Saturday, July 28, 2012

Thunder sweep a doubleheader from Harrisburg

For The Trentonian

TRENTON — The Thunder were models of efficiency Saturday. They only needed 13 innings to record two wins.

They managed that rare feat by again beating the Harrisburg Senators 5-1 in the bottom half of their doubleheader at Waterfront Park. With Harrisburg’s Brian Broderick pitching in the bottom of 

the sixth, the rain storms that had been threatening all afternoon finally broke through, forcing the game to be called.

Despite it being the team’s fourth game in two days and the hot, humid conditions, the Thunder showed no signs of fatigue, either mental or physical.

“Guys ask me what the trademark of this team is,” manager Tony Franklin said. “The trademark is that they never quit. They just keep playing.”

The Thunder got all the runs they needed in the bottom of the first inning. Jose Pirela and Zoilo Almonte both singled, setting the table for Luke Murton, who drove both runners home with a two-run double.

They were also able to tack on three more in the fourth. Rob Segedin singled home Melky Mesa and moved Kevin Mahoney to third, and Mahoney was then able to score on a Yadil Mujica groundout. A Jose Pirela double scored Segedin despite a close play at the plate.

On the mound, two former starters teamed up to limit the Senators to just one run on six hits. Both Craig Heyer and Graham Stoneburner started the season in the Thunder rotation, and both were moved to the bullpen after coming back from injury. Heyer started the game and gave up one run in 3 2/3 innings, and Stoneburner came in to pitch 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

“My last few outings haven’t been great, so I really wanted to go out and show them I could eat up some innings and be an asset to this team,” Heyer said.

Franklin was certainly appreciative of their efforts.

“We’re starting to get people back and get them healthy, and when you have doubleheaders like we have had the last few days it’s important to have guys that can go out and fill needs,” Franklin said. “(Heyer and Stoneburner) were outstanding.”

The only Harrisburg run came in the first, when a Zach Walters groundout scored Brian Goodwin.

Harrisburg starter Ryan Tatusko gave up five earned runs in four innings of work. Broderick pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

The Thunder conclude their weekend series with Harrisburg Sunday at 5:05.


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