TRENTON, NJ - Mason Williams drove in Yeral Sanchez with a base hit to right give the Thunder a walkoff victory over New Hampshire 6-5 on Saturday night.
Williams' second hit of the game capped off Trenton's second late-inning rally of the game. After New Hampshire rightfielder Michael Crouse tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth to tie the game at five, the Thunder rallied back using a walk from Sanchez and a single from Taylor Dugas to set up Williams' heroics.
Trenton entered their half of the eighth inning trailing 4-1 after Fisher Cats starter Austin Bibens-Dirkx held the Thunder bats to just three hits through the first seven innings. The Thunder had each of their first three hitters in the inning reach against reliever Tony Davis to load the bases. After a pitching change, reliever Randy Boone threw a pair of wild pitches to bring the Thunder within one and third baseman Rob Segedin tied the game with a single to left. Gary Sanchez followed with a double to right center to score Segedin from first and give the Thunder a 5-4 lead.
After Diego Moreno suffered his first blown save of the season in the top of the ninth, the Thunder bats rallied for a second time to give Trenton their first win of the season.
Zach Nuding and Austin Bibens-Dirkx each earned no-decisions despite throwing quality starts. Nuding allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits and three walks. He struck out seven, one shy of his career high. Bibens-Dirkx continued his domination of Trenton from 2013 with seven innings on one-run ball. The right-hander surrendered just three hits and two walks and has allowed just two earned runs in his last 27 innings against Trenton; a 0.67 ERA.
Andy Burns and Ryan Schimpf each hit solo home runs for the Fisher Cats, the first home runs allowed by Thunder pitching this season.
The Thunder will send RHP Joel De La Cruz (NR) to the mound on Sunday afternoon, New Hampshire will counter with RHP Scott Copeland (NR). First pitch will be thrown at 1:05 at ARM & HAMMER Park, the first 1,000 fans, age 5-15 through the gate will receive an Ivan Nova Replica Jersey presented by TD Bank.