Aeros take commanding 2-0 lead in series
Akron, OH – Akron’s Ryan Rohlinger stroked a two-run home run to cap a five-run third inning Wednesday, as the Akron Aeros defeated the Trenton Thunder, 7-5, in game two of the Eastern League Championship series at Canal Park.
With the win, the Aeros (82-59, 5-2) gained a commanding, two games to none lead in the best-of-five series. When the venue shifts to Trenton on Friday, the Aeros will need just one more victory to secure the fourth league championship in franchise history.
The Aeros jumped on Trenton starter Shaeffer Hall in the first inning when Jesus Aguilar blasted a two-out, two-run homer down the left field line to give Akron a 2-0 lead. His homer brought home Chun Chen who had reached on an error.
Trenton (79-63, 3-3) pulled within 2-1 in the top of the third on a solo home run by Tyler Austin off Aeros starter Danny Salazar.
Then in the Aeros third, with two outs and runners at first and second, Matt Lawson doubled home Tyler Holt, who had singled. Adam Abraham followed with a two-run triple to make it 5-1, and Rohlinger capped the rally with a two-run rocket to left, his second home run in the playoffs, to make it 7-1.
Trenton’s Zoilo Almonte cranked a three-run homer off Salazar in the sixth to pull the Thunder to within 7-4. In the seventh, the Thunder mounted another threat, this time against reliever Kyle Landis. With runners at second and third, Rob Segedin singled to center, scoring JR Murphy to make it 7-5, but Kevin Mahoney was thrown out at the plate. Trenton manager Tony Franklin argued the bang-bang play and was ejected by home plate umpire Tom Woodring.
Hector Rondon worked a scoreless eigth, and closer Preston Guilmet retired three in a row in the ninth for his second straight save in the Finals, and his fourth of the post-season.
Rohlinger, Abraham, and Holt all had two hits apiece for the Aeros.
Salazar (1-0) worked six innings to earn the win. He allowed only five hits and struck out a season-high nine batters.
Following an off-day Thursday, the Aeros and Thunder will resume play at Trenton’s Waterfront Park on Friday evening at 7:05. RHP Carlos Carrasco (0-0, 0.00) will start for Akron against Trenton RHP Mikey O’Brien (0-0, 1.80).