PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Sea Dogs (13-6) came back three separate times in extra innings and finally downed the Trenton Thunder (13-9) for good, 9-8 in 15 innings, Saturday night at Hadlock Field. The win is the second against Trenton and the first walk-off win for the Sea Dogs this season.
After Friday’s slugfest was decided in the ninth, it was only natural that Saturday’s game followed suit and the outcome determined in extra innings.
In the fifteenth and final frame, Portland called upon Peter Hissey from left field to take the mound. The lefty gave up two hits and a run on a wild pitch in the inning and Trenton again held a one-run lead in extra innings at 8-7.
Charley Short headed out for his second inning of work, with the lead in hopes of closing out the win for the Thunder. Short gave up a leadoff single to Travis Shaw and a one out double to Swihart that put the winning run in scoring position with one out.
Short (0-2) came back to strike out Sean Coyle for the second out of the inning, which gave way to Henry Ramos. The left fielder stepped in and ripped a single left that plated the pair of runners and gave the Sea Dogs the 9-8 walk-off win.
The two runs in the bottom of the frame gave Hissey (1-0) the win in relief. He becomes the third position player in franchise history to get a win on the mound. Jay Johnson and Ryan Dent were the previous two.
Way back in the first, Portland jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first against Trenton’s starter Jeremy Bleich. With two down, Travis Shaw stepped in and took a 1-0 pitch over the wall to the left of center and put the ‘Dogs up 1-0.
The lead was short-lived as in the next inning Trenton jumped out to a lead they would not relinquish until the eighth. Rob Refsnyder and Taylor Dugas tallied consecutive singles to begin the inning against Portland’s Mike Augliera. A single by Dan Fiorito and a fielder’s choice grounded into by Mason Williams brought home the two runs and made it 2-1 Thunder after the second.
Augliera went out in the third and retired the first two in order before Gary Sanchez reached on an error to Carlos Rivero at third. Refsnyder followed and took a pitch over the Maine Monster for a two-run homer, his third of the season and made it 4-1 Thunder.
The ‘Dogs began to comeback with a two-run frame of their own in the fourth. Sean Coyle led off the inning with a double to left-center and was brought home with two-down on Shannon Wilkerson’s double down the line in right. Mookie Betts was next and singled to center for an RBI knock that pulled Portland to within one at 4-3.
Trenton tacked on their final run of regulation and made it 5-3 with a run in the fifth off the Portland starter. Top prospect Gary Sanchez hit a ringing liner that went in and out of the mitt of the shortstop Heiker Meneses and into left for a single that scored Kyle Roller from second.
In the eighth, Portland trailed by the 5-3 margin, and it was Shaw that tried to spark a rally with a leadoff walk against Cole Kimball. After a wild pitch put him at second, Blake Swihart stepped in and hit an opposite field double off the Maine Monster, which plated the runner and cut it to 5-4.
Two hitters later it was the red-hot Henry Ramos that doubled to the wall in right and brought home the catcher Swihart to tie the game at 5-5.
Miguel Celestino took the tie to the mound in the 9
, and kept it that way with a perfect 1-2-3 inning on the mound. Pat Venditte did the same for the Thunder and the game headed for extras.
Celestino went back out for the 10
and faced the heart of the Thunder order. Rob Segedin began the inning with a walk and scored two batters later on Sanchez’s double to the wall in left-center field.
Pat Venditte was given the one run advantage and retired the first two batters in the inning, but Blake Swihart stepped in next as the Sea Dogs’ final hope. The switch-hitting catcher hit from the right side against the switch-pitching Venditte, and took a 1-0 pitch and hooked it just inside the foul pole, over the Maine Monster, and tied the game at 6-6.
The next three frames were scoreless in large part to the pitching Portland lefty Nate Reed. The southpaw pitched the next three innings in shutout fashion, until the Thunder plated a run against him in the14th to take another lead.
Mason Williams singled to begin the inning and was moved to second on a wild pitch from Reed. Two hitters later, it was Segedin with a single to right-center that plated Williams and gave Trenton the 7-6 lead.
For the second time in five inning the ‘Dogs were down to their final out, in the 14
it was Mookie Betts that extended the game. The second baseman took a fastball up and hit to the right of the video board for a solo home run, which tied the game at 7-7.
Both Augliera and Bleich left in line for the loss and win respectively, but were lifted from the decisions. Augliera finished five innings and gave up five runs, two earned, on seven hits; he walked one and struck out one.
Robby Scott took over for the starter in the sixth and went on to deliver three scoreless innings of relief, extending his streak to 14 straight scoreless frames to begin his Double-A career.
Trenton’s starter went seven innings and gave up three runs, all earned, on seven hits, a walk, and a strikeout before Kimball blew the save late. The righty gave up two runs on two hits in an inning and two-thirds; he added a walk and a strikeout.
The Portland Sea Dogs and Trenton Thunder wrap up the three game series with the finale Sunday afternoon at 1:00 pm from Hadlock Field. The ‘Dogs are scheduled to send LHP Henry Owens (3-0, 2.28) to the hill against Trenton’s RHP Graham Stoneburner (0-0, 13.50). Radio coverage begins at 12:40 PM on the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network and www.seadogs.com. Coverage on MiLB.TV kicks-off at 12:55 PM.