MANCHESTER, NH – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats played two afternoon games on Wednesday, both ending in the same score, only with differing victors.
New Hampshire split their final home games of the year with the Trenton Thunder, with Trenton winning 3-2 in day’s first game and New Hampshire winning the second game 3-2 as well.
The first game, the conclusion of a suspended game from April 29, resumed in the bottom of the third with Trenton leading 3-0.
In what could be a testament to the constant churn of the minor leagues, that restart included six defensive substitutions and a pinch hitter for New Hampshire, with five of the seven players replaced having moved on to other teams since the suspension of the game in April.
Jon Berti replaced the soon returning Vladimir Guerrero Jr. later in the inning, but the Fisher Cats left the bases loaded, marking that last real threat for New Hampshire until the bottom of the sixth, when the Fisher Cats left the bases loaded again.
New Hampshire finally got onto the board in the thanks to a two-run home run by Juan Kelly, his 11th of the year but also paradoxically his first due to the time warp officially placing the game as if it were played in April.
Kelly’s blast would be all the ‘Cats could muster, with Trenton’s James Reeves retiring three of the next four batters to earn his first save of the year.
The win went to Garrett Whitlock, starting at the resumption of the game and allowing just three hits in five innings of work. The loss went to Francisco Rios, who has been on the disabled list for New Hampshire since May.
Trenton mustered just one hit after the game resumed, a fifth inning single by Trey Amburgey. New Hampshire ended the game with seven hits, two coming from Andrew Guillotte.
In the second contest, Trenton struck first again, with back-to-back doubles from Amburgey and Billy Fleming turning into a 1-0 lead. Another double in the sixth, this time from Jeff Hendrix, allowed Mandy Alvarez to come across the plate for Trenton’s second run. New Hampshire nabbed Hendrix trying to stretch his hit into a triple, a mistake that proved costly half an inning later.
There, another RBI double, this one from Harold Ramirez, brought Bo Bichette around from second, setting the stage for the Eastern League’s co-leader in home runs: Cavan Biggio.
Akron’s Bobby Bradley tied the league home run lead earlier in the day, but Biggio retook that lead with one swing, sending the ball toward Elm Street and sending Ramirez and himself around the bases to give New Hampshire a lead it would not relinquish.
Travis Bergin held Trenton at bay in the seventh to finish off the truncated game, earning his third save of the year in the process. Tyler Saucedo pitched the other six innings, scattering six hits and three walks while striking out four, raising his record to 2-1.
Brian Keller fell to 6-7 for the Thunder, recorded every out for Trenton but one, leaving shortly after Biggio’s home run.
The two teams combined for just 10 hits, with Fleming and Amburgey leading the way with two apiece.
With the Fisher Cats’ lead atop the EL East set at 1.5 games over Trenton following Wednesday’s action, the stage is now set for the Harrisburg Senators’ only trip to Manchester this year.
TJ Zeuch (6-3, 3.23 ERA) takes the mound for New Hampshire against Harrisburg’s Tyler Mapes (1-1, 4.15 ERA).
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