(Erie, PA) - Carmen Angelini smashed a two-out grand slam home run in the top of the 11th inning to complete a late comeback for the Trenton Thunder, who salvaged a win in the three-game series against the Erie SeaWolves, 5-1, Thursday night at Jerry Uht Park.
Four Trenton pitchers combined to record a team and Eastern League season-high 20 strikeouts and held Erie without a run for the final ten innings of the contest. The Thunder (60-57) moved 4.0 games ahead of third-place Portland, New Hampshire and New Britain for the wild card spot in the Eastern Division.
Angelini hit a 2-0 pitch from reliever Ryan Robowski over the left field fence for his fourth long ball in 45 games played as a Thunder. Reegie Corona led off the 11th against Michael Morrison (3-3) with a single, and Slade Heathcott was the hit by a pitch.
After Morrison recorded two pop outs, Jose Pirela worked a walk on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases which prompted Erie manager Chris Cron to bring in Robowski to face Angelini. He hit Trenton's third grand slam of the season - two of which came on May 26th at Bowie.
The game nearly ended in regulation, as the SeaWolves held a 1-0 lead until two outs in the top of the ninth behind a brilliant outing from starter Warwick Saupold. Saupold held Trenton scoreless on five hits through eight, but walked Corona to begin the ninth and was lifted in favor of Morrison.
With Corona on third and two outs, Kyle Roller tied the game on a 1-2 pitch by grounding a single into centerfield. It was his first hit in 11 at-bats during the series. Tommy Kahnle tossed a scoreless bottom of the ninth to send the game to extra innings.
Danny Burawa (5-3) entered in the tenth and tossed the final two innings for the Thunder by retiring all six batters he faced, three on strikeouts. Mikey O'Brien (4.2 innings, eight strikeouts), Francisco Rondon (2.1 innings, five Ks), Kahnle (2.0 innings, 4 Ks) helped keep Erie's bats quiet all night.
The Thunder next return to ARM & HAMMER Park for a six-game homestand in which they welcome Akron for three games and then Harrisburg for three. The Akron series begins Friday night at 7:05 pm, with right-hander Shane Greene (5-3, 3.08) expected to starter against righty Paolo Espino (2-5, 5.35).
Limited tickets are available through the Thunder box office at (609) 394-3300 or online at www.trentonthunder.com. Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 6:45 pm.