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Mitchell Dominates Akron in Thunder Victory

by Matt Kardos | Posted on Monday, April 14th, 2014

Thunder pitcher Bryan Mitchell has admittedly struggled with command of his pitches this season. The Trenton ace headed into Akron tonight with a disappointing 0-2 record and a 9.00 ERA after his first two starts of the season. With a repertoire that has top of the rotation ability, the command of Mitchell has been spotty and inconsistent over the course of his young career which has prevented him from fulfilling his potential.

Aside from his personal struggles, the Thunder as a team averaged just one run of support for Mitchell over his first two starts. In comparison, the team averages six runs per game for the other four pitchers in the starting rotation. Much of that coincides with the fact that Mitchell has been pitted in match-ups with two of the premiere pitchers in the league in Aaron Sanchez and the reigning Eastern League Pitcher of the Week, Henry Owens.

Bryan Mitchell earned his first victory of the season after striking out a career-high 12 batters in Akron tonight.

Bryan Mitchell earned his first victory of the season after striking out a career-high 12 batters in Akron tonight.

Trenton looked as though they were going to go quietly in the first frame. With two-outs and nobody on-base, third baseman Rob Segedin orchestrated a walk  against Gabirel Arias which was followed by a well struck double into rightfield by first baseman, Kyle Roller. That set the stage for Tyler Austin, who roped a two-run single into left-centerfield to give Mitchell the early 2-0 advantage.

“Tyler is a good hitter and good hitters do some pretty good things,” said Franklin. “Tyler stays within himself and doesn’t try to do too much. He is very comfortable with what he is trying to accomplish; he’s got a good game plan and he’s just trying to go out there and execute it. Right now, it is working pretty well.”

Those two runs proved to be all that Mitchell would need to earn his first victory of the season. The fastball command that has evaded Mitchell early on this season showed up in a big way at a rainy and gloomy Canal Park tonight. The 22-year old Mitchell set a new career-high in strikeouts after fanning 12 Rubberducks over six dominant innings en route to a 2-0 shutout victory for Trenton.

“He was extremely consistent with his fastball and his off-speed pitches,” said Thunder Manager Tony Franklin. “He mixed his pitches well and more than anything, he threw strikes with his fastball.”

Franklin added, “He is a fastball pitcher, he sits anywhere from 95-96 and when he is out there and establishing his fastball, he’s pretty darn good.When he is commanding the fastball like he did tonight, the breaking stuff becomes much better; he was very good tonight.”

Diego Moreno pitched a perfect eighth and ninth inning to earn his second save of the season to preserve the win and push the Thunder’s record over the .500 mark at 6-5 overall. Trenton will summon Jeremy Bleich (1-1 9.00 ERA to the hill tomorrow night to oppose Cody Anderson (1-1 3.75 ERA) for Akron. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Canal Park.

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