(PR) Richmond, VA) – Mikey O’Brien settled down after a tough opening frame and allowed only hit after the first of his seven innings to lead the Trenton Thunder to a 7-3 win over the Richmond Flying Squirrels in the opener of a four-game series Monday night at The Diamond. O’Brien (3-0) won for the third time in as many starts with the team in 2013 as the Thunder scored the final seven runs in the game unanswered.
Trenton’s offense snapped out of a recent funk by scoring seven runs on nine hits and nine Richmond walks. Slade Heathcott went 3-for-4 with three RBI to pace the surge, while JR Murphy reached base four times and scored three runs.
The first four Richmond batters reached against O’Brien on an infield hit to the mound, a walk, a bloop hit past second base and a bad-hop two run single by Mark Minicozzi. Ryan Lollis’ fielder’s choice grounder drove home the third Squirrels run giving the Trenton starter his first out of the night.
O’Brien would then settle in, lasting a team season-high seven innings and giving up a total of four hits, striking out four and walking three. Danny Burawa recorded the final four outs to close out the win.
After Trenton chased Richmond starter Omar Javier with a pair of two-out runs in the second, Heathcott’s RBI single in the third tied the game at 3 against reliever Jose Valdez (1-2). Murphy gave Trenton the lead with a two-out RBI single in the fourth.
Heathcott struck again in the sixth, this time grounding a two-out bases-loaded single off of reliever Tom Vessella that made the score 6-3. Five of Trenton’s seven runs in the game scored with two outs.
The second game of the series is scheduled to be played Tuesday night beginning at 6:35 pm. Left-hander Matt Tracy (4-3, 7.50) expected to start for the Thunder while the Flying Squirrels counter with lefty Carlos Teller (0-0, 0.00). Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 6:20 pm.