PORTLAND, ME – Trailing the Portland Sea Dogs 5-3 entering the 8th inning, the Trenton Thunder struck for a run in the 8th, before completing the comeback 7-5 with a three-run 9th inning.
Before 3,103 fans at Hadlock Field, the Thunder scored twice in the 4th inning and once in the 5th to stake starting pitcher, Brady Lail to a 3-0 lead. After allowing three baserunners in the first five innings, six of the first seven batters reached against Lail in the 6th inning- including the final five he faced- to knock him from the ballgame. Reliever Jonathan Holder came in for his second career Double-A appearance and stranded the one inherited runner to keep the deficit at 5-3. Overall, Holder fanned six of the eight batters he faced over 2.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
The comeback began in the 8th inning with a two-run deficit when Jake Cave began the inning with a triple. Cave, who finished 3-for-5 with a double and a triple, scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly from Tyler Austin to draw the Thunder back to within a run, 5-4.
In the 9th inning, Dan Fiorito began the late charge with a leadoff single. Fiorito, who was called up from Extended Spring Training earlier in the day and made his season-debut for the Thunder, advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Dante Bichette Jr. was summoned to action as a pinch-hitter and worked a six-pitch walk without ever taking the bat off his shoulder to put runners at first and second base. Tyler Wade followed with a walk to load the bases for Jake Cave, who deposited a single into centerfield to score both Fiorito and Bichette Jr.
Despite two runners reaching in the 9th inning, Mark Montgomery notched a scoreless bottom of the 9th inning for his third save of the season.
Action continues Tuesday at Hadlock Field between the Thunder and the Sea Dogs with a scheduled 6:00 p.m. first pitch. Adam Giardino has the action on 91.3 FM and www.trentonthunder.com with pre-game coverage beginning at 5:45 p.m.