TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – Michael Coleman led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a home run as the Trenton Thunder rallied for a 3-2 win over Portland on Saturday night, knotting their best-of-five Northern Division playoff series at two games each.

The Thunder trailed 2-0 as they came to bat in the eighth inning, but Gabe Lopez hit a two-out double off reliever Edgar Martinez. The Sea Dogs then brought in Jim Mann to face Bronson Sardinha, who hit a two-run homer to tie the game.

After the Sea Dogs failed to score in the ninth, Coleman worked the count to 3-2 and then crushed a fastball from Mann for the game-winner.

While neither starting pitcher factored in the decision, both were impressive. Portland’s Charlie Zink carried a no-hitter into the 6th Inning and worked six shutout innings, while Trenton’s Calvin Maduro gave up eight hits in 7 1/3 innings, allowing RBI singles by Hanley Ramirez and Brandon Moss.

Thunder reliever Charlie Manning earned the win with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

The teams return to Portland on Sunday for the fifth and deciding game.

AP-ES-09-11-05 0127EDT


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