PORTLAND, ME – With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th inning, an attempted force out at third base from Ali Castillo to Cito Culver was ruled that Culver never stepped on the bag, allowing the Portland Sea Dogs to walk-off with a 5-4 win over the Trenton Thunder.
The series-opener began with the Sea Dogs scoring four times off Thunder starting pitcher Brady Lail in the first inning. It was the second time this season an opponent had scored four times in the inning and it immediately put the Thunder in a position needing to battle back from an early deficit.
With a run in the sixth inning on a Mark Payton sacrifice fly, as well as RBI from Francisco Arcia and Culver in the 7th inning, the Thunder drew back to within a run as the game headed to the 9th inning. The first two Thunder batters in the inning were retired before Culver walked on a full-count pitch to extend the game. The lineup turned over to Danny Oh who was batting when Culver stole second base for his 5th steal of the season. That put him in position to score and tie the game moments later when Oh flared a double down the left field line for the equalizer.
However, in the bottom of the 9th inning the bases were loaded for the Sea Dogs when Andury Acevedo induced a ground ball from Sam Travis where an out was unable to be recorded at third base.
The loss is the fourth straight for the Thunder, one short of the season long streak. With victories by Reading, New Hampshire and Binghamton, Trenton is out of first place for the first time in 19 games dating back to June 28. It is also the first time the Thunder are on the outside of the playoff bubble since June 23.
The Trenton Thunder battle in Game 2 of their three-game series with the Portland Sea Dogs Tuesday night. It is a scheduled 7:00 p.m. first pitch with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m. on 91.3 FM and online at www.trentonthunder.com.