PP Game Notes: Thunder 4, Navigators 1

TRENTON - The Trenton Thunder defeated the Norwich Navigators by a score of 4-1 in front of 5,181 fans at Waterfront Park on a night when pitching dominated. Ramon Ramirez pitched a complete game, retiring the last 24 batters he faced. That set the Thunder record for most consecutive batters retired in a game.

Ramirez didn't allow a base runner after the first inning when Michael Cervenak was thrown out at the plate to end the inning on Justin Knoedler's double to left. Ramirez was perfect the rest of the way.

The Navigators only run of the game came earlier in the first inning. Carlos Valderrama led off the game with a walk, the only one Ramirez issued, stole second and third and scored on a single to right off the bat of  Doug Clark. According to manager Stump Merrill, "He pitched very well. He did a great job." Although Ramirez, who speaks no English, declined to comment to reporters after his stellar performance, battery mate Omar Fuentes did. Fuentes said, "He made only one mistake." "He had everything perfect tonight." The catcher also added that Ramirez threw mainly fastballs and sliders to the Norwich lineup while adding an occasional changeup to the mix as well.

The game lasted only two hours and three minutes, making the third quickest nine inning game the Thunder have played this year. The two other shortest games were also at home. The first was a one hour fifty-eight minute game against the Harrisburg Senators on May 25th and the other was a one hour fifty-six minute game on July 30th against this same Norwich team.     

The Thunder scored four in the second to cap the offense and that was all they would need on this night. Mitch Jones started the rally for the Thunder, launching his 33rd home run of the year over all three levels of billboards in left center field to tie the game at 1. Back to back singles by Jason Grove and Aaron Rifkin after the homer by Jones put runners at first and second for Jake Weber who doubled to the left field corner, clearing the bases and giving the Thunder a 3-1 lead. Weber would score on a single by Andy Cannizaro to give the Thunder their 4-1 final margin.

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