‘Cats bounce back on Saturday

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Andrew Sopko (credit – Christina Carillo)

READING, Penn. – After getting just one hit on Thursday and no hits on Friday because baseball and rain don’t really work well together, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats’ bats had a little bit of pent up tension they needed to release.

New Hampshire strolled to a comfortable 8-5 win over the Reading Fightin’ Phils, built on the back of five runs in the first two innings of play.

That explosion was highlighted by Forrest Wall’s two-run dinger in the second, following a pair of first-inning RBI hits from Santiago Espinal and Chad Spanberger.

Reading did add a run of their own in the first, but only mustered two more before the departure of New Hampshire starting pitcher Andrew Sopko two outs into the sixth.

Sopko (1-2) allowed just four hits during his winning outing, including home runs to Ali Castillo and Adam Haseley, whlle striking out three and walking two.

The evening was not as kind to Reading’s Tom Eshelman, finding himself chased from the game in the fourth after allowing another two runs to the Fisher Cats early tally.

With five of those seven runs earned for Eshelman (0-2), he left allowing seven hits and a walk in the loss, striking out five.

Brock Lundquist’s ninth-inning triple provided the game with its final run, bringing Gunnar Heidt around to score. Brian Baker pitched a perfect ninth for New Hampshire to obtain his first Double-A save.

At the plate, Lundquist, and Spanberger each had two hits, with Wall and Spanberger each grabbing a pair of RBI. Vinny Capra also added a pair of hits and a walk during the win.

The Fisher Cats and R-Phils go at it on Sunday in the series finale. Right-hander Patrick Murphy (0-3, 6.11 ERA) will go for New Hampshire while Ramon Rosso (2-0, 0.59 ERA) is set to go for Reading.

First pitch is set for 2:15 p.m., with the Fisher Cats heading to Trenton on Monday.