TRENTON, NJ - After relinquishing a 2-1 lead in the 9th inning, the Trenton Thunder rallied for a walk-off win over the Portland Sea Dogs in the 10th inning to keep their Wild Card lead in tact as the 2013 regular season rolls towards the finish line.
The Thunder entered the bottom of the 10th inning tied 2-2, and Reegie Corona collected his third hit of the night to lead it off. He then advanced to second base on a well-executed sacrifice bunt by Mason Williams to put Corona in scoring position with one out.
That was when Flores, who hadn't recorded a hit in his first four plate appearances on the night, delivered a single that skipped off the mound as it found its way into center field. Portland's center fielder Shannon Wilkerson charged the ball that was slowing down as it arrived to him and gunned to the plate. The ball sailed just high above the catcher Christian Vazquez and Corona slid safely to secure the win.
Starting pitcher Mikey O'Brien picked up a no-decision despite pitching well in 6.2 innings. It was the second longest start of the season for O'Brien who set an Eastern League career high with nine strikeouts while not walking a batter. He allowed a lone run which came in the second inning on a lead-off homer by Michael Almanzar to tie the game at that point, 1-1.
Danny Burawa entered the game for the Thunder in the bottom of the 9th inning with Trenton clinging to a 2-1 lead. The bases became loaded with no outs when Deven Marrero tried to get the lead for the Sea Dogs with a safety squeeze bunt. Instead, Marrero bunted it straight back to Burawa who threw to the plate and catcher Gary Sanchez fired to first base for a 1-2-3 double play.
That put runners at second and third base with two outs, but Burawa walked the next two batters to force in a run and tie the game 2-2. He ended the inning by freezing Michael Almanzar on strike three and strand the bases loaded.
With the win and a win by the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Reading, Trenton's lead in the East Division Wild Card remains 3.0 games over the Fisher Cats but increases to 5.0 over the Sea Dogs with 9 games remaining in the regular season.
The Thunder welcome the New Britain Rock Cats to ARM & HAMMER Park for the first time this season in Trenton's final regular season home series of 2013. The four-game series begins Monday at 7:05 p.m. Trenton sends RHP Shane Greene (7-3, 3.22) to the mound against RHP Trevor May (8-9, 4.67) for the Rock Cats. Limited tickets available at www.trentonthunder.com/tickets or by calling (609)394-3300. Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and streaming online begins at 6:45 p.m.