F-Cats move to first place despite loss

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Thursday’s lineup from Reading had two DHs apparently, although we think Ryan Hissey served as the “Designated Hissey” (Fisher Cats promotional photo)

READING, Penn. – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats leave Reading on Thursday afteroon without a sweep, narrowly falling to the Reading Fightin’ Phils, 4-3.

Coming into the game, the Fisher Cats were 8-13 when opponents scored first, so Austin Bossart’s two-RBI single for Reading in the second was not a welcome sight.

Reading added another run in the fourth off Jiandido Tromp’s single, but the Fisher Cats were able tie it up in the fifth.

There, Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. added home runs, sending Reading pitcher Tyler Viza to the brink. Cavan Biggio followed up Guerrero’s homer with a walk, concluding Viza’s day, but the Fisher Cats were unable to muster any more offense, ending the half-inning with two men in scoring position.

Reading would take back the lead in the bottom of the fifth thanks to Damek Tomscha’s RBI grounder through the middle infield, bringing Malquin Canelo home for the game’s winning run.

From there, Reading’s bullpen allowed just one more hit, with Austin Davis (1-1) getting the win for his four outs following Viza’s appearance.

If not for Viza, the win would have gone to Jacob Waguespack, who put in a strong pitch-limited appearance for Reading, his first for the Fightins since Sept. 3, 2017.

Josh DeGraaf (0-1) also made his 2018 Double-A debut, pitching the first 5 1/3 innings for the Fisher Cats. He would be the losing pitcher of record, allowing two earned runs off seven hits and a walk.

Danny Young and Zach Jackson allowed just three baserunners the rest of the way for New Hampshire.

Every Reading hitter except for Cord Sandberg and Zach Coppola had at least one hit, with Bossart leading the way with a 2-for-3 day.

For New Hampshire, Bichette and Guerrerro each had a pair of hits, while Cavan Biggio also recorded two walks, putting him into a tie for the league lead with Binghamton’s Peter Alonso.

Despite the loss, New Hampshire moved into first place in the Eastern League’s Eastern Division after Trenton’s 1-0 defeat to Akron earlier in the day.

The Fisher Cats now head home for a Memorial Day Weekend series against the Hartford Yard Goats. Jon Harris (2-3, 7.03 ERA) takes the mound in the first game of the series against Hartford’s Jack Wynkoop (2-3, 5.44 ERA).