Herd End Historic Run in Trenton with Comeback Win
(Trenton, NJ) - It was a bittersweet Sunday at Trenton Thunder Ballpark as everyone prepared for the Blue Jays Triple-A affiliate's final game in New Jersey. The Trenton Thunder/Buffalo Bisons combo officially lasted for 69 games in the 2021 season, adding special chapters to each franchise's storied histories. With both front offices showing respect on social media and a strange union finally coming to an end, the team itself still had a game to play against the Syracuse Mets. And it was well worth it as Kevin Smith and Tyler White hit back-to-back home runs with two outs in the eighth for a 3-2 win that closed out an 11-1 final homestand. The Bisons will now return to their rightful home at Sahlen Field in Buffalo for their final 23 home games with a 29-13 record at Trenton Thunder Ballpark.
The starting pitching matchup was terrific as the Bisons looked to make it seven straight wins to wrap up the homestand. For the second time in the series, Buffalo's Bowden Francis took on Mets rehabber Carlos Carrasco, who had a predetermined 3-inning or 50-pitch limit for the Mets. In just his third rehab start, Carrasco was brilliant over three innings in which he allowed just two singles while striking out six.
Syracuse struck first in the top of the fourth when Wilfredo Tovar led off with a single before stealing second base. Two batters later, Cheslor Cuthbert drew a walk and Drew Jackson doubled them both home for a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately for the Mets, they failed to score again despite loading the bases in both the sixth and seventh. In his third start for the Bisons, Francis allowed just four hits while striking out six over five-and-two-thirds.
In his best appearance of the season, Jesus Reyes followed Carrasco with four hitless innings of long relief. The Bisons were resourceful when they scored the first run in the fifth, getting back-to-back walks, a Vinny Capra sacrifice bunt, and a groundout from Forrest Wall to cut the deficit in half at 2-1.
Travis Bergen and Tyler Chatwood combined to collect four outs, leaving Jacob Waguespack as the final pitcher of the day for the Herd. He surrendered a leadoff double to Cuthbert in the eighth, but sandwiched a groundout in between a pair of strikeouts to prevent the runner from scoring and keep the Bisons within a run. After Smith and White hit back-to-back home runs with two outs in the eighth for a 3-2 lead, Waguespack (5-2) motored through the ninth inning to finish off the six-game sweep.
The Trenton Thunder wrap up the 2021 season with a 6-game homestand from Tuesday, August 3 to Sunday, August 8 as they welcome the MLB Draft League to Trenton Thunder Ballpark to complete its inaugural season. To purchase tickets, call (609)-394-3300, Opt 4 or visit trentonthunder.com.
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