(PR) (Richmond, VA) – Richmond outscored Trenton 7-1 after the top of the sixth inning and ended the contest by turning a triple play as the Flying Squirrels earned a split in the four-game series with a 9-4 win over the Thunder Thursday night at The Diamond. The Squirrels collected 25 baserunners in eight innings and won despite stranding 16 runners on base in a three hour, 27 minute slugfest.
Richmond had at least one batter reach base in each time at-bat over the final two games of the series, recording a remarkable 45 baserunners in 16 innings during that span. The Flying Squirrels left 30 men on base in those two contests, which combined to last a total of nearly seven hours.
Trailing 3-2 entering the bottom of the sixth, Richmond rallied for four runs against relievers Francisco Rondon (2-3) and Danny Burawa. Rondon loaded the bases with one out on two walks and an error and was pulled in favor of Burawa, who allowed consecutive two-run doubles to Javier Herrera and Ryan Lollis.
After the Thunder scored a run and stranded the bases loaded in the top of the seventh, Mark Minicozzi smashed a Burawa pitched well over the centerfield fence for a two-run home run in the bottom of the inning to increase the Richmond lead to 8-4. Joe Panik’s RBI single in the eighth completed the scoring.
Trenton put runners on first and second with none out in the ninth against reliever Scott Shuman, who then worked a full count against the Thunder’s Tyler Austin. Austin lined the 3-2 pitch to Panik at shortstop, who caught the ball, tagged second base for a force and then threw back to first to complete the rare triple play.
Chris Gloor (3-1) defeated Trenton for the second time in as many starts against the Thunder this season. He allowed a two-run double to Slade Heathcott in the sixth that put Trenton ahead 3-2. Jose Pirela also homered against Gloor in the fourth inning.
In addition to starting a triple play, Panik went 3-for-4 with two walks, two runs scored and an RBI. Lollis reached base five times, going 3-for-3 with a walk, a hit by pitch and two RBI. Herrera went 3-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored.
Trenton next heads to Bowie for a four-game series against the Baysox, with game one scheduled for Friday at 7:05 pm. Right-hander Zach Nuding (1-5, 3.28) is expected to start for the Thunder against righty Devin Jones (2-2, 4.85) in the opener. Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 6:50 pm.