Baby Bombers Playoff Blog: Sept. 9

Trenton advances to ELCS with 5-4 win over Reading
09/10/2012 12:40 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
The Trenton Thunder are halfway to the Eastern League crown, as their 5-4 victory over the Reading Phillies at Waterfront Park on Sunday gave them a 3-1 victory in their first-round series and a berth in the Eastern League Championship Series.

In just his second Double-A start, Nik Turley (W, 1-0) pitched into the sixth inning, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out three, and a quintet of relievers – including David Aardsma, who pitched the seventh inning as the next step in his rehab assignment and allowed Reading’s fourth run on two hits – then kept Reading at bay, with Ryan Pope (S, 2) getting Minor League home run champ Darin Ruf to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game and the series.

Offensively, Trenton managed just five hits off Phillies starter Adam Morgan (L, 0-1), but were keyed by a three-run fourth inning that broke open a 1-1 tie and gave them a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. David Adams’ leadoff double started the rally, and after a Zoilo Almonte groundout moved Adams to third, Addison Maruszak followed with an RBI single to make it 2-1 and J.R. Murphy blasted a two-run homer to make it 4-1.

Reading cut the deficit to 4-3 in the top of the sixth, but Maruszak smacked a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the frame to make it 5-3. The Phillies would make a late run at it, scoring a run off Aardsma in the seventh and then putting two on with one out in the ninth, but Pope induced the double play that ended the R-Phils' season.

Trenton will now move on to face the Akron Aeros, who rallied from two games down to win their first-round series against Bowie on Sunday, in the best-of-five Eastern League Championship Series. Games 1 and 2 will be in Akron on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Games 3-5 (if necessary) to be played Friday-Sunday in Trenton.

No pitching matchup has yet been announced for Game 1, but it is likely that Eastern League wins leader Brett Marshall will be on the mound for the Thunder.

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