Trenton Thunder down Harrisrburg Senators in Game 1 of Eastern League Championship Series

09/10/2013 11:47 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Mason Williams helped the Trenton Thunder take Game 1 of the Eastern League Championship Series.(AP)
Four wins down, two to go for the Trenton Thunder in the chase for an Eastern League title.

In Game 1 of the Eastern League Championship Series at Arm & Hammer Park Tuesday night, a five-run third inning spurred the Thunder to an 8-2 win over the Harrisburg Senators and a 1-0 lead in the series.

Trailing 2-0 entering the bottom of the third, the Thunder would bat around and chase Harrisburg starter Blake Treinen before the end of the frame. Ben Gamel and Reegie Corona each walked to open the inning, and after Ali Castillo's sacrifice bunt attempt ended up yielding a hit and loading the bases, Mason Williams hit a two-run single to tie the game at 2-all.

After Ramon Flores flied out, Jose Pirela singled in Castillo to give Trenton the lead. Treinen then fanned Gary Sanchez for the second out, but that would be the last he got; a wild pitch scored Williams, and Tyler Austin followed with a single that plated Pirela to make it 5-2 and end Treinen's night.

Matt Swynenberg came in and got Kyle Roller to end the frame, but the damage was done, and the Thunder got two more in the fourth when Gamel walked, Castillo tripled, and Williams plated Castillo with a sac fly.

That was more than enough for lefty Nik Turley, who spun a quality start by allowing just two runs in six innings and struck out 10 en route to the win in his first postseason start. Zach Nuding and Branden Pinder would retire nine of the 10 batters they faced in the final three innings, and an RBI double by Sanchez in the seventh would plate the final run of the game to set the 8-2 final.

Offensively, the Thunder's hit total only matched their run total, with Castillo (2-for-3) the only one with multiple hits and Mason Williams notching a game-high three RBI.

With EL rules stating that the West Division representative hosts Games 3-5 of the ELCS in odd-numbered years, the Thunder are guaranteed to play their final home game of 2013 on Wednesday night; RHP Bryan Mitchell, who took a no-decision in the Thunder's playoff opener last Wednesday, will be on the bump for Trenton in Game 2, with RHP A.J. Cole (10-5, 3.60 ERA in 25 starts between Class-A Potomac and Harrisburg this season) on the mound for the Senators.

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