PP Game Notes: Navigators 6, Thunder 5

The Trenton Thunder tried to rally from a three run deficit in the bottom of the ninth but came up one run short as they lost 6-5. Andy Cannizaro struck out with two on and two out to end the ball game. Cannizaro had run the count full before appearing to check his swing, however, the umpire signaled that the ball hit his bat thus calling him out. Manager Stump Merrill would say after the game that it might be good idea to bring instant replay in to show the umpires just how poor they are. 

On a night where Trenton  starting pitcher Javier Ortiz (6-6) had a solid outing it was the Trenton bullpen that failed them. The pitching match up between Trenton's Javier Ortiz  (6-6) and Norwich's Patrick Misch (3-3), both heading to the Eastern League All Star game in Bowie, Maryland, was a pitcher's duel through the first six innings.

Both pitchers showcased why they are headed to Bowie as they kept the opposing batters off balance. Misch went six innings allowing two runs, four hits, and eight strike outs. He left the game in with the scored tied at two. Ortiz went seven innings allowing four runs, three earned. Tim Adkins replaced Ortiz in the eighth with two runners on and no out and the scored tied at two. 

Adkins gave up the go ahead run when Doug Clark hit a dribbler up the first base line and Aaron Rifkin looked home, then quickly turned around and made a throwing error to first. Adkins could not stop the bleeding as he proceeded to give up a double and a single to the next two hitters allowing three more runners to score, giving Norwich a 6-2 lead.

Trenton took a 1-0 lead in the second when Mitch Jones, who's heading to the Eastern League All -Star game, continued on his hot hitting streak belting his 24th home run of the season. He has homered in five consecutive games tying  the Trenton Thunder record set by Greg Blosser in 1995. Jones is also one home run shy of tying the Trenton Thunder single season home run record set by Adam Hydzu & Tyrone Woods both in 1996. Trenton would get their second run of the game in the bottom of the sixth as Aaron Rifkin singled to left with two outs, plating Andy Cannizaro. Cannizaro had doubled  to left with one out. Trenton could have had more in the sixth but Kevin Thompson was robbed of a home run in the bottom of the sixth by left fielder Doug Clark. 

Trenton plated their final three runs as they tried to stage a late comeback in the ninth off Norwich closer Alberto Montes. Montes entered after Mitch Walk allowed the first two hitters of the ninth to reach on a single and a walk. After retiring the first batter he faced, Montes gave up back to back singles to Omar Fuentes and Jason Grove, plating Jones and Sardinha to bring Trenton within one before the disputed third strike out of Cannizaro to end the game. Cannizaro said after the game that the most frustrating thing about the call was that home plate umpire Jake Uhlenhopp refused to ask for help. Cannizaro is one of the hardest outs in the Eastern League and he was not happy with what transpired in the ninth. But, he added, "They say never leave your at bat up to the umpire. Guys have good at bats to get to that point and then to have that happen."

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