Gamel, Thunder rallies to Game 1 win

Trenton walks off in extras to take early lead in EL semifinal

Ben Gamel gave the Thunder a walk-off win in Game 1 on Wednesday. (Rudy C. Jones/

By Ashley Marshall / | September 4, 2013 9:12 PM

The Trenton Thunder came into the playoffs with a reputation for being a resilient, never-say-die team.

With that in mind, it was almost fitting that they rallied against one of the best closers in the Minors to overturn another late deficit Wednesday.

Trenton strung together five two-out hits in the 10th inning and designated hitter Ben Gamel capped the comeback with a walk-off hit as the Double-A Thunder rallied to beat the Binghamton Mets, 6-5, in Game 1 of the best-of-5 Eastern League's Eastern Division Championship Series.

"It was pretty crazy. It was a big win for us," said No. 3 Yankees prospect Tyler Austin, who scored the winning run. "We just play with so much heart and determination. There was no doubt in our minds at all ... that we weren't going to come back, no matter what the score is or how many outs or strikes there are."

The Thunder won seven games in the regular season after trailing heading into the ninth inning, more than any other team on the circuit. Arguably none of them were as dramatic as the scene that unfolded at Arm & Hammer Park.

The B-Mets took a 5-3 lead with two runs in the 10th and closer Jeff Walters -- who saved 38 of 42 games in the regular season -- recorded two quick outs before Trenton parlayed five consecutive hits into three runs.

Jose Pirela doubled to center field and Gary Sanchez halved the defecit with an RBI single up the middle. Austin chopped an infield single over the pitcher's mound and Casey Stevenson tied the game with a flare to shallow left field.

Gamel then won the game with a sinking line drive to right field. Binghamton's Cory Vaughn played the ball on one hop, but there was no play at the plate as's No. 68 prospect Austin raced home.

"It meant a lot to me, coming off the DL a few days ago," said Austin, who missed six weeks with a strained right wrist and only returned to action on Aug. 31. "This was a great team win and I'm excited to be a part of it. It was a big win for us."

Austin finished 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored and second baseman Pirela collected three hits and scored twice out of the No. 3 spot.

Mets infield prospect Daniel Muno reached base five times and outfielder Darrell Ceciliani was 3-for-5 with a run.

In other action:
Harrisburg 5, Erie 4

Senators right fielder Steven Souza broke a 4-4 tie with a ninth-inning homer as Harrisburg rallied to beat the SeaWolves, 5-4 in Game 1 of the best-of-5 Western Division championship.

Second baseman Rick Hague and designated hitter Jerad Head each collected two hits and first baseman Justin Bloxom added a two-run homer in the win.

Erie left fielder Tyler Collins slugged a three-run homer. The series continues in Erie at 6:35 p.m. ET on Thursday. Gameday box score »

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @AshMarshallMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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