com.