TRENTON – After the Thunder took the rubber game of their three-game series with Hartford, 9-0, on Thursday night, they emerged victorious in a classic pitchers duel to pull out a 2-1 series opening victory over the Bowie Baysox in ten innings on Friday night at ARM & HAMMER Park.
“It was a pitchers duel, that’s for sure,” said Thunder Manager Bobby Mitchell. “He [Acevedo] and Long were very sharp and they both pitched very well. It was impressive to watch both of them pitch.”
“It was tough sledding for us the way that Long was pitching,” Mitchell said. “I think in that inning he got a few balls up and we were able to score that run, which was huge.”
Thunder right-hander Domingo Acevedo, who had surrendered just five earned runs over his first four starts, cruised through five shutout innings before centerfielder Cedric Mullins took him deep for a solo shot to knot things at 1-1 in the top of the sixth.
The long by Mullins would be the lone blemish on the night for Acevedo, who tied a career-high by tossing eight innings; he struck-out five batters and allowed four hits in his 96-pitch effort.
“I made some small adjustments throughout the game,” said Acevedo. “I was able to make my pitches when I needed to and thank God everything went well.”
Right-hander Nick Rumbelow, who is coming back from Tommy John Surgery, came on in relief of Acevedo in the ninth inning and almost immediately found himself in hot water. A lead-off double by the number nine hitter Glynn Davis followed by a sac-bunt by Mullins put the go-ahead run at third base with one out for Bowie. With the game suddenly hanging in the balance, Rumbelow struck-out the final two batters of the frame to escape the threat.
After Trenton failed to score in the bottom of the ninth inning, Bowie again put instant pressure on them as extra innings opened in the tenth. The Baysox greeted right-hander Colten Brewer with back-to-back singles by Garabez Rosa and Aderlin Rodriguez to put the go-ahead run in scoring position for the second consecutive inning. A grounder back to the mound allowed Brewer to force Rosa out at second before he generated an inning ending double play.
After Bowie received two scoreless innings from southpaw Garrett Cleavinger, right-hander Jason Garcia came on for the tenth and had command issues that proved to be costly. After a one out single by right fielder Zack Zehner, Garcia plunked first baseman Billy Fleming in the chest and surrendered a single to catcher Wilkin Castillo to load the bases for the Thunder. Second baseman Vince Conde was able to draw a four-pitch walk to plate the winning run and give Trenton the 2-1 victory.