F-Cats lose first series of the year thanks to walk-off walk

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BINGHAMTON, NY – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats return to Manchester with their first series loss of the year, thanks to a 5-4 heartbreaker on Wednesday night to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

Binghamton struck first, getting two runs on the board in the fifth, with a Levi Michael bunt single setting the stage for the rally.

New Hampshire would soon cut that lead in half thanks to a Vladimir Guerrero RBI single in the sixth, but the Rumble Ponies would quickly respond to that response half an inning later. There, the Ponies added two more runs, punctuated by Peter Alonso’s fourth dinger of the year.

Guerrero added another RBI single in the eighth and the ‘Cats would tie things up in the ninth thanks to a solo homer by Patrick Cantwell and yet another Guerrero RBI, this one coming on a sacrifice fly to right that brought home Jonathan Davis.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and a Champ Stuart on third, New Hampshire reliever Zach Jackson intentionally walked Peter Alonso and Kevin Taylor, who went 3-for-9 in the previous two nights against the ‘Cats.

Jackson then added a third walk to Matt Oberste, allowing Stuart to come home as the game’s winning run.

That was the first earned run in six appearances this year for the Tulsa native, who falls to 1-1 on the season.

The winning pitcher was Joshua Torres (1-0), who came in following Cantwell’s home run to get Binghamton’s three outs in the top of the ninth.

Nabil Crismatt had a quality start for the Ponies, going six innings with nine strikeouts against six hits and a walk. Nick Tepesch was decent until the fifth, leaving after one out in the sixth.

Guerrero led the way at the plate for New Hampshire, going 3-for-4, followed by the two-hit performances of Cantwell and Bo Bichette.

Alonso accumulated two of Binghamton’s seven hits on the evening.

The Fisher Cats accumulated at least ten hits for the third straight contest and their ninth time this year, but also fell to 1-5 in 2018 after allowing their opponent score first.

New Hampshire returns to action on Friday night at home against Trenton. Thunder righthander Dillon Tate takes the mound at 6:35 against New Hampshire’s Sean Reid-Foley (3-0, 1.47 ERA).