NORWICH, CT — The New Hampshire Fisher Cats rode a streak of singles starting off the sixth inning to a comeback 5-3 win Thursday night over the Hartford Yard Goats at Senator Thomas J. Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Connecticut.
The Fisher Cats (15-17) picked up their season-best fourth consecutive victory, and sixth in their last seven games. The Yard Goats (23-10) squandered an early three-run lead, allowing New Hampshire to claw back from the deficit to grab the lead and the win. The series is being played at Dodd Stadium in Norwich while construction continues on Dunkin Donuts Park in Hartford.
The Yard Goats opened the scoring in the bottom of the first against Fisher Cats starter John Anderson (W, 2-3). Raimel Tapia led off with a single, and moved to second on a walk for David Dahl. Pat Valaika bunted the runners to second and third, and Rosell Herrera grounded out to second, bringing home Tapia and moving Dahl to third. Dillon Thomas sliced a double up the left field line to score Dahl before stealing third, and coming in on a grounder to the mound by Corelle Prime that Anderson booted to make it 3-0 Hartford.
New Hampshire didn’t score until the top of the fifth inning against Hartford starting pitcher Carlos Hernandez (L, 2-3). Rowdy Tellez turned on a 1-1 fastball and smoked it over the right-field fence for a solo homer, his fifth jack of the season, to cut the lead to 3-1. That set the stage for a big inning in the sixth for New Hampshire.
The Fisher Cats got consecutive bunt singles from Jorge Flores and Roemon Fields to lead off the sixth, and Jon Berti singled to the outfield to load the bases for Dwight Smith, Jr. Smith cracked his own single up the middle, scoring Flores and keeping the bases loaded. Matt Dean laced his own single to left field to plate Fields and tie the game at 3-3, chasing Hernandez. Reliever Luis Niebla fanned Tellez, but Suez lofted a sacrifice fly to left field to score Berti and give New Hampshire the 4-3 lead.
The Fisher Cats added an insurance run in the top of the ninth against reliever Johendi Jiminian. Flores drew a two-out walk, and Fields singled him to second before Berti sliced a single to center, scoring Flores to extend the New Hampshire lead to 5-3 before Wil Browning (S, 6) locked the ninth down to secure the victory.
Anderson threw six strong innings for the Fisher Cats, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks while fanning four to earn the victory. Chris Smith pitched a perfect inning with three strikeouts. Danny Barnes whiffed one and gave up a hit in a scoreless frame of relief. Browning pitched a perfect ninth inning to secure his sixth save of the season.
The Fisher Cats will go for their fifth straight win Friday evening at Dodd Stadium, with righty Casey Lawrence starting for New Hampshire against Hartford righty German Marquez, the reigning Eastern League Pitcher of the Week. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m., and Ben Gellman has the call on the Fisher Cats Radio Network starting at 5:45 p.m.