Jared Goedert hit a pinch-hit three-run home run to left-center field in the seventh inning to lead the Aeros to an 8-5 victory over the Trenton Thunder on Saturday afternoon at Canal Park.
Goedert entered the game in place of Ben Copeland and delivered a shot over the fence with a 2-1 count off left-handed pitcher Francisco Rondon that also scored Chun Chen and Adam Abraham.
Akron overcame a 4-0 deficit by scoring eight unanswered runs, and upped its record to 6-2 this season to stay atop the Eastern League’s Western Division.
Trenton took a 3-0 lead in the second inning with four hits. Luke Murton singled in Melky Mesa and Addison Maruszak doubled in Kevin Mahoney and Jeff Farnham.
The Thunder extended their advantage to 4-0 in the third inning when Ronnier Mustelier singled, stole second base and scored on a single by Mesa.
Akron cut into the deficit with single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Thomas Neal, Kyle Bellows and Nick Weglarz scored the runs. Weglarz, Tim Fedroff and Bellows each notched an RBI.
The Aeros tied the score at 4-4 in the seventh inning when Neal doubled, advanced to third on a Chen single and scored on a passed ball.
Ryan Rohlinger made the Aeros lead 8-4 in the eighth inning with a solo home run to right-center off Rondon on a 3-1 pitch.
Aeros right-hander Kyle Landis pitched three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win. Righty Bryan Price got the save after working two innings and allowing one earned run.
Landis entered the game after left-hander Giovanni Soto allowed four earned runs in four innings.
Thunder righty Ryan Pope took the loss in relief of lefty starter Josh Romanski.
Melky Mesa hit a solo home run to left-center for the Thunder in the ninth inning to cap the scoring.
Aeros manager Chris Tremie
On Jared Goedert: “He is a very good hitter. He gave us a chance to take the lead there and he came through with a great at bat.”
On the Aeros relief pitchers: “The bullpen has been very good so far this year. Landis came in with those three strong innings and then Price finished it up. . . . They have been very good as a unit down there.”
On the Aeros 6-2 start to the season: “Our bullpen is definitely one of our strengths, there is no doubt about it. I think we are pretty well rounded though. Our starters are good, we have played good defense and gotten timely hits. We have a lot of guys in that lineup that can hit.”
On pitcher Kyle Landis: “He located his fastball very well and kept the ball down in the zone, and out and in. He threw some sliders when he needed to and threw some really good one’s.”
Aeros infielder/outfielder Jared Goedert
On the home run: “In that situation I am not trying to do too much, especially with a guy on third and less than two outs. I was just thinking more about hitting the ball hard up the middle and getting the ball into the outfield just to get that runner in from third. That was my plan going in and then I got a 2-1 count. I was going to be aggressive with a hitter’s count right there. I got a fastball and was able to hit it out."
On pinch-hitting: “I try to stay focused and into the game, and do things like hit off the tee as much as I can so I can be ready for a situation like that. It is obviously going to be slightly different than a regular at bat when you are playing in the game.”