Thunder take two from Fisher Cats
MANCHESTER — Peter O’Brien collected his 20th homer of the season and Trenton pounded out 14 hits to complete an Eastern League doubleheader sweep with an 8-5 nightcap decision over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium Monday.
In the opener, right-handed pitcher Jaron Long, the son of New York Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long, shut the Fisher Cats down en route to a 4-1 win in front of 4,453 fans.
In the nightcap, Mason Williams, O’Brien and Tyson Blaser each had three hits for Trenton (48-55).
New Hampshire (47-55) took a 3-0 first inning lead. The rallied started with a single by Dalton Pompey and a walk to Jon Berti.
Matt Newman doubled home Pompey and Nashua native Kevin Nolan doubled home Berti and Newman for the early lead.
Trenton rallied for four runs in the second inning highlighted by a solo homer from O’Brien and a two-run shot from Francisco Arcia. Williams tripled home the last run of the inning.
New Hampshire regained a 5-4 edge on consecutive RBI doubles from Newman and Nolan in the home second. Blaser tied the game for Trenton with an RBI double in the third inning and the Thunder took the lead in the fifth inning when Jose Toussen walked with the bases loaded, plating Tyler Austin, who had a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning to pad the lead to 7-5. Blaser added an RBI hit for good measure to complete the scoring.
Mark Montgomery (1-0) gained the win in relief and Francisco Rondon earned his first save.
New Hampshire starter Richard Bleier allowed five runs and eight hits in three innings. He didn’t get the decision. The loss was pinned on Blake McFarland (0-2).
In the opener, Long allowed four hits and struck out four and did not walk a batter.
He got relief help from Diego Moreno to close it out in the bottom of the seventh inning in the first game of a doubleheader.
Long, 22, won his third Eastern League start in as many games. New Hampshire lefty Johnson Anderson took the loss and fell to 3-2.
The Thunder jumped on top on a two-run home run to left center field by catcher Gary Sanchez, the Yankees’ top prospect. Sanchez knocked in Ben Gamel, who had singled to center.
The Fisher Cats got one run back in the bottom of the fourth.
Berti led off with a double and, after a ground out, shortstop Nolan scored him with a single. The hit extended Nolan’s hitting streak to 11 games.
The Thunder added unearned runs in the fifth and sixth innings to up their lead to 4-1.
Ali Castillo walked with one out in the fifth. Anderson picked him off first base, but the pitcher then threw the ball way in a rundown and Castillo hustled all the way to an uncovered third base.
Castillo scored on Jake Cave’s double to right field.
O’Brien led off the sixth inning with a double to left field.
He advanced to third on Austin’s fly out to right field and then scored when first baseman K.C. Hobson bobbled the ball for an error before throwing home.
The Fisher Cats threatened in the top of the ninth.
Nolan reached on an error on second baseman Casey Stevenson to open the inning. Andy Burns followed with a single to left field to put runners on first and second .
Diego Moreno came on in relief of Long and struck out Hobson, got Derrick Chung on a pop out to second and struck out Michel Crouse to end the game.
Anderson allowed seven hits in his five and a third innings, struck out four and walked two.
Both teams resume play Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.