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Thunder Stifled by Sanchez in Opener

by Matt Kardos | Posted on Friday, April 4th, 2014

At Tuesday’s Media Day, Thunder Manager Tony Franklin expressed a confidence that his teams offense would be able to hit and score runs consistently despite not having a deep cast of proven hitters. The Thunder were held to just three hits last night as they were shutout by Aaron Sanchez and the New Hampshire Fish Cats by a score of 6-0 at Arm & Hammer Park.

“It’s Opening Day and you never know what is going to happen,” said Franklin. “Unfortunately, we didn’t do a whole lot tonight offensively.” Franklin added, “He [Sanchez] threw the heck out of the ball. It could have been a combination of him and our club.”

Both Sanchez and Thunder starter Bryan Mitchell posted impressive first innings before Mitchell ran into some trouble in the second inning. New Hampshire forced Mitchell to labor, throwing 36 pitches in a four-run second frame that was highlighted by a bases-clearing, three-run triple by center fielder, Kenny Wilson.

“In the first inning, I felt really good. Got out there, got in a good rhythm,” Mitchell said. “In the second inning, I just kind of fell behind. They put some good swings on a few pitches and I got into a little bit of trouble.”

“He just got behind in the counts,” explained Franklin. “It’s hard to pitch when you are behind in the counts, in particular when you put guys on base, the innings become stressful for you and it’s difficult to pitch like that.”

Mitchell managed to last four innings while tossing 76 pitches over that span. He was charged with four runs on four hits while walking two and striking out four.

The Thunder offense had no chance against Sanchez, who was making his Double-A debut in front of his parents. The Blue Jays top-ranked prospect allowed just a base hit to Mason Williams over his five innings of work while striking out five. Dating back to his time in Major League camp this spring, Sanchez pushed his scoreless innings streak to 20.1 innings.

Trenton managed just two hits against the Fisher Cats bullpen over the final four innings while New Hampshire was able to plate additional insurance runs in the fifth and ninth innings. Trenton will try to bounce back and get their first victory on the young season  tonight when they toss Jeremy Bleich against Deck McGuire at Arm & Hammer Park.


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