May 3, 2012 - Eastern League (EL) - Trenton Thunder
(Portland, ME) - Ronnier Mustelier and Cody Johnson hit back-to-back home runs to break open a ninth-inning tie and propel the Trenton Thunder to a three-game sweep of the Portland Sea Dogs, taking Thursday's contest 9-7 at chilly Hadlock Field. Mustelier's blast was his third in as many games during the series including two ninth-inning game-winners.
The score was tied entering the ninth inning in all three games of the series, this time at 7. Leading off the inning, Mustelier hit Josh Fields' (0-1) offering over the left-center field fence giving him his third RBI of the game. All four of Mustelier's home runs this season have come against Portland.
Johnson followed with a blast well out to right field, his team-leading and league-high-matching sixth of the campaign. Ryan Flannery then recorded his second save in as many nights, pitching around a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth to pick up his fourth save in five opportunities.
The Thunder earlier squandered leads of 4-0 and 7-4, thanks in large to a pair of three-run home runs for Portland. Juan Carlos Linares' three-run shot against starter Shaeffer Hall capped a four-run fifth inning for the Sea Dogs and tied the game at 4.
Trenton then scored three times in the sixth against reliever Jeremy Kehrt on an RBI double by Gustavo Molina and a two-run single by Addison Maruszak. But Matt Spring hit a three-run blast in the eighth against the Thunder's Michael Dubee (1-0) in the eighth to tie the game again, this time at 7.
Hall pitched five innings and allowed eight hits and four runs. Portland starter Stolmy Pimentel allowed four runs in 4.1 innings pitched, including and RBI groundout to Mustelier in the first and an RBI single by Melky Mesa in the second.
Molina and Kevin Mahoney each had three hits to pace the Thunder's 14-hit attack. Linares, Oscar Tejeda and Spring each had a pair of hits for Portland.
Trenton next returns home for a three-game series against New Hampshire, beginning with game one Friday night at 7:05 pm at Waterfront Park. Right-hander Brett Marshall (3-1) is expected to start for Trenton against righty Chad Jenkins (2-2) in a re-match of a game played in New Hampshire last Sunday. Limited tickets are available by contacting the Thunder box office at 609-394-3300 or online at www.trentonthunder.com.