Archive for July 22nd, 2012

Epic.

July 22, 2012

(PR) (Trenton, NJ) – Trenton rallied from a 9-0 deficit by tying the game with five two-out ninth inning runs and winning it on Jose Pirela’s walk-off home run in the 12th inning as the Thunder stunned the Reading Phillies, 13-12, Sunday afternoon in front of 6,044 fans at Waterfront Park. Melky Mesa and Luke Murton hit back-to-back homers in the ninth to tie the score, then Pirela drilled his second extra-inning long ball this season to end the memorable win for the Thunder (59-41).

Down to a final out and still trailing 11-6 with no baserunners aboard in the ninth, Trenton’s Addison Maruszak doubled to left and scored on an RBI hit from David Adams. Zoilo Almonte then doubled to left center plating Adams and cutting the deficit to three.

The next batter was Mesa, who clubbed a 2-2 pitch of the left field fence against Colby Shreve to make the score 12-11. Reading then brought Tyler Knigge to face Murton, who clobbered the first pitch he saw for a mammoth game-tying blast, his league-leading 21st of the season.

Reading regained the lead with an unearned tally against Jon Meloan in the top of the 10th when D’Arby Myers plated Tug Hulett from third base with an infield single. But again Trenton rallied, this time scoring an unearned run in the bottom of the frame when Neil Medchill came in from third base on second baseman Cesar Hernandez’s error on a botched rundown.

After neither side scored in the 11th, Mark Montgomery (1-0) pitched a 1-2-3 top half of the 12th inning. Then with one out in the bottom of the frame, Pirela drilled Jay Johnson’s (1-1) pitch over the fence in left center to end the 3 hour, 58 minute marathon.

Trenton starter Dellin Betances was touched for seven runs on a career-high ten hits in three innings of work. Cody Asche and Sebastian Valle each homered against the right-hander who also walked three and left with the score 7-0. Reading added two more in the top of the fifth against Francisco Rondon to go ahead by nine runs.

The Thunder began the comeback by scoring five in the bottom of the fifth against Reading starter Julio Rodriguez. Zoilo Almonte capped the rally with a three-run home run to right center with two outs. Jiwan James’ two-run double against reliever Ryan Pope in the sixth put the Phillies back in front 11-5.

The Thunder next head to Portland, Maine for a three-game series against the Portland Sea Dogs. Trenton left-hander Vidal Nuno (5-2, 1.56) is slated to start against righty Jeremy Kehrt (4-3, 4.71). Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 6:45 pm.

Game 99: Post-Game Notes

July 22, 2012

 

Thunder starter Mikey O’Brien couldn’t overcome a rough first inning in tonight’s 7-1 loss to Reading.

— Reading starting pitching is giving the Thunder fits this series.  Austin Hyatt’s performance tonight was simply more of the same.

Between Mario Hollands, Jonathan Pettibone and Hyatt, the Thunder have scored just two runs in 21 innings off of the R-Phils starters so far, and things certainly won’t get any easier on Sunday with Futures Game participant Julio Rodriguez on the mound.

“Those are probably three of the best games we’ve had pitched against us,” said Thunder manager Tony Franklin.  “Their guys pitch well and executed extremely well.”

Unfortunately, the game got away from Trenton and their starter, Mikey O’Brien, very early.  The Phillies tacked five runs on the board in the first inning, sending ten men to the plate in a 43 pitch inning that essentially ended the game before it had even begun.

“I just wasn’t really catching any breaks that first inning,” O’Brien said. “I felt good and my stuff felt good, and I didn’t catch any breaks. They were just putting the bat on the ball.  You’ve just got to battle, I didn’t want to come out after the first or second inning.  I just tried to save our bullpen and pitch as deep as I can. I wanted to just throw quality pitches and try to get outs.”

The 22-year-old righty pitched relatively well after the first inning, with only a Darin Ruf home run serving as a blemish, but O’Brien struggled for a second straight outing after having been shut down for a start by the Yankees organization to manage his innings…or, as they’d tell it, he came down with an ingrown toenail.  Either way, he refused to use that as an excuse with reporters after the game.

“Overall, I feel great, so I don’t think that played into effect at all,” he said.  “I felt good, but that happens.  I can’t really do anything about that now.  I just have to try to bounce back.”

O’Brien issued a leadoff walk to Phillies center fielder Jiwan James, which was followed by a single by Cody Asche that moved James to third. An RBI groundout by Cesar Hernandez put the first run of the game on the board and put Reading on top, 1-0. But it would get much worse.

Ruf singled through the right side, which moved Asche to third and put Ruf at second after right fielder Zoilo Almonte’s throw eluded cutoff man Kevin Mahoney after Asche has been held at third base. But none of that mattered when Tug Hulett’s double scored them both and put the Thunder further behind, 3-0. Back-to-back RBI singles by Phillies catcher Sebastian Valle — in which center fielder Melky Mesa appeared to have a chance at catching the ball but laid back to try to make a throw home — and Troy Hanzawa put Trenton in a 5-0 hole before they even had a turn at-bat.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

(Some content from my Trentonian story was used in this post)