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Keys Late Comeback Ties Series

Thunder lose first home game 5-4 before largest crowd of 7,412
June 11, 2022

(Trenton, NJ) – For more than 16 innings, Thunder pitchers had kept the Keys lineup off the scoreboard in their weekend series at Trenton Thunder Ballpark. And on Saturday night, it certainly looked like the Thunder would win their second straight shutout as they built a 3-0 lead behind another

(Trenton, NJ) – For more than 16 innings, Thunder pitchers had kept the Keys lineup off the scoreboard in their weekend series at Trenton Thunder Ballpark. And on Saturday night, it certainly looked like the Thunder would win their second straight shutout as they built a 3-0 lead behind another tremendous start from KC Hunt. The tides turned in the eighth inning, and Frederick woke up with three runs to tie the score before tacking on two more in the ninth to tie the series at a game apiece. Both teams have a quick turnaround and head into Sunday’s deciding game with identical 5-4 records over the first week-plus of the season.

On the field, Thunder starting pitching has been the story of the first homestand. And just like game one on Friday, Hunt met his match in Frederick’s Zach Fruit. Both righthanders traded zeroes and barely broke a sweat early on as they each needed just 34 pitches to motor through the third. In the fourth, the Thunder got into the Keys bullpen and struck first on a two-out base hit from Socrates Bardatsos, whose single scored *Tate Ballestero *following a leadoff double.

In the sixth, Ballestero made things happen again with a walk, and then showed his athleticism by stealing second and third on consecutive pitches. *Gus Sosa’s *single scored Ballestero for the second time, giving Hunt a 2-0 cushion on a night where he became the first starter to work five innings. He allowed just three hits, and also became the first Thunder pitcher to record seven strikeouts in a game this season.

Trenton tacked on a run in the seventh off Allan Saathoff, who hurt himself with a walk to *Nate Ochoa *and an errant pickoff attempt that advanced the shortstop to second base. A few batters later, *Ryan McCarthy’s *RBI groundout made it 3-0 and gave the Thunder bullpen just six outs to secure the series and their fifth straight win.

Facing lefthander Devin Milberg *in the eighth, the Keys started the inning on back-to-back singles by *Dylan Hoy *and *Damian Rodriguez. *A wild pitch ended the shutout streak, and after *Kendall Ewell *was hit by a pitch, he stole second base to put the tying run in scoring position. In the biggest spot of the night, first baseman *David Castillocame through with a two-RBI single to tie the score with two outs.

Later in the top of the ninth, Frederick capitalized on a pair of walks from Joan Gonzales *(0-1), and later scored the tiebreaking runs on a wild pitch and an error. The Thunder made some noise in the ninth against closer *Jose Suero, who surrendered a run-scoring single to McCarthy that got them in striking distance at 5-4. A wild pitch made things interesting, but Suero recorded the final out for his second save and a tie series with the finale coming up on Sunday afternoon.

Your Trenton Thunder conclude their first homestand against the Frederick Keys on Sunday, June 12 at 1:00 PM. Boomer's mascot friends will be in attendance to celebrate his birthday, and the first 1,000 fans ages 5-13 will receive a Golden Batdog Minibat, presented by Penn Medicine Princeton Health & CHOP. It’s Special Needs Awareness Day and tickets for Pregame Yoga in the Outfield are on sale now. Enjoy Sangria specials and kids can run the bases after the game! To purchase tickets, call (609)-394-3300, Opt 4 or visit trentonthunder.com.

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The Trenton Thunder have drawn over 10 million fans over 28 years and have won the three major awards that Minor League Baseball teams can win; the Johnson Trophy for the "Nation's Best Franchise" (2005), the Larry MacPhail Trophy for Outstanding Club Promotion (2003) and the Bob Frietas Award for Long-Term Success (1998, given by Baseball America). The team has given back over $7.5 million worth of goods, services, and monetary donations through Trenton Thunder Charities, under the Grand Slam We Care Foundation umbrella. The Thunder can be found online at trentonthunder.com, facebook.com/trentonthunder, twitter.com/trentonthunder, and on youtube.com/AATrentonThunder.