Thunder End First Half With Ninth Straight Loss

(PR) (Reading, PA) – Matt Rizzotti’s solo homerun with one out in the bottom of the eleventh inning capped a 7-6 win and a four-game sweep for the Reading Phillies (47-43) over the Trenton Thunder (48-42) on Monday at FirstEnergy Stadium. Rizzotti’s walk-off shot overshadowed Jose Pirela’s game-tying, three-run homerun with one out in the ninth. The loss is the ninth straight for the Thunder, who finish the road trip 0-8 and fall to 18-29 away from Waterfront Park.

For the eighth time in eight games on the road trip, the Thunder grabbed a lead in a game. Ray Kruml led the game off with a solo homerun to right field, and Bradley Suttle followed it up two batters later with a solo homerun of his own to left-centerfield. One-half inning and one out into Monday afternoon’s contest, the Thunder led the game 2-0.

After the R-Phils scored three times in the bottom of the second, the Thunder tied the game at three apiece in the top of the third inning. With Ray Kruml at first base and two outs, Bradley Suttle smacked a double into deep centerfield to score the speedy Kruml.

The R-Phils led from the third inning to the ninth and were two outs away from clinching the game. Jose Pirela’s seventh homerun of the season, a three-run shot with one out in the ninth, gave the Thunder a brief glimmer of hope as the game was dramatically tied. But, Matt Rizzotti homered with one out in the bottom of the eleventh inning off of Thunder reliever Pat Venditte and the R-Phils completed the four-game sweep.

Despite the nine-game losing streak, the Thunder finish the first half of the season six games over .500 at 48-42. Trenton also has a one-game lead on the Eastern League Eastern Divison’s wild card spot and trail the first place New Hampshire Fisher Cats by four games.

The Thunder start the second half of the 2011 season with a seven-game homestand at Waterfront Park that begins Thursday night at 7:05 PM with game one of a four-game set with the Reading Phillies. The Thunder will give the start to LHP Shaeffer Hall (6-4, 4.05), while the R-Phils will counter with RHP J.C. Ramirez (7-8, 3.70). The SBLI Pre-Game show with Jay Burnham and Hank Fuerst begins at 6:45 PM. Tune-in to the game on 91.3 WTSR, WBCB 1490-AM or log-on to trentonthunder.com.

Thursday’s game is a Thirsty Thursday presented by Budweiser and WPST and will also feature Fireworks after the game presented by Arm & Hammer. Before the game on Thursday, former Thunder broadcaster and current Phillies television broadcaster Tom McCarthy will be inducted into the Trenton Baseball Hall of Fame. For ticket information, call the Thunder Ticket Office at 609-394-3300 or log on to trentonthunder.com.

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