MANCHESTER, N.H. – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats ended their 2018 Regular Season on Monday with 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Hartford Yard Goats.
New Hampshire came into Sunday’s contest with a 54-24 record when scoring first, so Jon Berti’s first inning solo shot proved to be a welcome sight. However, Hartford answered with two home runs of their own, beginning with a first pitch strike from Sam Hilliard followed by a two-run four-bagger from Roberto Ramos.
Omar Carrizales added his second home run of the weekend in the sixth, adding two more runs that would be too much for the Fisher Cats to overcome.
Still, New Hampshire was determined to make things interesting. Berti added another RBI, this time on a ground ball single that brought Connor Panas across the plate in the seventh.
Bo Bichette came around for the Fisher Cats final run on Cavan Biggio’s infield groundout in the eighth, as Eastern League saves leader Matt Pierpont shut down the ‘Cats in the ninth for his 32nd save of the year.
At the plate for Hartford, Sam Hilliard and Mylz Jones each ended with two hits apiece while Carrizales contributed a 3-for-4 day.
Berti led the way for New Hampshire, ending with a 3-for-5 day. Bichette bagged his seventh triple of the year and Santiago Espinal also added a double in the loss.
Bichette and Berti joined four other players in a tie for the league lead in triples, although Bichette played in almost twice as many Eastern League games as Berti.
On the mound, the win went to Jesus Tinoco, putting him at 2-3 in six starts against New Hampshire this season. Tinoco lasted five innings, striking out eight Fisher Cats, while New Hampshire starting pitcher Josh DeGraaf left after the third, allowing six hits and a pair of walks in addition to the homers.
DeGraaf concludes his regular season with a 7-6 record while Tinoco ends 9-12 overall.
The Fisher Cats now await Game 1 of the Eastern League Eastern Divisional Finals against the Trenton Thunder.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 on Wednesday, with Game 2 scheduled also scheduled for the same time.
The first two games will be held in Manchester, with Game 3 shifting to Trenton on Friday. If necessary, the fourth and fifth games will also be held in Trenton.