(PR) (Manchester, NH) – A three-run first inning for the Trenton Thunder (64-63) lifted the team to a 4-3 win over the first-place New Hampshire Fisher Cats (69-59) at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium on Monday night in Manchester, New Hampshire. In game one of a three-game set, Austin Romine, Rob Lyerly and Melky Mesa all drove in a run, and starter Cory Arbiso was solid, allowing just two runs in six innings. The win brings the Thunder to within 4.5 games of the Fisher Cats in first place in the Eastern League’s Eastern Division.The decisive inning on Monday night was the three-run Thunder first inning against Blue Jays’ prospect and New Hampshire starting pitcher Chad Jenkins. With runners at first and second and one out, Rob Lyerly lined a single into right field to get the Trenton scoring started. Lyerly then stole second after Zoilo Almonte struck out, and Austin Romine scored when Travis d’Arnaud’s throw sailed into centerfield. The next batter, Melky Mesa, doubled off of the wall in left-centerfield to score Lyerly and cap the three-run inning top of the first inning for the Thunder.
With the lead shrunk to 3-2, the Thunder scored a big insurance run in the top of the eighth. After a bunt single by Austin Krum, a line drive single into centerfield by Corban Joseph and a wild pitch, Austin Romine laced a single into right field that scored Krum from third base. Joseph was thrown out at the plate in his attempt to score from second base, but the Thunder led 4-2 after their half of the eighth.
Those four runs would provide just enough for the Thunder pitching staff, who put together a stellar effort on Monday night in New Hampshire. Thunder starting pitcher Cory Arbiso went five innings, allowing just two runs on five hits, to earn his first win as a starter in 2011. Trenton relievers Josh Schmidt, Kanekoa Texeira and Ryan Pope combined to allow just one run, an eighth inning solo homerun to Anthony Gose. Pope hurled a spotless ninth inning to lock-down his sixth save of the season.
The Thunder and the Fisher Cats will continue their three-game series with the middle game on Tuesday night at 7:05 PM from Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. The Thunder will give the start to RHP Craig Heyer (10-6, 3.64), while New Hampshire will counter with RHP Nestor Molina (1-0, 0.82). Tune-in to the game on 91.3 WTSR-FM and online at trentonthunder.com. The SBLI Pre-Game Show with Hank Fuerst will begin at 6:50 PM.