(PR) Binghamton, NY) – Behind standout EL debuts from starting pitcher Nik Turley and outfielder Ramon Flores, the Trenton Thunder came from behind to finish the regular season with an 8-5 victory on Labor Day at NYSEG Stadium. Reading defeated Portland, 7-3, and clinched the wild card in the Eastern Division setting up a first-round playoff match up against the Thunder that will begin Wednesday night at 7:05 pm.
Turley (1-0), promoted from Tampa and officially added to the Trenton roster shortly before game time, pitched five innings and allowed three runs on eight hits. Binghamton struck for two runs in the first and a run in the second to take a 3-0 lead, but the lefty settled down to hold the Mets off the board in the third, fourth and fifth frames.
Flores, who also was added to the Thunder roster right before the game, hit a two-run opposite field home run in the fourth inning for his first Double-A hit. The blast to left came against Mets starter Gonzalez Germen (8-12) and cut the deficit to 3-2. He would go 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored on the day.
Trenton took the lead for good in the sixth with three two-out runs against Germen. Tyler Austin’s first EL RBI came on a single to left to score Walter Ibarra with the tying run. Then three batters later with the bases loaded, Kevin Mahoney lined a two-run double to right to give the Thunder a 5-3 advantage.
Addison Maruszak’s two-run double in the eighth highlighted a three-run eighth inning for Trenton. Branden Pinder made his first appearance since being promoted from Tampa on Sunday and recorded the final four outs to finish the win in a non-save situation.
Trenton will have a day off Tuesday before beginning the best-of-five Division Series at Reading on Wednesday night. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 7:05 pm on Wednesday, with game two also beginning at 7:05 on Thursday. The teams have yet to announce their playoff pitching rotations. Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 6:50 pm.