PORTLAND, MAINE – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats continue to struggle in the Pine Tree State, falling 4-3 in 11 innings against the Portland Sea Dogs on Friday.
The Fisher Cats struck first with a pair of runs in their half of the second, but Corey Rosier halved that lead in the bottom of the second with an RBI double, bringing home Tyler Dearden.
Both teams traded runs again in the seventh and then Ceddane Rafaela’s third home run of the year tied things up in the ninth, sending things to extras.
Portland’s walk-off in the 11th came thanks to a wild pitch by Fisher Cats reliever Gabriel Ponce, after Ponce intentionally walked Rafaela to load the bases in the attempt either secure an easy force at home, an inning-ending double play, avoid allowing a walk-off homer from Rafaela or some combination of the three.
Instead, the pitch was too low for Fisher Cats catcher Phil Clarke, allowing Corey Rosier to come across the plate for the win.
Steward Berroa had a pair of hits for the ‘Cats in the loss, with Damiano Palegiani adding his seventh double of the year.
The bullpen mistakes and the Fisher Cats 2-for-16 night with runners in scoring position squandered another good start from New Hampshire hurler Chad Dallas. In five innings of work, Dallas scattered four hits and struck out four of the 13 Portland batters that were fanned over the course of the contest.
Ponce (2-1) was saddled with the loss.
The series continues on Saturday with a pair of games. Paxton Schultz (1-3, 3.96 ERA) takes the mound for New Hampshire (20- 20) at 1 p.m. and Jimmy Robbins (1-4, 5.94 ERA) is New Hampshire’s starter for the second game, with Portland’s pitchers yet to be announced.