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Dent pitches in for Portland07/13/2013 1:53 AM ET
By Brandon Simes / MiLB.com
When Ryan Dent toed the rubber Friday night, he didn't know what to expect -- he hadn't pitched since his junior year of high school.
Two scoreless innings later, Dent became the second position player in team history to get a win as Double-A Portland outlasted Binghamton, 8-5, in 15 innings NYSEG Stadium.
The 24-year-old infielder was pressed into action due to a confluence of events. With a bullpen left short by promotions and demotions a day after playing a doubleheader, Sea Dogs manager Kevin Boles told Dent to be ready in the 12th should the game continue. It went on to become the second-longest game in Portland history.
"We were pretty thin on pitching. We had a couple guys go down and a couple go up to Triple-A. We were thin from the get-go," Dent said. "I was going to come in yesterday, I got hot [in the bullpen], so I knew there was a chance I might throw today.
"It was pretty much the worst-case scenario."
After right-hander Matty Ott finished his fourth inning in his Double-A debut, Dent readied himself in the bullpen for his professional debut as a pitcher.
"I had no idea on how to prepare myself," said Dent, who threw 27 of 49 pitches for strikes. "I hadn't thrown all day from sitting on the bench, so I played catch for about five minutes and then threw about 10 warmups."
Dent gave up a leadoff walk to Mets No. 14 prospect Cesar Puello and a single to Josh Rodriguez in the 14th.
"My arm was not conditioned at all for that situation," admitted Dent, who threw mostly fastballs but mixed in a few curves. "I went out there trying to throw decently hard, to give some life on it, but after the first inning I was like, 'I can't do this anymore.'"
After Pawtucket plated three runs in the top of the 15th, Dent struck out Alonzo Harris looking before issuing another walk and giving up another single. The 62nd overall pick in the 2007 Draft got Darrell Ceciliani to pop out to short and Puello -- who went 4-for-7 with three RBIs -- to fly out to center field to end the marathon.
"I knew [Puello] had a chance to tie the ballgame. He's a great hitter and I tried to get ahead of him," Dent said. "I threw a fastball and he took a pretty big hack, but it kind of sank on him just because of gravity -- the ball goes down. I thought about a curveball next but threw a fastball. I dropped the arm slot a little bit and it landed in on his hands and got the popout."
Dent's teammates enjoyed his unlikely starring role.
"They were loving it. I was talking about throwing a palmball, joking around in the dugout, and they were trying to give me advice," he said. "They were pretty excited, especially after the first inning. And as soon as I got the lead, they were like, 'Shut it down, close it down.'"
Outfielder Jay Johnson was the other Sea Dog position player to earn a victory when he worked two scoreless innings and hit a walk-off double in the 17th on April 16, 2008 against Connecticut.
Another position player, Binghamton outfielder Joe Bonfe, recorded the final out in the top of the 15th. He was the first position player to pitch for the Mets since Jose Coronado threw a scoreless inning against Bowie on June 30, 2011.
Kolbrin Vitek, who came on in the third inning after Brandon Jacobs was traded to the White Sox, went 3-for-6 with a double for the Sea Dogs. Red Sox No. 16 prospect Christian Vazquez, Heiker Meneses and Derrik Gibson also had three hits apiece.