South Jersey Baseball:
Saturday, April 23, 2005
By Dan Loney
Jeff Karstens and Justin Pope combined on a five-hitter in a 2-1 Trenton win over New Britain on Saturday afternoon. The win was the fifth straight for the Thunder (8-9).
The 2-1 victory took just 1 hour 52 minutes to complete, which is the fastest 9-Inning game in the 12-year history of Waterfront Park. The previous record was 1 hour 56 minutes, set on July 30, 2004, when Pope pitched a 1-hit shutout in a 2-0 win over Norwich.
All of the runs came in the 3rd Inning. New Britain (7-9) took a 1-0 lead after a leadoff double by C Bryan Kennedy. He advanced to 3rd base on a sacrifice and scored on an error by Trenton 1B Shelley Duncan.
The Thunder responded with a two-run homer by DH Gabe Lopez off Rock Cats starter Francisco Liriano in the bottom half for the lead. It was Lopez's third homer of the year. Liriano (1-2) allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings, but took the loss.
Karstens (3-1) held New Britain to one run and four hits over eight innings with one walk and six strikeouts. He retired 15 of the final 17 batters faced in the game. Pope came on to retire the Rock Cats in the 9th Inning for his fifth save.
The series finale is Sunday at 1:35 PM. Matt DeSalvo (0-0, 5.40) starts for the Thunder against New Britain's Justin Olson (1-1, 4.11).