Bellows remains red hot, Aeros win 5-1
TRENTON, NJ - The Akron Aeros downed the Trenton Thunder 5-1 on Monday thanks to the bat of Kyle Bellows and the formidable arms of the Aeros’ bullpen.
Right-hander Brett Brach (1-1, 4.26) took the bump for Akron in his third start with the team against Trenton’s Brett Marshall (4-2, 2.98).
Akron scored first during the second inning as catcher Chun Chen kept his bat hot with a lead-off single to right. With one out, right fielder Thomas Neal reached on a force out and swiped second base before advancing to third on a throwing error by Trenton catcher Jeffrey Farnham. Neal went on to score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of centerfielder Ben Copeland, giving Akron the 1-0 lead.
Trenton’s rebuttal occurred in their half of the third when third baseman Addison Maruszak and Farnham laced back-to-back singles and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by centerfielder Abraham Almonte. With one out, designated hitter Corban Joseph sent a sacrifice fly to right to plate Maursza, leveling the score at 1-1.
Akron put together the biggest inning of the evening in the fifth as they scored three off of Marshall. Centerfielder Ben Copeland reached base on a fielding error by Trenton second baseman David Adams and Akron second baseman Ryan Rohlinger singled on a bunt. Cue third baseman Kyle Bellows, who hit his fourth home run of the past week to tack three more on the board for Akron.
Meanwhile, Brach pitched his way through a good outing as he surrendered five hits but just one run with five strikeouts before he was replaced with Rob Bryson in the sixth. Bryson tossed two scoreless for the Aeros before giving way to Loek Van Mil in the eighth.
Akron struck a final time in their half of the sixth as Chen drew a walk left fielder Nick Weglarz singled on a come-backer to the pitcher. Both runners advanced a base as Neal laid down a sacrifice bunt and Chen scored the final run of the evening as he scored on Copeland’s RBI single to right.
Marshall’s night ended in the seventh as he gave way to right-hander Kelvin Perez, who has been excellent for the Thunder as he holds a 0.69 ERA with 23 strikeouts and just two runs allowed through 16 games.
Perez surrendered two hits through two innings of work before he was pulled and replaced with Michael Dubee in the ninth.
The 5-1 lead was more than enough for Van Mil, who shut down every batter he faced as he retired the side in both innings he pitched, sealing the Aeros’ win at 5-1.
The teams will continue their series on Tuesday as the Aeros turn to right-hander Paulo Espino (0-0, 0.00) to take the mound against Trenton’s Vidal Nuno, who will be making his debut with the Thunder. Nuno was 1-1 with a 2.96 ERA with the Tampa Yankees.
Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.