September 14, 2012 - Eastern League (EL) - Trenton Thunder
(Trenton, NJ)- Zoilo Almonte drove home five runs as the Thunder extended their season with an 11-7 win over Akron on Friday night from Waterfront Park. Trenton pounded out 12 hits and picked up seven solid innings from the bullpen to secure the win. The Thunder are still down in the best-of-five series trailing two games to one, with game four of the series set to play on Saturday night at Waterfront Park.
Akron scored early against Thunder starter Mikey O'Brien, taking a 1-0 lead in the first on a Chun Chen base hit. Trenton grabbed their first lead of the series in the bottom of the inning with three consecutive hits. Zoilo Almonte then delivered a three-run homerun putting the Thunder ahead 4-1.
The Thunder lead was short-lived as O'Brien scuffled, allowing a homerun to Adam Abraham in the second inning. Akron pushed across another three runs an inning later to knock O'Brien out of the game and take a 5-4 lead. O'Brien tossed two innings and allow five runs on eight hits. Graham Stoneburner then entered to replace O'Brien and and stuck out four batters in his three innings of relief.
Trenton regained an 8-7 lead with a four-run fifth inning off Akron's LHP T.J. House. With two outs Adonis Garcia singled and Ramon Flores and David Adams reached on a walk and a hit-by-pitch, setting the stage for Zoilo Almonte once more. Almonte delivered a two run single to center and was followed by a two-run double from Addison Maruszak. Trenton added another three runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings off the Akron bullpen.
Clinging to a one-run lead in the top of the sixth inning Trenton's Tommy Kahnle entered and walked the bases loaded. RHP Branden Pinder replaced Kahnle with nobody out and retired the next three batters to keep the lead in tact. The bullpen of Stoneburner, Kahnle, Pinder, David Aardsma, Mark Montgomery and Ryan Pope tossed seven innings of relief in the Thunder win.
Trenton will attempt to even the series on Saturday night at Waterfront Park. Limited tickets remain on sale by contacting the box office. The Thunder will send LHP Nic Turley (1-0, 5.40) to the mound. Turley will face Akron's RHP Toru Murata (0-0, 1.50) at 7:05 pm.