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South Jersey Baseball:
Thunder Advance to Playoffs with 7-5 Win

Sunday, September 4, 2005

By Dan Loney
Trenton Thunder Director of Broadcasting

(Trenton, NJ)- Trailing 5-0 after three innings, the Thunder rallied with seven unanswered runs, capped by a three-run 7th Inning homer from 1B Shelley Duncan in a 7-5 win over Harrisburg on Sunday night. the win vaults Trenton (73-68) into the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

Harrisburg (64-77) jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead three batters into the game. After hits by CF Melvin Dorta and SS Josh Labandeira, 2B Dan DeMent launched a three-run homer off Thunder starter Eric Schmitt for the early lead. Labandeira and DeMent added solo homers in the 3rd Inning for a 5-0 lead.

Trenton got started with their rally in the 4th Inning as they got back-to-back two-out doubles from 3B Eric Duncan and LF Rudy Guillen to cut the deficit to 5-2. Two more runs scored in the 5th Inning on a single by CF Melky Cabrera and a sacrifice fly from C Omir Santos to make it a 5-4 game.

Meanwhile, Thunder reliever Ben Julianel kept the Thunder close with four innings of hitless relief. Julianel, celebrating his 26th birthday today, walked three and struck out four. The Thunder took the lead with a three-run homer by Shelley Duncan off Senators' reliever Dan Rueckel for a 7-5 lead.

Charlie Manning and Justin Pope closed out the game, with Pope working a scoreless 9th Inning for his 29th save.

The Thunder and Senators wrap up the regular season on Monday at 1:35 PM. Calvin Maduro (3-2, 3.72) starts for the Thunder against Harrisburg's Armando Galarraga (3-3, 5.43).

WP- Ben Julianel (5-3)
LP- Dan Reuckel (9-6)
SV- Justin Pope (29)

Time- 2:37
Att- 5,634

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