(PR) (Portland, ME) – Jose Gil hit an RBI double in the top of the ninth, then Abraham Almonte threw out the potential tying run at the plate to end the game as the Trenton Thunder topped the Portland Sea Dogs, 4-3, on a brisk Wednesday night Hadlock Field. Gil’s hit gave Trenton its first lead of the game, then Almonte’s second outfield assist at the plate made it hold up.
With the score tied at 3, Kevin Mahoney led off the ninth against Charle Rosario (2-1) with a line drive triple into right center field. Gil then drilled a 2-2 pitch high off of the replica “Green Monster” left field wall, scoring Mahoney with the game-winning run.
Ryan Flannery then allowed a leadoff single to Ryan Dent in the bottom of the inning. After Zach Gentile sacrificed Dent to second, Flannery struck out Jeremy Hazelbaker for the second out of the inning. The next batter Kolbrin Vitek singled hard to right and Dent was waived around third base. Almonte charged the ball and made a perfect one-hop strike to the catcher Gil, who tagged out Dent to end the gam.e
Preston Claiborne (1-1) pitched 1.2 scoreless innings to earn his first Eastern League win. Craig Heyer pitched the first six innings and allowed three runs on nine hits. His night ended when Almonte threw out a runner at the plate in the sixth inning on Dent’s fly to right.
Trenton trailed 3-2 entering the eighth but tied the game when Dan Brewer singled, stole second, advanced to third on a double-play groundout, and scored on Rosario’s wild pitch.
The Thunder fell behind 2-0 after three innings but rallied for a pair of runs against Portland starter Chris Balcom-Miller in the fourth. Ronnier Mustelier led off with his second home run of the series and third of the season, all against Sea Dogs pitching. Mahoney later tied the score with a sacrifice fly to center.
Reynaldo Rodriguez hit a two-out home run off Heyer in the bottom of the fifth to put Portland ahead 3-2, but the bullpen could not hold the lead.
Trenton will go for the series sweep Thursday night with first pitch slated for 6:00 pm at Hadlock Field. Trenton left-hander Shaeffer Hall (2-1) is expected to start for the Thunder against Sea Dogs’ righty Stolmy Pimentel (0-0). The game can be heard on the radio coverage on 1490 AM (WBCB) and also streaming online beginning at 5:45 pm.