Blogs > Minor Matters

Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Top 10 Games of the Year - No. 5

Every Monday, Minor Matters will run down the top 10 games of the Thunder's 2010 season. In a year that saw eight of Baseball America's 16 pitchers (excluding Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino, who were out of the organization) in their top 30, not to mention Austin Romine and Brandon Laird, there are plenty of good choices to go around.

No. 5 - Brandon Laird's walkoff cycle

Question: What does Brandon Laird have in common with Cubs prospect Brett Jackson and Rockies dynamo Carlos Gonzalez? All three men completed the cycle this past season with a walk-off longball.

Laird turned his trick on May 26, when the Thunder needed all the help they could get against the Erie Seawolves, who got three home runs from Wilkin Ramirez, the powerful outfielder who just doesn't seem to make enough contact.

The Thunder's third baseman collected the single in the second inning, his triple in the fifth, and his double in seventh inning, setting the table for ninth-inning drama against Erie closer Luis Marte.

Down 6-5 in the final frame, and with Austin Krum on first after a one-out single, Laird sent Marte's offering up and over the left-field wall, giving his team a dramatic 7-6 win. The blast was his ninth, and the RBIs were the 42nd and 43rd of the young year.

Link to Original Story

REACTION: “I wasn’t going up there looking for a homer, just trying to get something in the gap so Austin (Krum) could score and tie it because he has good speed. The cycle was on my mind, but believe me, I wasn’t going up there looking for a homer to get it.”
-- Brandon Laird

“I was going up there looking for my pitch and he threw me two curves to start me off,” Laird said. “Then he threw me a fastball and I just kept my approach and got the barrel on it."
-- Brandon Laird

AFTERWARD: Laird was easily the team's most valuable position player all year, and was named the league's MVP after the season. He started hot after a promotion to Triple in August, but fizzled the rest of the way. He showed power in the Arizona Fall League, but compiled a lousy .236/.282/.718 slash line. He struck out 27 times and drew just six walks.

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