After defeating Erie on Saturday afternoon in their season opener, 6-2, Trenton appeared to be in prime position to win the series against the SeaWolves with two seven-inning contests on the docket for Sunday afternoon.
The Thunder started fast in the opener, immediately putting the first three hitters of the game on base. After first baseman Mike Ford struck out swinging, third baseman Miguel Andujar tripled to clear the bases and give Trenton an early 3-0 lead. He would homer again in the top half of the third inning to put the Thunder ahead 5-0.
With a hefty cushion to rest on, Trenton starter Yefry Ramirez struggled to hold it down in his Double-A debut. The 23-year old right-hander allowed four runs in the bottom of the third inning and another in the fourth before being relieved in favor of Caleb Smith. In his 3.1 innings of work, Ramirez allowed eight hits and a walk; he surrendered five earned runs.
Suddenly knotted at five runs apiece, Andujar delivered once again in the fifth inning by socking his second solo homer of the afternoon to put Trenton back ahead, 6-5. Almost immediately though, Erie would claw back and tie the game on a solo homer from Christin Stewart, his second of the game.
Back-to-back singles in the top of the seventh inning set things up for right fielder Billy McKinney, who delivered a clutch three-run homer to propel Trenton to a 9-6 lead. With just three outs left to get, Manager Bobby Mitchell summoned Cale Coshow for his first save opportunity of the season. After striking out the dangerous Stewart, Coshow surrendered a single to Dominic Ficociello and hit Miguel Gonzalez with a pitch to bring the tying run to the plate in Gabriel Quintana. Improbably, the 24-year old third baseman smashed Coshow’s offering over the left centerfield fence to again tie the game at nine.
A Quintana RBI single in the 10th inning off of Matt Marsh gave Erie the game one victory, 10-9.
Andujar finished a double short of the cycle, going 4-for-5 with two homers, a triple, four RBI and three runs scored.
In game two, Trenton was again paced by Andujar, who went 2-for-4 with a RBI double. Zack Zehner went deep for his first homer of the season, but Trenton pitching again could not hold down a lead.
Starter Dan Camarena allowed eight hits, and four earned runs in his four innings of work. Reliever Matt Wotherspoon surrendered a sixth-inning homer to Stewart, his third of the day, which ultimately proved to be the difference in Trenton’s 5-4 defeat.
The Thunder (1-2) will now head further West for a date with the Akron Rubberducks (1-3) at Canal Park in a rematch of last seasons Eastern League Championship.