Tuesday, May 21, 2013
PORTLAND — The Portland Sea Dogs haven't had a lot of success against first-place Trenton this season, so any win over the Thunder would be special.
Jackie Bradley Jr. of the Sea Dogs is greeted in the dugout after hitting a first-inning homer Monday night against Trenton at Hadlock Field. It was Bradley’s third homer of the season for Portland, which has won 10 of 13.
Photos by John Ewing/Staff Photographer
Bradley can also play excellent defense, leaping to make a catch on a ball hit by Trenton’s Rob Segedin in the fourth inning Monday night at Hadlock Field.
WHO: Sea Dogs (Stolmy Pimentel 3-4) vs. Trenton Thunder (Shaeffer Hill 8-6)
WHEN: 7 p.m.
WHERE: Hadlock Field
TICKETS: About 2,200 remain
Winning the way the Sea Dogs did Monday night? Well, said left fielder Peter Hissey, "it was pretty amazing."
Hissey hit a three-run, walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift Portland to a 7-4 win over Trenton before what was left of the crowd of 4,800 at Hadlock Field.
It was only Portland's sixth win in 23 games against Trenton this year. But it continued a streak that has seen the Sea Dogs win 10 of 13 since the All-Star break.
"Our guys are improving," said Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles. "We had a tough start but the guys work hard and they're resilient. We're just trying to play better."
Portland is 46-57 while Trenton dropped to 59-42.
Hissey's dramatics were set up by good defense and great relief pitching. Caleb Clay, Brock Huntzinger and winning pitcher Will Latimer combined to throw 52/3 shutout innings, following a strong start by Jeremy Kehrt.
The defense turned a double play in the top of the 11th -- one of three that kept the game tied at four.
Trenton had runners on second and third with no outs in the top of the 11th. But Latimer got Kevin Mahoney to fly out to short left.
Then David Adams, who hit a monstrous home run over the left-field wall earlier, hit a liner to shortstop Derrik Gibson.
He caught it and threw to third to double off Yadil Mujica.
In the bottom of the 11th, Bryce Brentz grounded a single to left with one out. After a wild pitch moved him up, Dan Butler walked, bringing up Hissey.
Hissey drove the first pitch from Craig Heyer over the right-center field wall -- getting it up into the 16 mph wind that blew most of the game -- to send the Sea Dogs to their fifth walk-off win of the year.
"It was an off-speed pitch up," said Hissey, amidst the noise and dancing in the Sea Dogs' locker room.
"I wanted to be aggressive in that situation, wanted to put a good swing on the ball. It's a pretty amazing feeling."
It was Hissey's first career walk-off hit.
"It's an unbelievable situation to be blessed with," he said. "I'm just so happy to be out there."
Hissey was mobbed at home plate and his white home Sea Dogs jersey shredded from his body.
"It's definitely a special feeling," he said.
In the first 10 innings, the Sea Dogs were 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position, stranding 14.
"You win a game like this, it doesn't matter who you're playing," said Butler. "It's always a great time. He came up big for us, and that's something we've been doing the last few games."
Down 1-0, the Sea Dogs took the lead in the bottom of the first when Jackie Bradley Jr. and Jeremy Hazelbaker went back-to-back at the top of the order.
Bradley's third home run of the season sailed over the left-center field wall to the bottom of the scoreboard.
Hazelbaker's team-leading 16th landed in the Sea Dogs' bullpen.
But Trenton also got two home runs -- one by Neil Medchill in the fourth over the wall in right-center and Adams' shot in the sixth.
Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org