READING, PA - Peter O'Brien's majestic grand slam in the third inning was the notable blast in Wednesday's ballgame until Reading's Cam Perkins launched a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the 12th inning for a 9-6 win.
With runners on first and third base with one out in the bottom of the 12th inning, Thunder reliever Francisco Rondon struck out Brock Stassi to bring up Perkins with a chance to push the game to a 13th inning. Instead, on a 2-1 pitch, Perkins crushed a three-run homer to left field ten feet inside the foul line and well over the 330-foot sign.
The Thunder forced extras when Mason Williams led the top of the 9th inning off with a single. He then advanced to second base on his tenth steal of the season with no one out to set-up a go-ahead RBI triple by Rob Refsnyder to tie the score 6-6. Refsnyder stood at third base with no outs but was cut down at home plate on a fielder's choice by shortstop Edgar Duran to keep the game tied.
In the top of the 4th inning, the Thunder trailed 3-0 but Refsnyder, Austin and Gary Sanchez all reached to load the bases. That set-up O'Brien for his ninth homer in a Thunder uniform which set the Minor League lead with 19 on the season (10 with Tampa, 9 with Trenton). O'Brien, who hadn't walked in his first 69 plate appearances with the Thunder, also walked twice in the ballgame.
Refsnyder continued his hot hitting for Trenton and was the lone batter (3-for-5) to have multi-hit games. Prior to the walk-off home run, the Thunder bullpen had combined for 7.0 shutout innings in relief of starter Eric Ruth.
The Thunder conclude their three-game series and seven-game roadtrip against the Fightin Phils Thursday day with a 11:35 a.m. first pitch and 11:20 a.m. pre-game show on 91.3 FM and www.trentonthunder.com.