Baby Bombers 2013 Playoff Blog: Late Game 2 rally puts Thunder on brink of ELCS

09/06/2013 12:23 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

SS Ali Castillo (left) had the game-winning hit Thursday to give the Thunder a 2-0 series lead.(Trenton Thunder)
It wasn’t a walk-off like in Game 1, but another late rally by the Trenton Thunder spurred them to a 2-1 win over the Binghamton Mets Thursday night that gave the Double-A Baby Bombers a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five Eastern League Eastern Division Championship Series.

After a Game 1 slugfest, Game 2 was more of a chess match between starters Mikey O’Brien (6 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 5 BB, 4 K) and Darin Gorski (7 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 5 K), with O’Brien working his way out of trouble after putting two men on in each of the first three innings.

Trenton then finally struck first in the bottom of the third, going ahead 1-0 in the third when Ramon Flores tripled and rehabbing Zoilo Almonte drove him in with a sac fly, but B-Mets third baseman Josh Rodriguez’s solo homer in the fifth tied it at 1-1.

That homer, however, would be the B-Mets’ second and final hit of the game, as the combination of O’Brien, Zach Nuding (2 perfect IP, 2 K) and Tommy Kahnle (1 IP, 1 BB, 2 K) retired 15 of the final 16 batters they faced, and the Thunder finally got to Gorski again in the seventh; Mason Williams singled with one out to start what would be the winning rally, but after the B-Mets’ southpaw got Reegie Corona to fly out for the second out and went to a 3-2 count on Ali Castillo, the Thunder shortstop ripped the payoff pitch to the wall in right-center, easily scoring a hustling Williams for the final tally.

That made a winner out of Nuding (1-0) and a loser out of Gorski (0-1), and Kahnle would work around a one-out walk in the ninth to earn his first save of the series.

On the overall offense front, the Thunder had just seven base runners, all coming on hits, with Flores (2-for-4, run) and Williams (2-for-3, run) the stars; Castillo’s double was his lone hit in three at-bats, Kyle Roller and Jose Pirela had one hit apiece, and Almonte was 0-for-2 with that sac fly before being replaced by Yeral Sanchez after the seventh inning.

The stage now shifts to Binghamton for the remainder of the series, and with a 2-0 lead, the Thunder have three chances to advance to the EL Championship Series for the second straight year. Game 3 is set for 7 p.m. Friday night, with RHP Shane Greene (8-4, 3.18) trying to win it for Trenton and RHP Logan Verrett (12-6, 4.25) on the bump for the B-Mets.

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