Friday, September 6, 2013

A Midst a Playoff Run, Thunder are Still Booming




“Fun happens here”. A playful slogan of the Trenton Thunder is able to summarize my summer with the team thus far. In what has evolved to be one of the most historic summers in Thunder history, the fun is far from over. From the numerous rehabilitation assignments to the 8th millionth fan in attendance, this summer has been one for the ages.

The Trenton Thunder began their conquest for the team’s third Eastern League Championship Wednesday night at ARM & HAMMER Park. As second place finishers in the Eastern League, Trenton is squaring up against division leaders, Binghamton Mets in a 5 game set. The first two games were played in Trenton while the later games being played in Binghamton.

Game 1 of the series could not have been won in a more dramatic ending. After battling Met’s a top prospect, Noah Syndergaard the Thunder were able to tie the game at 3 runs heading into the ninth. However after failing to convert with runners in scoring position, the game went into extra innings. Free baseball!

In the top of the 10th, Binghamton struck quickly to tally 2 runs. At that moment, the energy of the remaining Thunder fans was drained…temporarily. What happened next was by far the most thrilling ending to a Thunder game this season. With two outs, Trenton pieced together five straight hits leading to 3 runs to win in walk-off fashion.

To close out the two-game set in Trenton on Thursday, the Thunder jumped out to an early one-run lead thanks to Yankee’s Zolio Almonte who was sent to Trenton on a rehab assignment. Behind the pitching of Yankee’s prospect, Mikey O’Brien, the Binghamton Mets would not score until 5th inning. Trenton would regain the outright lead for good in the 7th when Ali Castillo came up with a clutch RBI double.

Trenton, a team that has had its ups and downs this year appear to be locked in at the moment. There are smiles all around the clubhouse and stadium. It has been an exciting experience to watch the talent of these players grow as the season progressed. Now, in the midst of a title hunt, it seems everything is falling into place.

From my perspective, the team’s success is also a reflection of our success as employees. An honest statement about minor league baseball is that it can be grueling. There is no better feeling than to know all the hard work put in throughout the regular season can be rewarded with playoff baseball. We are committed to creating the best product in minor league baseball, it is up to the team to showcase it.

While we have no control over what will happen on the field, as businessmen and women, we will continue to do our part off the field in identifying new sponsors, marketing the Thunder, and selling tickets.

Trenton will play today in Binghamton at 7:05 in hopes of completing the sweep. 

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Matt Puzio is a sophomore in Drexel’s Sport Management program. From West Windsor, NJ, Matt is an active member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Matt has assisted Drexel professor, Dr. Ellen Staurowsky, in her Title IX research which resulted in a publication and a chance to speak at the 2013 NCAA Scholarly Colloquium. Matt will soon complete his first Co-op with Trenton Thunder.  Follow Matt on Twitter @mattypuz.


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