Manchester, NH – The Trenton Thunder opened the 2011 season in style on Thursday, beating the New Hampshire Fisher Cats 5-1. The Thunder were led by Trenton native Steve Garrison, who pitched four scoreless innings for his hometown team, and Melky Mesa, who was 2-5 with an RBI double.
The Thunder offense kicked into high gear early in the game as the team plated two in the top of the second. Cody Johnson smacked a lead-off single off of highly-touted prospect and New Hampshire starting pitcher Zach Stewart. That single was followed by a Melky Mesa double off the wall deep in left-centerfield to score Johnson from first. Mesa scored three batters later on a perfectly-executed, two-out, bunt single by Ray Kruml.
It was the top of the fifth that the Thunder decided to put two more runs on the board. Jose Pirela led the inning off with a single followed by an Austin Romine free pass. Bradley Suttle then lined a ball past Fisher Cat centerfielder Anthony Gose that rolled all the way to the wall and scored two, giving the Thunder a 4-0 lead.
The Thunder added another run in the top of the seventh, and that was all their pitching staff needed. Trenton hurlers held the Fisher Cats to just one run on four hits. Craig Heyer picked-up the win in relief, tossing three hitless innings.
Game two of the four-game set in Manchester, NH, is Friday at 6:35 PM from Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. Trenton will send lefty Shaeffer Hall (0-0, 0.00) to the mound to face Fisher Cat righty Rey Gonzalez (0-0, 0.00). Tune-in to the game on 91.3 WTSR-FM and on trentonthunder.com. The SBLI Pre-Game Show with Jay Burnham and Hank Fuerst begins at 6:20 PM on the Trenton Thunder Radio Network.