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Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Postgame notes - ELCS Game 3

Final score: Trenton 11, Akron 7

Synopsis: The Thunder came out on top in a see-saw battle thanks to five RBIs from Zoilo Almonte, and some amazingly clutch work from Branden Pinder and the rest of the bullpen, which continues to be stellar this postseason. Addison Maruszak also hit the go-ahead double to cap a four-run rally in the fifth inning. 

Branden Houdini: In the sixth inning, with the Thunder clinging to a one-run lead, Tommy Kahnle walked the bases loaded without recording an out. Having seen enough, Tony Franklin hooked him in favor of Branden Pinder, who, like Kahnle, came up toward the very end of the season. Pinder responded by whiffing Tyler Holt, getting a popout from Chun Chen and blowing away Jesus Aguilar. 

“The only word you can use to describe that is huge,” Maruszak said. “I mean, you can talk about all the hits, all the runs and the whole rest of the game, but that was the reason why we won, those three outs right there. I don’t know what the statistics are of a runner scoring from third and no outs, but I know it’s absurd.”

And although the outcome was everything he'd hoped for, Pinder did get a bit of a scare when Aguilar launched a 2-0 heater foul but well beyond home-run distance. And when I say Pinder got a scare, I mean everyone else did. For his part, Pinder said he didn't even flinch. 

“I knew it was foul,” he said. “2-0 fastball. He knew it was coming. After that, he was done.”

Walk This Way: I wrote a story last week about how patient Ramon Flores has been in his first taste of Double-A. With his walk to help start the Thunder's four-run rally in the fifth inning, he proved it again. With two down and Adonis Garcia on first, Flores took two quick strikes from T.J. House before staring at the next four to draw a walk.

That proved huge when David Adams got hit by a pitch in front of Almonte and Maruszak, who each drove home two runs with a single and a double, respectively. 

“I was just trying to fight the at-bat,” he said. “It was a tough left-hander. I got deep in the count and ended up with a walk.”

Zoilo stays hot: With five more RBIs, Almonte now has half of the Thunder's 16 runs this series. Still, it hasn't always been pretty. Take his three-run homer on Friday, for example. Carlos Carrasco started him with two curveballs, and he swung through both. On the third pitch, Carrasco's hook was up just a little bit, and Almonte, batting from the left side, flicked it over the wall in left-center. Damn impressive no matter how you slice it. 

Picks to click: Here are my game story and notes from Friday

Flick to click: Here's my highlight video from Friday.


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