RubberDucks stay hot, edge Thunder in 10
Akton doubled up Trenton in the hit department on Friday, 10 to 5.
TRENTON, NJ – Akron’s Tony Wolters legged out a fielder’s choice grounder in the top of the 10th inning, preventing a double play and allowing the go-ahead run to score in a 5-4 RubberDucks victory over the Trenton Thunder Friday night in the opener of a four-game series at Arm and Hammer Park.
Wolters’ hustle play came with one out in the 10th inning and Francisco Lindor at third and Anthony Gallas at first in a 4-4 tie. Wolters hit a slow bouncer up the middle. Shortstop Ali Castillo fielded the ball and tagged Gallas coming toward second. By the time he threw to first to complete the double play, Wolters made an ill-advised but successful dive across the first base bag to beat the throw. Lindor scored to make it 5-4. It was Wolters’ second RBI of the game and 33rd of the season.
In the bottom of the 10th, Louis Head worked around a lead-off single to earn his third save. He fanned Trenton’s BenGamel to end the game. Head now has 12 saves on the season, counting nine for Class-A Carolina before his call-up tothe RubberDucks.
The RubberDucks (54-40) held a 4-2 lead going to the bottom of the ninth, but Trenton’s Rob Segedin drilled a two-run double off Shawn Armstrong (3-1) to tie the game. Armstrong issued a walk and hit a batter, but had Trenton down to its final strike before Segedin’s clutch double. Armstrong settled for the relief win, his second on the road trip.
Now winners of three-straight and five of the last six, the RubberDucks are still one game out of first in the EL West.
Richmond defeated Bowie Friday night to stay one game ahead of Akron.
Trenton’s comeback spoiled an impressive Double-A debut by right-hander Cole Sulser, who worked six innings and allowed just two runs (one earned) on three hits. He walked only one and struck out seven. When Sulser left the game, Akron led 4-2.
Lindor had two hits and a RBI, and Justin Toole also chipped in two hits and a sacrifice fly. Gallas drove in a run with asacrifice fly as well. Right fielder Jordan Smith turned in the defensive play of the game, robbing Francisco Arcia of a homer by making a leaping catch over the right field wall in the fifth inning.
Akron first baseman Bryan LaHair and Trenton catcher Peter O’Brien were both ejected in the first inning by home plate umpire John Bacon after the two got into a heated discussion during LaHair’s first plate appearance.
The RubberDucks and Thunder will play game two of the series on Saturday night at 7:05 PM. RHP Cody Anderson (3-8,5.08) is scheduled to start for Akron, while the Thunder have tabbed RHP Bryan Mitchell (2-5, 4.84). The game will bebroadcast on WARF 1350 AM and www.AkronRubberDucks.com.
The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The 2014 season is the 18th since moving to Canal Park and the first as the RubberDucks. For more information, including official team merchandise, go to www.AkronRubberDucks.com or call 330-253-5151. Fans may also follow the team on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks and Twitter at @AkronRubberDuck.