Hartford, CT- In a game featuring six home runs, an upper deck blast by Dom Nunez turned out to be the loudest, lifting the Hartford Yard Goats to a 5-4 win over the Trenton Thunder, before 6,728 fans Wednesday afternoon at sunny Dunkin' Donuts Park. It was the seventh straight sellout for the Yard Goats and their 27th of the season. Hartford has drawn 296,307 fans in the first year of Dunkin' Donuts Park, selected as the "2017 Ballpark of the Year," by USA Today Sports Weekly.
Shane Broyles came on to nail down his 17th save of the season, tying him for the league lead with Cory Burns of Binghamton. The game ended on a fly ball to right field with a runner on first and Aaron Hicks on deck. Hicks is playing with first place Trenton on a rehabilitation assignment for the New York Yankees.
It was Hicks, batting left handed, who staked the Thunder to a 2-0 first inning lead with an upper deck two-run homer to right center. An RBI-single by Zach Zehner against starter Konnor Wade in the first made it 3-0. Wade settled down, after the shaky first, with four shutout innings. He walked one and struck out three.
Hartford started its comeback in the fifth inning on back-to-back home runs by Ashley Graeter and Correlle Prime, both landing below the big video board in left field. The third of four Yard Goats' homers, a solo shot by the Eastern League Player of the Week Josh Fuentes, and an RBI-double by Brian Mundell in the sixth inning gave Hartford a 4-3 advantage. But Zehner's homer in the eighth inning tied the game, 4-4, setting the stage for the Nunez eighth inning blast.
Fuentes, Nunez and Graeter each had two hits to lead Hartford's 10-hit attack. Every batter in the Yard Goats lineup reached base at least once. The four home runs by Hartford tied a season-high for a game in 2017.
Troy Nieman notched his fourth win of the year, permitting one run in three innings and striking out four. He did not walk anybody.
The deciding game of the three-game series is Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. It will be the final appearance of the season at Dunkin' Donuts Park for the Yankees' affiliate. Lefthander Jack Wynkoop will pitch for Hartford, while righthander Domingo Acevedo will hurl for Trenton. The game will be broadcast on AM 1410 WPOP and on iHeart Radio.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.