(PR) (Altoona, PA) – The Trenton Thunder (58-55) scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to break a 3-3 tie and beat the Altoona Curve (49-63) 5-3 on Saturday night at Blair County Ballpark in Altoona, Pennsylvania. In the middle game of the three-game set, Corban Joseph and Rob Lyerly both drove in runs in the ninth to give Trenton their first lead of the series and the eventual win. The Thunder, who had lost five straight games overall, win for the fifth time in their last six road contests and have an opportunity to win the series in Altoona in tomorrow’s rubber match.Against Thunder starter Craig Heyer, the Curve posted three runs in the bottom of the third to score the night’s first runs, taking a 3-0 lead. However, the Thunder immediately tied the score at 3-3 in the top of the fourth. After a Corban Joseph walk to leadoff the frame, Rob Lyerly lined a ball to deep left-centerfield to score Joseph from first base. In the next at bat, Melky Mesa smashed an Aaron Pribanic hanging curve ball over the fence in left field. Mesa’s second long ball in as many nights tied the score at three apiece.
Thunder reliever Chase Whitley, who faced the minimum in his three innings of relief, helped the game remain a 3-3 tie until the top of the ninth inning. With one out the Thunder smacked three straight singles. The last single, a line drive off of the bat of Corban Joseph into right-centerfield, scored Austin Krum from second base to give the Thunder a 4-3 lead. The next batter, Rob Lyerly, beat out a potential double play at first base to score another run to extend Trenton’s advantage to 5-3. Ryan Pope hurled a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth inning to grab his third save of the season and the win for the Thunder.
The Thunder and Curve will wrap-up their three-game set from Blair County Ballpark in Altoona on Sunday evening at 6:00 PM. Trenton will send RHP Dellin Betances (4-6, 3.57) to the mound, while the Curve will counter with RHP Phil Irwin (5-3, 4.62). The SBLI Pre-Game Show with Hank Fuerst and Ben Youngerman begins at 5:45 PM. Tune-in to the game on 91.3 WTSR and online at trentonthunder.com.