RICHMOND, VA – The Trenton Thunder (16-12) claimed the opener of a three-game series from the Richmond Flying Squirrels (13-15), 3-1, in front of 6,804 on Friday night at The Diamond. With the victory, the Thunder remained unbeaten by the Squirrels this season, having won the first five meetings between the two clubs.
The Squirrels jumped on top for the first time in the bottom of the second inning. Jarrett Parker led off and whistled a double into straightaway center field off of Trenton right-hander Zach Nuding. Brett Krill followed and laced a single into center field. Ramon Flores fumbled the ball in center, allowing Parker to come in to make it 1-0.
Richmond righty Craig Westcott worked around mild first inning trouble and breezed through the second and third innings. However, Jose Pirela led off the fourth and quickly tied the ballgame with a solo-home run to left field. Westcott then walked Tyler Austin. After Kyle Roller was hit by a Westcott pitch, Neil Medchill singled into center field to give the Thunder their first lead, 2-1.
Trenton tacked on a run against Westcott and chased him from the ballgame in the sixth inning. Westcott walked the lead-off batter, Tyler Austin. J.R Murphy followed with a double to put runners at second and third base with nobody out. Westcott was removed in favor of left-hander Phil McCormick. McCormick struck out Roller, but Slade Heathcott was able to muscle a ball into left-center field. Ryan Lollis made the catch, but Austin was able to tag and score for a 3-1 Trenton lead.
Westcott (1-3) endured the loss over 5 1/3 innings. He was charged with three runs – all earned. He permitted five hits, walked three and struck out one as he endured his third defeat of the season.
Nuding (1-3) settled in nicely after his early struggles to pick up his first win of the season. He worked six innings plus one batter, conceding just a lone run on six hits. He walked three, including the final batter he faced in the seventh inning, and struck out three. The Thunder improved to 2-0 against the Squirrels with Nuding on the hill.
The Thunder bullpen took it the rest of the way. Left-hander Aaron Dott and right-handers Danny Burawa and Branden Pinder combined to throw three scoreless innings of relief. Pinder handled the ninth to earn his fourth save of the season.
Richmond’s bullpen was also stout in the defeat. Lefty Phil McCormick tossed two scoreless innings, while righties Edwin Quirarte and Omar Javier each handled one.
Game two of the three-game series with the Trenton Thunder (New York Yankees) is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. at The Diamond on Saturday night. Richmond LHP Chris Gloor (0-1, 6.62) will make the start against Trenton LHP Francisco Rondon (2-1, 6.38). Pregame coverage begins on Sports Radio 910, SportsRadio910.com and IHeart Radio at 5:35 p.m.
# SQUIRRELS #