Championship Series PreviewSeptember 10, 2012 - Eastern League (EL) Trenton Thunder
GAME 1: Tuesday, Sept. 11, 7:05pm
Trenton RHP Brett Marshall vs. Akron RHP Paolo Espino
GAME 2: Wednesday, Sept. 12, 7:05pm
Trenton LHP Shaeffer Hall vs. Akron RHP Danny Salazar
Thursday, Sept. 13 - TRAVEL DAY, NO GAME
GAME 3: Friday, Sept. 14 @ 7:05pm (Championship HOME Playoff Game #1)
Akron RHP Carlos Carrasco (1 inning rehab) / LHP TJ House vs. Trenton RHP Mikey O'Brien
GAME 4: Saturday, Sept. 15 @ 7:05pm (Championship HOME Playoff Game #2) (IF
Akron RHP Toru Murata vs. Trenton LHP Nik Turley
GAME 5: Sunday, Sept. 16 @ 4:05pm (Championship HOME Playoff Game #3) (IF NECESSARY)
Akron RHP Brett Brach vs. TBD Trenton
HEAD TO HEAD
At Akron (April 12-15) 4 games (Lost 3 of 4)
At Trenton (May 21-24) 4 games (Each team won two)
At Akron (August 23-26) 4 Games (Won 3 of 4)
In a total of 12 games, each team won six. In eight games played in Akron (April 12-15 and August 23-26), each team won four as Akron won three of four in the first series, while the Thunder flipped the script in the second series, winning three of four. In the only series in Trenton, the Thunder and the Aeros each won two games.
Akron hit .249 with 7 home runs 36 RBI and 38 runs scored (3.2 runs per game)
Trenton hit .229 with 8 home runs, 31 RBI and 34 runs scored (2.8 runs per game)
Akron pitchers sported a 2.72 ERA with 94 strikeouts in 106 innings pitched
Trenton posted a 3.03 ERA with 87 strikeouts in 104 innings
Top performers in series:
Davis Stoneburner, brother of Thunder pitcher Graham Stoneburner, hit .300 with four doubles, 2 RBI and 2 stolen bases in 30 at bats with 8 home runs and 15 RBI in 48 at bats.
TJ House: The left-handed starting pitcher went 2-0 in two starts against the Thunder with 2.63 ERA with 8 strikeouts 13.2 innings.
Preston Guilmet: in three appearances, converted both of his save opportunities, while striking out five in only three innings.
JR Murphy: Batted .375 with 1 home run, a double and 6 runs scored
Addison Maruszak had 2 doubles, 1 home run and 5 runs batted in
Mikey O'Brien was 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 7 K's in 12 innings pitched over two starts
Ryan Pope: 2 saves in 4 games, striking out 5 in 5.2 innings while posting a 3.18 ERA
HISTORY: This is the third time that Trenton and Akron have met in the Eastern League Championship Series. Trenton won in 2007 and 2008.
WHO TO WATCH FOR
Trenton right-hander Brett Marshall lead the Eastern League with 13 wins, posting the highest win total for a Thunder pitcher since Jason Jones achieved that same mark in 2008. Marshall, one of six Thunder players selected as Eastern League All-Stars, started on the mound for the Eastern Division squad at this year's game in Reading.
Long held in high regard as a versatile infielder, Addison Maruszak put together a phenomal year for the Thunder in 2012 with his bat as well as his glove. Maruszak made most of his appearances at shortstop and third base, but also made multiple starts at first and second base as well. At the plate, he set career highs with 16 home runs and 59 RBI and served as a constant presence in the Thunder's record-setting lineup throughout the season. He continued his strong season in the playoffs, as he led with Thunder with a .357 average, 2 home runs and 3 RBI in the four-game ELDS victory over Reading.
Tyler Austin, fresh of a regular season that saw him hit a combined .322 with 17 home runs, 80 RBI and 23 stolen bases through 110 games spent mostly between Charleston and Tampa, made a quick impact in the 2012 ELDS against Reading. The 21-year old 1st Baseman and outfielder, Austin, named a "mega-prospect" recently by Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman, went 2-6 in two playoff games so far, scoring the go-ahead run in Trenton's 3-1 game three victory, while contributing a key RBI double in the Thunder's clinching 4-2 game four win.
Ryan Pope, third on the Thunder's leaderboard with 31 career saves, has converted ten of his last 12 save chances, including both of his opportunities in the playoffs vs. Reading, including a clutch performance in the clinching game 4 victory, where he induced League MVP Darin Ruf to hit into a game ending double play.
Jesus Aguilar, a twenty-two year old first baseman, represented the Cleveland Indians Organization in the 2012 Futures game, and hit a combined .280 with 15 home runs and 71 RBI between class-A Carolina and Akron. In his lone series against Trenton, Aguilar hit .214 but of his three hits, two were doubles and one was a solo home run.
Preston Guilmet, the 2012 Eastern League Post-Season All-Star, tied for the league lead with 24 regular season saves, struck out 51 batters in 52.2 innings while leading the Aeros with 50 appearances out of the bullpen. In Akron's five-game Division Series win over the Bowie Baysox, Guilmet converted both of his save opportunities, striking out three and only allowing one base runner in three total innings.
Chun Chen, a two-time Eastern League All-Star finished fifth in the league this season with a .308 batting average, while adding five homers adding 30 doubles, 5 home runs and 43 runs batted in. In 11 games against the Thunder this season, Chen hit .279 with one home run, a double and a triple.
With Akron and Trenton meeting in the league championship seires, this marks the third time in the last four seasons that the two regular season division champions will face each other in the final round.
En route to leading all of Double-A in home runs, as well as shattering the franchise all-time single season record with 162, the Trenton Thunder boasted both the second and third ranked sluggers in home runs among Eastern Leaguers as Luke Murton and Zoilo Almonte hit 25 and 21 respectively. Murton's total was the most by a Thunder hitter since Randy Ruiz hit 26 dingers in 2006. The Thunder added four in the four-game ELDS win over Reading with Addison Maruszak hitting two, while Ramon Flores and J.R. Murphy knocked one a piece.
Thunder Manager Tony Franklin was named EL Manager of the Year while Akron lead the Eastern League with an 82-59 regular season record. Trenton lead the Eastern Division, going 79-63.
All 2012 playoff tickets are available at trentonthunder.com.
Eastern League Stories from September 10, 2012
- Championship Series Preview - Trenton Thunder
- Aeros Earn Spot in EL Finals with 5-2 Victory over Baysox - Akron Aeros
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