Fisher Cats bats and bullpen combine for strong outing in Portland

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Nick Podkul. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

The New Hampshire accumulated a season high 20 hits and tied a franchise record 18 strikeouts in their 14-6 extra innings victory over the Portland Sea Dogs on Friday.

Portland accumulated all of their six runs off New Hampshire starter Zach Logue, who was unable to make it past the end of the fourth inning. For most of the season, that would have been it for the Fisher Cats given their bullpen struggles, but New Hampshire’s bullpen managed to carry over the strong performance they posted on Thursday.

Kyle Johnston, Curtis Taylor and Mike Ellenbest combined to strike out 11 batters over the final six innings of the contest, including five of the last six batters of the contest, keeping the Sea Dogs hitless after the sixth inning.

The strong late pitching gave New Hampshire the breathing room needed to tie up the contest, starting with a Reggie Pruitt RBI double in the sixth and two more runs in the ninth off Gabriel Moreno’s fifth home run of the year and an RBI single from Kevin Vicuña.

New Hampshire removed any doubt over the contest’s result with eight runs in the tenth, capped off by Nick Podkul’s two-run homer.

Ellenbest (1-2) earned the win for his six outs in the ninth and the tenth, Matthew Kent (4-1) was the losing pitcher of record, his ERA rose by almost two runs for his struggles in the tenth. Kent had been 2-0 this year in three starts so far this year against New Hampshire, giving up a total of five hits and no runs over 8 2/3 combined innings in those appearances. On Friday alone he gave up five hits and was responsible for four of the runs scored during the rally.

At the plate, every Fisher Cat batter had at least one hit. Moreno, Vicuña and L.J. Talley each had four hits while Podkul and Samad Taylor had two each. Talley also had two doubles with Moreno and Podkul also recording doubles to accompany their home runs.