Romine's huge night leads Trenton to sweep of Squirrels
Romine slugged two long home runs, one to left field and one to dead center, which put the finishing touches on a 9-for-19 stretch with nine RBIs over the last seven games.
“I’m staying with my plan that I have from the beginning,” Romine said afterward. “I’m not going away from it, and it seems to be working well.”
Romine’s home runs accounted for three of the team’s six runs, and he also drew a walk with the bases loaded in the third inning. He’s drawn six walks in his last 10 games, nearly one sixth of season total for last season (37).
The increased patience at the plate, his manager says, is one of the key reasons that he’s starting to bust out as the season’s first month winds down.
“He is really swinging really well right now. His swings are very compact. Even his misses are (good). He’s putting some good swings on it,” Tony Franklin said. “More than that, he’s had some very good at-bats. I don’t know how many walks he’s gotten in this series, but it’s probably more than he’s had in a while.
Aside from Romine’s power show, the offense early on was handled by the speedsters who bookend Trenton’s starting nine.
Ninth hitter Ray Kruml started the second with a four-pitch walk against Squirrels starter Eric Surkamp, then swiped second easily. Leadoff man Austin Krum followed with a push bunt that moved Kruml to third, and appeared to rattle Surkamp, whose control had already looked spotty.
Jose Pirela and Romine followed with walks, pushing across the first run. The next man, Brad Suttle, then bounced into a 5-3 twin killing that doubled the advantage.
On the season so far, Krum leads the team with a .302 average, a stellar .434 on-base percentage and has walked eight times against nine strikeouts. He’s also a perfect 3-for-3 in stolen base tries.
While his offense scratched across support for him, Hall silenced the Squirrels with near effortless efficiency. Over seven shutout innings, the southpaw scattered five hits, walked none and fanned three. Of his 77 pitches, an astounding 55 went for strikes.
“My goal is to just build off every performance, and that’s what I’ve told myself.” Hall said. “In the first game, I got hit around a little bit. My second outing was a little better, and I was fortunate to have the type of success I had tonight, going seven and helping out the bullpen a little bit.
After allowing singles to the first two hitters he faced, Hall set down 21 of the next 24 Squirrels, including a stretch of seven in a row between the third and fifth innings.
Brad Suttle’s ringing double in the seventh inning tacked on the fourth run. The double also came a few pitches after he’d lost control of his bat and sent it flying into the first-base stands.
NOTES: Cody Johnson was on the bench Wednesday in favor of Myron Leslie. Entering the afternoon, Johnson had whiffed in 21 of his last 38 at-bats, including 10 of his most recent 14. He also coached first base on Wednesday. … Melky Mesa’s first-inning marked the third time he’d walked in his last three games. He accomplished that feat just twice last season with Tampa. … Reliever Tim Norton has struck out 11 men in his last 5 2/3 innings.