(PR) (Erie, PA) – In a game that featured 29 runs, 34 hits and eight home runs, a two-out error on third baseman Rob Segedin allowed the winning run to score in the bottom of the eighth as the Erie Seawolves beat the Trenton Thunder, 15-14, in a crazy game Thursday night at Jerry Uht Park. Thunder catcher J.R. Murphy became the first player in the 20-year history of the franchise to hit three home runs in a game, connecting in three consecutive at-bats between the fourth and seventh innings as Trenton rallied from a 10-1 deficit to tie the score at 14.
Murphy’s three long balls represented half of the team’s six on the night – one shy of the all-time franchise team record for a game – and left him with four on the season. Kyle Roller (three-run) and Segedin (solo) drilled back-to-back shots in the eighth inning with two outs to knot the score against Erie closer Justin Souza (2-0). Segedin’s shot to deep center was his second of the night and third of the season.
But in the bottom of the eighth, Trenton reliever Tommy Kahnle (0-1) walked two and allowed a bloop infield hit to load the bases with one out. Kahnle then stuck out Luis Castillo, and induced a seemingly routine groundball to Segedin from Daniel Fields that would’ve ended the inning. But the ball took a hop off of Segedin and bounded far enough away that he lost the chance at getting any outs on the play, allowing the go-ahead run to score in the process.
The Thunder collected back-to-back two-out hits from Ramon Flores and Tyler Austin in the ninth, bringing Roller to the plate against Souza with the tying and go-ahead runners aboard. Souza struck Roller out swinging on a 1-2 pitch in the dirt, ending one of the wildest games in Trenton franchise history.
Erie struck for ten runs in three plus innings of work against Thunder starter Matt Tracy and built a 10-1 lead after four. James Robbins drove in four against Tracy including a three-run homer, while Ramon Cabrera had three RBI in his first three at-bats.
Trenton scored three runs in the fifth and sixth innings to get within 10-7, and after the Seawolves came back with three in the bottom of the sixth against reliever Aaron Dott, Murphy’s third homer made the score 13-9 in the seventh.
Erie score an unearned run against Shaeffer Hall in the home half of the seventh, setting the stage for Trenton’s five-run, ten-batter rally in the top of the eighth. The Thunder have now lost three straight games while Erie won for the third consecutive day.
Game two of the series is scheduled for Friday night beginning at 6:35 pm. Right-hander Caleb Cotham (1-0, 2.00) is expected to start for Trenton while Erie counters with righty Victor Larez (1-0). Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 6:20 pm.