TRENTON, NJ – Mark Payton hit a game-tying three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth and Tyler Wade capped off a wild walk-off victory, 10-9, over the Portland Sea Dogs with an inside-the-park home run Tuesday night at ARM & HAMMER Park.
The game appeared to be in hand for the visiting Portland Sea Dogs when they scored three times in the top of the ninth to take a 9-5 lead. The victory put the Thunder (49-29) 20 games above .500.
The Thunder began their ninth inning rally with a walk from Kyle Higashioka and a base hit from Lane Adams. Jose Rosario then reached on an infield single allowing Higashioka to score and make it 9-6. Sea Dogs reliever Austin Maddux came back to strike out Cito Culver and Billy Fleming for the first two outs in the inning before Mark Payton stepped into the box.
Payton was pinch-hitting for Michael O’Neill and on the first pitch, he crushed the game-tying three-run home run.
With the game tied at nine, Portland brought Williams Jerez into the game and on the fifth pitch he threw, Tyler Wade hit a fly ball to deep center field that dropped over the head of Sean Coyle. Wade flew around the bases and scored before Coyle and the Sea Dogs defense could string together a relay throw home.
Wade’s walk-off inside-the-park home run was the first in franchise history. It was the first inside-the-park home run since Jose Gil June 11, 2011, against the Binghamton Mets.
Kyle Higashioka went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run and a walk on Tuesday night. Higashioka’s home run was his fifth since returning from the disabled list last Thursday. He’s hit home runs in his fourth, sixth, eleventh, fifteenth, and sixteenth at bats since returning from the DL.
Jose Rosario, Billy Fleming, and Dustin Fowler each added multi-hit games in the win. The Thunder allowed a season-high 16 hits and nine runs.
Your Thunder go for the sweep of the Sea Dogs on Wednesday night at ARM & HAMMER Park. RHP Chance Adams will start for the Thunder, RHP Mitch Atkins will go for Portland. Wednesday is Steiner Sports night with a special autograph signing from former Yankee and Tigers slugger, Cecil Fielder. Tickets are available by phone at 609-394-3300 or online at TrentonThunder.com.