MANCHESTER, NH – For a third straight night, the Trenton Thunder (84-51) went to 11 innings, and they won, 8-7, behind the bat of Dante Bichette Jr. at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
The Thunder jumped ahead with an RBI double in the top of the 11th inning when Mike Ford began the frame by walking on five pitches. He was replaced on the bases by Mark Payton, who advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Bichette Jr. stepped to the plate and delivered a line drive single into the right field corner for the eventual game-winning run.
The first baseman had a pair of solo home runs in the game as well, plus a single as part of the second four-hit game of his career, the other May 28, 2012, for Charleston (Single-A) at Asheville, when he blasted four home runs.
The two homers marked the second multi-homer game for a Thunder batter this season, matching Kyle Higashioka’s two-homer afternoon June 26 in Akron. Ford connected on a two-run blast in the first inning and Dustin Fowler went deep on a three-run bomb in the top of the fifth, which gave the Thunder their first four-homer night of the season.
The Reading Fightin Phils won 7-1 over the Portland Sea Dogs, so the Thunder are 1.5 games out of first place in the East Division with seven games remaining in the regular season—including the final four games of the season at ARM & HAMMER Park over Labor Day weekend.
In Game 2 of the series Tuesday night, the Thunder and the Fisher Cats will battle with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch. Pregame coverage begins at 6:20 p.m. on 91.3 FM and online at www.trentonthunder.com.