Aeros blow lead in ninth and then lose game in extras
Trenton, NJ – The Aeros held a tight lead with only one out left to go, but the Trenton Thunder scored once in the ninth and once more in the bottom of the 13th to defeat Akron 3-2 on Saturday night at Arm & Hammer Stadium in Trenton, New Jersey.
The hero of the game was center fielder Slade Heathcott who hit a home run and the leadoff double in the 13th inning and ended up scoring the game-tying and game-winning runs.
The first 2 crucial runs for the Aeros came in the top of the 3rd inning as they loaded the bases with one out and Jesus Aguilar came to bat. Aguilar smacked a single into right field, scoring Matt Lawson and Jose Ramirez for an early Aeros lead.
With these two RBI, Aguilar now has 89 RBIson the season. He not only leads the Eastern League in this statistic, but he is also the number one RBI hitter in Double-A baseball as well.
Due in part to very strong pitching and defense, the Aeros held the 2-0 lead into the bottom of the 7th inning when Slade Heathcott hit a solo home run off of Murata to cut Akron’s lead to one.
The Aeros took this lead to the bottom of the ninth when Jose Flores came in to save the game for Akron. However, after walking Slade Heathcott and allowing a double to Gary Sanchez, Flores opted to intentionally walk the next batter, heavy hitter Kyle Roller to load the bases.
With two outs and the bases still loaded, Flores walked Saxton Butler and Heathcott crossed the plate to tie the game and cost Flores the save. However, this would be the only run the Thunder would score and the game would go into extra innings.
The game would remain deadlocked until the 13th inning when Heathcott led off with a double off of Trey Haley and scored the winning run when Gary Sanchez reached first base on a throwing error. Haley was given the loss, and is now 1-2 with the Aeros.
The Aeros kept the Thunder in check for a majority of the game mainly because of an excellent outing from Toru Murata. He pitched seven full innings, allowing only a single run (in the bottom of his final inning) and four hits while striking out seven.
Another good appearance in relief from newcomer Kyle Crockett was enough for the Aeros to shut down Trenton’s lineup until the ninth inning.
At the plate, the Aeros dominated the Thunder with 11 hits to Trenton’s six in the first nine innings. Leadoff man Jose Ramirez went 4-for-7 with a run while strongman Jesus Aguilar went 2-for-5 with both of Akron’s RBI.
The Aeros have lost three straight and four of their last five, and now have a record of 56-63, 7.5 games behind the Erie SeaWolves and Harrisburg Senators for the second playoff spot in the division. The Thunder are now sitting comfortable at 62-57.
The finale of this series will be played Sunday evening at Arm & Hammer Stadium as the Aeros look to win one before travelling to Richmond on Monday. Matt Packer will start for the Aeros while Nik Turley will take the mound for the Thunder. The first pitch is set for 5:05 pm.