South Jersey Baseball:
Thursday, August 11, 2005
By Dan Loney
(Trenton, NJ)- Gabe Lopez's home run with two outs in the 11th Inning lifted the Thunder to a 5-4 win over Akron on Thursday night and put Trenton two games ahead of New Hampshire for the Northern Division "wild card".
The Thunder (60-58) trailed 4-2 entering the 7th Inning, but scratched out a run, courtesy of a CF Melky Cabrera RBI ground out, to close the gap to 4-3. Lopez then launched a solo homer off Akron's Juan Lara with one out in the 9th Inning to tie the game at 4-4.
In the 11th Inning, Lopez launched his 2nd homer of the night off Victor Kleine for the game-winner. It was the fourth "multi-homer" game by a Thunder player this season and the sixth "walkoff" win by the Thunder. Justin Pope (5-4) worked three scoreless innings of relief for the win. Kleine (0-6) allowed just the one run in 1 2/3 innings for the loss.
Akron (68-49) had a 2-0 lead early on solo homers by 2B Eider Torres and DH Ryan Mulhern off Thunder starter Jeff Karstens. Torres' homer came on the first pitch of the game. Trenton got a run back in their half of the 2nd Inning on a Shelley Duncan solo homer, his 29th of the year. A two-run double in the 6th Inning from Akron 1B Shaun Larkin put the Aeros ahead, 4-2, before the Thunder rally.
Trenton now holds a two game lead over New Hampshire and four games over Norwich for 2nd Place and the automatic playoff spot from the Northern Division.
The series continues on Friday at 7:05 PM. Matt DeSalvo (7-4, 2.95) starts for the Thunder against Akron's Mariano Gomez (2-2, 6.00).