HARRISBURG, PA – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats left Manchester on Wednesday with uncharacteristically quiet bats. Those bats got loud again on Thursday night, even if they weren’t loud enough.
Despite 17 hits, the Fisher Cats fell 9-8 in 10 innings to the Harrisburg Senators, extending their losing streak to three games.
Harrisburg struck first, sending four runs across the plate in the first, adding another two runs off Juan Soto’s homer in the second.
Gunnar Heidt’s one-out triple in the third laid the groundwork for a two-run New Hampshire rally, with the ‘Cats cutting the hosts’ lead down to one in the fifth following another rally that sent eight men to the plate.
The Senators would put up another a run with two outs in the fifth, chasing Nick Tepesch from the game, followed by a solo homer by Yadiel Hernandez in the sixth to give them a three-run lead.
That lead held until the top of the ninth when the Fisher Cats ignited yet another rally, beginning with Vladimir Guerrero Jr’s second double of the night.
Harold Ramirez would bring Guerrero home on the next at-bat with a double of his own and Ramirez would come across the plate thanks to Cavan Biggio’s game tying homer over the centerfield fence.
Harrisburg left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, finally winning the game in the tenth thanks in part to the Eastern League’s new rule that allows teams to automatically place runners on second base at the start of every extra inning.
The Senators’ “ghost runner” in the tenth would be Kelvin Gutierrez, who managed to reach the plate on a fielding error by Juan Kelly, marking the Fisher Cats’ second walk-off loss this year.
New Hampshire sent 45 men to the plate, with Guerrero, Ramirez and Heidt ending the day with three hits each. Kelly, Jonathan Davis and Andrew Guillotte also contributed two hits apiece to the cause.
Guillotte would also add two RBI on the day.
To be fair, the Senators weren’t exactly offensive slouches, posting 11 hits of their own. Every single starting Senator batter except for Osvaldo Abreu had at least one hit, with Soto, Hernandez and Dan Gamache each slugged two hits during the contest.
New Hampshire starting pitcher Francisco Rios had another nightmare outing, leaving after recording just five outs. He was on the hook for all six of Harrisburg’s early runs, with Justin Shafer (1-2) credited with the loss for his appearance in the tenth.
Fisher Cats pitchers would combine to allow 11 walks on the night, putting them next to last in the league in that category.
Jaron Long also had a tough outing for Harrisburg, allowing 11 hits during his five-inning start, but he would have finally gotten his first win of the year if not for the blown save.
Instead, that honor went to Derek Self (1-0) after his spotless appearance in the tenth.
The two teams return on Friday night at 7 with Jordan Romano (5-0, 2.57 ERA) taking the mound for New Hampshire against Harrisburg’s Luis Reyes (2-3, 5.63 ERA)