(PR) (Trenton, NJ) – Trenton rallied from a 9-0 deficit by tying the game with five two-out ninth inning runs and winning it on Jose Pirela’s walk-off home run in the 12th inning as the Thunder stunned the Reading Phillies, 13-12, Sunday afternoon in front of 6,044 fans at Waterfront Park. Melky Mesa and Luke Murton hit back-to-back homers in the ninth to tie the score, then Pirela drilled his second extra-inning long ball this season to end the memorable win for the Thunder (59-41).
Down to a final out and still trailing 11-6 with no baserunners aboard in the ninth, Trenton’s Addison Maruszak doubled to left and scored on an RBI hit from David Adams. Zoilo Almonte then doubled to left center plating Adams and cutting the deficit to three.
The next batter was Mesa, who clubbed a 2-2 pitch of the left field fence against Colby Shreve to make the score 12-11. Reading then brought Tyler Knigge to face Murton, who clobbered the first pitch he saw for a mammoth game-tying blast, his league-leading 21st of the season.
Reading regained the lead with an unearned tally against Jon Meloan in the top of the 10th when D’Arby Myers plated Tug Hulett from third base with an infield single. But again Trenton rallied, this time scoring an unearned run in the bottom of the frame when Neil Medchill came in from third base on second baseman Cesar Hernandez’s error on a botched rundown.
After neither side scored in the 11th, Mark Montgomery (1-0) pitched a 1-2-3 top half of the 12th inning. Then with one out in the bottom of the frame, Pirela drilled Jay Johnson’s (1-1) pitch over the fence in left center to end the 3 hour, 58 minute marathon.
Trenton starter Dellin Betances was touched for seven runs on a career-high ten hits in three innings of work. Cody Asche and Sebastian Valle each homered against the right-hander who also walked three and left with the score 7-0. Reading added two more in the top of the fifth against Francisco Rondon to go ahead by nine runs.
The Thunder began the comeback by scoring five in the bottom of the fifth against Reading starter Julio Rodriguez. Zoilo Almonte capped the rally with a three-run home run to right center with two outs. Jiwan James’ two-run double against reliever Ryan Pope in the sixth put the Phillies back in front 11-5.
The Thunder next head to Portland, Maine for a three-game series against the Portland Sea Dogs. Trenton left-hander Vidal Nuno (5-2, 1.56) is slated to start against righty Jeremy Kehrt (4-3, 4.71). Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 6:45 pm.