Thunder Win Finale on Walkoff Single
After losing a ninth-inning lead with two outs, the Thunder defeated the Reading Fightin Phils in Monday's regular-season finale, 8-7, on a walkoff RBI-single by Alexander Palma in front of 5,103 fans at ARM & HAMMER Park.
With two outs in the top of the ninth inning and the Thunder leading, 7-6, Thunder (38-34, 76-62) reliever Brooks Kriske (2-2) surrendered a game-tying solo home run to Reading's Cornelius Randolph. But in the bottom half, Angel Aguilar led off with a single off Fightin Phils (41-31, 80-59) reliever Garrett Cleavinger (3-2), and after a walk by Ben Ruta, Palma laced a single to center field, scoring Aguilar from second and giving the Thunder a walkoff victory over Reading in the regular-season finale for a second straight season.
After a three-run Reading rally off Nick Green in the top of the first inning, the Thunder fought back in the bottom half. Chris Gittens drew a two-out walk ahead of a single by Kellin Deglan, and Isiah Gilliam followed with a game-tying three-run homer to left field off Fightin Phils starter Colton Eastman.
The Thunder took a 5-3 lead in the second inning on a solo homer by Aguilar and an RBI-double by Ben Ruta. After Reading came within a run in the top of the fifth on a fielding error by pitcher Albert Abreu, the Thunder re-extended their lead to 7-4 with solo home runs by Gittens and Gilliam off rehabbing Phillies right-hander Edubray Ramos.
Gilliam's multi-homer game was the third of his career and his first at Double-A, giving him a career-high 16 home runs between Trenton and Tampa. Gilliam also robbed Reading's Luke Williams of a solo home run to end the top of the seventh, preserving the three-run advantage.
Alec Bohm brought Reading within one run on a gargantuan two-run homer in the eighth off Matt Wivinis, setting the stage for the ninth-inning heroics.
Your Thunder open postseason play on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading. RHP Clarke Schmidt will start for the Thunder in Game 1 of the Eastern League Division Series against Reading RHP Spencer Howard. Pregame coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on 920 AM The Jersey or online at TrentonThunder.com/Broadcast.
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Eastern League Stories from September 2, 2019
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