MANCHESTER, NH – Dwight Smith Jr. drilled a two-out, two-run single in the top of the ninth inning as the Fisher Cats opened a series with Hartford with an 8-6 win on Friday night.
The series is being played at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester as construction continues on the new stadium for the Yard Goats (20-7).
In the decisive ninth, Roemon Fields (2-for-4) and Jon Berti singled and completed a double steal ahead of Smith’s game-winning hit.
The Fisher Cats (10-16) had a 6-0 lead by the fifth inning. New Hampshire struck for four runs in the fourth inning. K. C. Hobson drove in the first run with a single, Christian Lopes had a two-run double and Jorge Flores singled to make it 4-0.
Hobson (2-for-4, 3 RBI) hit a two-run homer, his third of the season, in the top of the fifth to stake the Fisher Cats and starter Shane Dawson to a 6-0 lead.
Hartford scored two in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jackson Williams doubled and scored on a single by Michael Benjamin. Benjamin went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Pat Valaika.
Dawson went the first five innings, allowing two runs on three hits. He walked three and struck out six. Bo Schultz, on an MLB Rehab Assignment for the Blue Jays, worked a scoreless sixth inning.
The Yard Goats scored four times in the eighth. Dillon Thomas drilled a two-run single off eventual winner John Stilson (2-0) to make it 6-6.
Wil Browning worked around a single in the bottom of the ninth to earn his third save.
Matt Carasiti (0-1) took the loss for Hartford.
The Fisher Cats will meet the Yard Goats again on Saturday at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. LHP John Anderson (1-3, 5.11) will start for New Hampshire against Hartford RHP German Marquez (2-1, 1.33). Game time is 1:35 p.m. and there will be live music pre-game. Coverage with Tyler Murray and Ben Gellman begins at 1:15 p.m. on the WGIR Fisher Cats Radio Network and at www.nhfishercats.com.
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