(PR) (Erie, PA) – Longballs by Cody Johnson, Kevin Mahoney and Melky Mesa highlighted Trenton’s 12-hit attack as the Thunder defeated Erie, 6-3, Monday at Jerry Uht Park in the opener of a three-game series. The team has now slugged 16 home runs through the first 11 games of the season.
Johnson’s team-best fourth homer, a bomb to right center off James Avery (1-1) capped a two-run first inning for the Thunder who would never trail in the game. Mahoney hit his first as an Eastern Leaguer in the second to make the score 3-0.
With Trenton leading by only a run in the sixth, Melky Mesa provided insurance by clobbering his third home run of the campaign, a no-doubt blast to left off of Avery that made the score 6-3.
Trenton starter Shaeffer Hall (2-1) gave up 11 baserunners (eight hits, one walk and two hit batters) but managed his way through five innings and left with a 4-3 lead. He allowed Jordan Lennerton’s league-leading fifth home run of the season to start the second inning, then an RBI single to Niuman Romero later in the frame to make it 3-2 Thunder.
Zoilo Almonte’s RBI double against Avery put Trenton ahead 4-2 in the third but Bryan Ponds’ sac fly in the bottom of the inning cut the lead back to a single run.
Michael Dubee and Preston Claiborne each tossed two scoreless relief innings behind Hall, with Claiborne finishing his first Eastern League save by striking out four batters. The Thunder pitchers escaped trouble all night, as Erie placed the leadoff man on base in seven of the nine innings.
Almonte, Johnson, Jose Gil and Ronnier Mustelier each had a pair of hits for Trenton while Almonte and Mesa each had two RBI. Romero went 4-for-5 to lead the SeaWolves attack.
Game two of the series will be Tuesday night with first pitch is scheduled for 6:35 pm. Thunder righty Brett Marshall (1-1) is expected to pitch against Erie lefty Jay Voss (0-2). Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and streaming online begins at 6:20 pm.