Rough Ninth Inning Dooms Thunder

(PR) (Altoona, PA) – Jarek Cunningham’s walkoff two-run double capped a six-run ninth inning for the Altoona Curve, which erased a 6-1 deficit to pull out a stunning 7-6 victory over the Trenton Thunder Thursday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field. Down to their final two outs with no runners on base, the Curve collected three hits and took advantage of four Trenton walks and one error to record the come-from-behind-win.
Ryan Flannery retired the first batter in the ninth on a flyout but then issued a single and back-to-back walks to load the bases. Flannery was pulled in favor of Lee Hyde (2-2), who walked in a run and threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded to make the score 6-3. Then with runners on second and third, Elevys Gonzalez hit a grounder under the glove of shortstop Addison Maruszak for an error that plated two and made the score 6-5.

Hyde picked off Gonzalez from first, leaving two outs and the bases empty. But Robbie Grossman doubled and Brock Holt walked to put two aboard, and Preston Claiborne entered as the third pitcher of the inning. He faced Cunningham who drilled a 1-1 pitch over the head of Melky Mesa in right-center to score the tying and winning runs.

Trenton received early home runs from Cody Johnson, his league-leading 16th, and Zoilo Almonte to build a 6-1 lead through four innings. It appeared that margin would hold until Altoona’s late-game heroics.

Trenton next heads to Harrisburg, PA for a three-game series against the Harrisburg Senators. Game one will be Friday night with first pitch slated for 7:00 pm. Trenton will start lefty Shaeffer Hall (5-6, 4.14), while righty Rob Gilliam (1-6, 5.40) will pitch for the Senators. Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 6:45 pm.

–THUNDER–

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