TRENTON, NJ – The Thunder offense didn’t strike for any runs until the final inning off New Jersey-product Jerry Vasto. The Atlantic Highlands, NJ-native secured his eighth save of the season in nine opportunities, but after the Thunder entered the inning trailing 3-0, they brought the tying run to the plate.
Mike Ford led-off the ninth inning with a double, capping a 2-for-3 afternoon, and he was immediately replaced by pinch-runner Michael O’Neill. Two batters later, Abiatal Avelino double him home, and the Thunder had two more cracks at scoring but Billy McKinney and Dante Bichette Jr. both grounded out to end the game.
All three runs for Hartford came home with two outs. The first pair of runs came with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the second inning. After Kyle Haynes retired the first five men of the outing, Hartford loaded the bases with three successive hits. Cesar Galvez then knocked a double to left field to give the ‘Goats a 2-0 lead. An inning later, Ashley Graeter doubled home Rosell Herrera and those would be the lone three runs in the game needed by the Hartford offense.
With the loss, Trenton falls back to a six-game lead over the Yard Goats for the second and final playoff spot in the East Division with 16 games left in the regular season.
The final game of the “road trip” for the Thunder has a first pitch of 1 p.m. Sunday at ARM & HAMMER Park. Gates open at 12:00 p.m. and general admission tickets are just $5.00. Pregame coverage of the game begins at 12:45 p.m. on 91.3 FM and online at www.trentonthunder.com