After dropping a three-game series in disappointing fashion in New Hampshire, the Thunder return to open a crucial eight-game homestand with the New Britain Rock Cats and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. The Thunder enter play on Thursday evening 2.5 games back of the Reading Phillies and the Eastern Division’s Wild Card spot.
RHP Graham Stoneburner will make his ninth start of the season for the Thunder and his first career start against the New Britain Rock Cats. Since returning from a neck injury that sidelined him for most of the season, the righty from Richmond, VA is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA. In his last start, Stoneburner was only able to last 2.2 innings in a no decision in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday night in Trenton against Bowie. The Thunder are just 1-7 when the former Clemson Tiger has started this season.
LHP Spencer Steedley will make his fifth start of the season for the Rock Cats on Thursday night. The lefty is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in four previous outings in the starter’s role this season. In his last start, on Saturday at home against New Hampshire, Steedley allowed three runs in four innings in a no decision. The former Charlotte 49er is a career 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA in five relief outings.
The Bank of Princeton’s Hank’s Take it to the Bank: After not holding a lead in 18 innings, the Thunder will hold a lead at some point on Thursday night. Season Stats: .455 batting average (55-121, hit streak: +1)