MANCHESTER, N.H. – If Thursday’s contest at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium was six innings, it would have been a victory for the Portland Sea Dogs. But it was not six innings.
After being utterly dominated by Sea Dogs starting pitcher Chris Murphy for 6 1/3 innings, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats battled back to defeat the Sea Dogs in ten innings, 8-7.
Murphy allowed just one hit before leaving in the seventh, exiting what appeared to be a comfortable 5-0 lead for the visitors. However, Murphy’s final batter faced was Spencer Horwitz, who walked and would quickly move to third off a John Aiello double before coming home on a wild pitch by reliever Oddanier Mosqueda.
New Hampshire would even up the contest in the bottom of the ninth as Orelvis Martinez’ leadoff double marked five straight batters reaching base for the Fisher Cats, capped by Luis De Los Santos’ third home run of the year.
Portland put up two in the top of the tenth, first off Izzy Wilson’s RBI double to left and later thanks to a throwing error by Martinez that allowed Wilson to score.
However, Portland’s pair of runs would not be enough. Four straight hits gave the Fisher Cats the offense they’d need to finally take the lead, with Spencer Horwitz’ 3-1 line drive single to left scoring Tanner Morris and clinching the victory.
Aiello, Martinez and Rafael Lantigua each ended with two hits for the ‘Cats, overcoming a four-error performance in the field.
Mike Ellenbest (1-0) was the winning pitcher for New Hampshire’s pitching by committee approach, with the Fisher Cats sending out five pitch-count limited hurlers during the contest, a sharp contrast to Murphy’s 101-pitch start for Portland.
They’d combine to allow nine Portland hits and eight Portland walks while striking out ten. Due to the errors, only three of Portland’s seven runs were earned.
The teams return for a 603 Day contest starting at 6:03 p.m., with Paxton Schultz (3-4, 5.74 ERA) starting for New Hampshire against a starter yet-to-be-named for Portland.