TRENTON --Sometimes it's the veterans who lead a ball club, and then some days, the kids take over.
Like pitching phenom Philip Hughes.
The young Trenton pitcher was the story last night at Waterfront Park. In just his ninth Double-A start, the 19-year-old right-hander pitched seven one-hit shutout in nings, striking out eight, as the Thunder blanked the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 3-0. The Fisher Cats pulled off a triple play half- way through the game, but it wasn't enough to overcome Hughes.
Trenton drew first blood in the bottom of the fifth when Eric Dun can drew a lead-off walk, Justin Christian singled and Kevin Howard drove Duncan home. However, the Thunder were taken out of a big inning when catcher Omir San tos grounded to Fisher Cats third baseman Brad Hassey, playing close to the bag. Hassey was able to step on third and force Howard at second. The relay to first easily beat the slow-moving Santos. It was the first triple play involving the Thunder since July 1, 2002.
THUNDER 3 NEW HAMPSHIRE 0 Meanwhile, Hughes took a no-hitter into the top of the sixth before allowing a one- out double down the left field line by the Fisher Cats' Justin Singleton (son of Yankees announcer Ken Singleton). The home crowd of 4,923 gave Hughes a nice hand, but the youngster, temporarily rattled, walked the next batter. Second baseman Gabe Lopez saved him with a nice snare of a pop-up in short center field, and Hughes struck out the next batter.