Trenton, NJ (WBNG Binghamton) The Trenton Thunder scored three runs with two outs in the tenth inning and stunned the Binghamton Mets, taking game one of the Eastern League Division Series, 6-5, on Wednesday night at Arm & Hammer Park. One out away from nailing down his first postseason save, Jeff Walters allowed five consecutive hits. Ben Gamel capped the miraculous comeback on a blooper into right-field, plating Tyler Austin with the game-winning run.
With the B-Mets leading 5-3, Jose Pirela started the rally with a two-out double to the right-field alley. Gary Sanchez followed with an RBI single up the middle and Austin kept the Thunder alive by dribbling another single back through the box. Casey Stevenson tied the game by looping single off of the tip of third baseman Josh Rodriguez’s mitt, allowing pinch-runner Francisco Arcia to come home. The blooper set the table for Gamel’s game-ending blow.
Playing in their first postseason game since 2004, the B-Mets wasted little time getting on the board. Danny Muno kicked off the contest by lacing a double down the right field line. He advanced to third on a single and came home with the game’s first run when Rhyne Hughes bounced into a double play.
The Thunder responded against Noah Syndergaard in the first. Ramon Flores and Pirela started the rally with back-to-back singles off the righty. Austin put Trenton in front my launching a two-out, two-run double to the left-field alley.
Binghamton struck back with a rally in the fourth. With Travis Taijeron on third following a wild pitch, Wilfredo Tovar bounced a two-out, game-tying single up the middle. Muno followed by threading a double down the left-field line. Jose Flores misplayed the ball in left as it awkwardly careened off the side wall, allowing Tovar to dive home with the go-ahead run.
Trenton erased the one-run advantage in a heartbeat. Austin slashed a one-out double down the right-field line in the bottom of the fourth, moved to third on a groundout and came home with the tying run when shortstop Tovar could not snare a grounder up the middle from Gamel.
Syndergaard capped his night with two scoreless innings. The righty dodged a bullet in the fifth to preserve the tie game. With runners at the corners, Syndergaard induced Gary Sanchez to bounce a curveball back to the mound to end the threat. The Texan worked around a one-out walk in a shutout sixth.
After Francisco Rondon took over and struck out five over two shutout innings, Danny Burawa fell into immediate trouble in the eighth. Binghamton loaded the bases on two singles and a walk to start the inning, but failed to score. Blake Forsythe flied out to shallow center, Tovar struck out and Muno flied out to deep left-center to end the threat.
Binghamton finally broke through in the tenth against Pat Venditte. After a walk and a single, the B-Mets had to grind to break the tie. Blake Forsythe pushed up both runners with a sac bunt and Wilfredo Tovar plated pinch-runner Alonzo Harris with a sac fly to left. Rodriguez provided insurance with a two-out RBI single. The two-run lead proved to be not enough.
Walters (0-1) was tagged for three runs on five hits while recording two outs in his second blown save against the Thunder in 2013. Venditte (1-0) allowed two runs on three hits over 1-2/3 innings in the victory.
The B-Mets continue the Eastern League Division Series against the Thunder on Thursday night at 7:05 PM. LHP Darin Gorski takes the hill against RHP Mikey O’Brien.
(Courtesy: Binghamton Mets)