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The Trenton Thunder leads off the season with a double

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Trenton Thunder catcher, JR Murphy swings at a pitch from RIchmond Flying Squirrel Justin Valdez during the first inning of the April 12, 2013 game at Arm and Hammer Park. Photo by Sam Foster.
Trenton Thunder catcher, JR Murphy swings at a pitch from RIchmond Flying Squirrel Justin Valdez during the first inning of the April 12, 2013 game at Arm and Hammer Park. Photo by Sam Foster.

 

The Trenton Thunder won their second home game of the season with a 5-3 win against the Richmond Flying Squirrels on April 12 at the newly named Arm & Hammer park. The game was called short by umpires at the beginning of the 8th inning due to weather conditions.On their home opener, the Thunder won 6-5 in 11 innings against the Richmond Flying Squirrels. The second home game wasn’t quite as exciting as the home opener.

One of the stars on the team is catcher JR Murphy. The 22 year-old catcher has 18 RBIs (Runs Batted In) and 4 home runs as of May 7. This is Murphy’s second season behind the plate for the Trenton Thunder.

Before the April 12 game, the Thunder’s Manager, Tony Franklin, said that he was very impressed when JR Murphy joined the team last season. “It was a heck of an addition,” said Franklin.

Franklin also said that the quickest catcher he has ever seen was Johnny Bench, now a Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, and that Murphy is almost as fast. “I can’t say he is as quick but he is pretty close.” He also said that the catcher “was quite exceptional” during the home opener.

The Thunder added new players to their roster this season. One of the new acquisitions is pitcher Caleb Cotham. Cotham was drafted by the New York Yankees in the fifth round of the 2009 MLB draft. Cotham ended last year playing for the single-A Tampa Yankees where he finished the season with 101.1 IP ( innings pitched) according to the Trenton Thunder website.

Cotham told the VOICE, he is excited to be at a AA class team. “It is nice to advance a level, which I did. I am fortunate in that.”

Caleb Cotham has been playing baseball since he was five, and he is still passionate about it. “For whatever reason I’ve kept the passion,” said Cotham. “I am fortunate I got good parents that didn’t push me, didn’t put me through any situation kinda let me do my own thing and I just kept at it and kinda snowballed in college and now I’m here.”

Cotham’s early passion for baseball is being repeated by seven year old Zach Reanhart from Yardley, PA. Zach was one of the 3,655 fans that, despite the weather, went to the ARM & HAMMER park to watch the Thunder’s second consecutive victory over the Richmond Flying Squirrels on April 12.

The seven year old told the VOICE that his passion for baseball started when he was four. “I was watching a Phillies game on tv and it just hit me,” said Reanhart.

Jackie Reanhart, Zach’s mom, said that he loves baseball. “It comes after eating and sleeping.” According to Mrs Reanhart, Zach’s room “is full of Trenton Thunder’s stuff.” She also said that more than the team, he loves the players. “They [the players] are his gods,” said Mrs Reanhart.

As of May 7, the Thunder has a record of 17 wins and 14 losses, which places them in 2nd in the Eastern League Eastern division, behind the Portland Sea Dogs with 19 wins and 10 losses. The top two teams in each division earn a spot in the playoffs.

The Trenton Thunder Arm & Hammer park is located at One Thunder Road, Trenton NJ. The schedule can be found at www.trentonthunder.com.

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