MANCHESTER, N.H. – A day after a pitchers’ duel on Thursday, the Altoona Curve and New Hampshire Fisher Cats found themselves in the exact opposite type of contest with an alternate victor as well.
On Friday, New Hampshire fell just short of victory, with Altoona winning 8-7 to break a two-game slide.
Altoona began the game with two straight singles, eventually setting the stage for a Matt Fraizer run off a wild pitch and then another run off a Henry Davis single. New Hampshire starting pitcher Trent Palmer managed to limit the damage to just those two runs, giving the Fisher Cats breathing room.
New Hampshire responded in the second thanks to a three-run homer by Zac Cook and then a solo shot by Ryan Gold to nearly the same spot over the rightfield fence just two at-bats later. Altoona put up two more runs in the top of the third, but consecutive doubles by Spencer Horwitz and Will Robertson highlighted a two-run response in the bottom of the third that put the Fisher Cats back into the lead.
Andrew Bash forced New Hampshire into another jam in the fifth, walking Altoona’s first three batters, and once again the Fisher Cats escaped with minimal damage, with Bash giving up just one run and Cre Finfrock grabbing the last two outs of the inning upon Bash’s departure. This time though, there would be no response from the home team.
Finfrock allowed the first three Altoona batters on base in the seventh, with Brendt Citta’s single tying things up and Connor Scott doubling home another run with a passed ball by Gold allowing Citta to give Altoona a third run in the inning.
Cam Eden knocked home Cook with a two-out single in the eighth, but New Hampshire couldn’t find another run to tie things up, with Gold grounding out to stop the rally and the Fisher Cats retired in order in the ninth.
Every starting Fisher Cat batter except for John Aiello had at least one hit, with Horwitz, Robertson, Eden and Cook getting two each.
Finfrock was the loser, dropping to 0-1 on the year and blowing his third save of the season. He gave up two earned runs off four hits and a walk over 1 2/3rd innings of relief.
The fifth game of the series takes place on Saturday beginning at 7:05 p.m. as Luis Quinones (0-1, 3.95 ERA) takes the mound for New Hampshire against Altoona’s Quinn Priester (0-0, 0.00 ERA).