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

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.