One could say that the Portland Sea Dogs didn’t truly lose to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on Tuesday night, they just didn’t retake the lead enough times.
No matter how it’s dissected, the Fisher Cats defeated Portland 11-10, tying up the two teams’ final series of the year in Manchester in a contest that couldn’t have been more back and forth if it tried.
New Hampshire put five runs across the board in the first, sparked by a ground-rule double by Monday’s hero, Harold Ramirez. However, the Sea Dogs cut the lead in the second with two runs of their own, and took a 6-5 lead in the third spearheaded by a home run from Michael Chavis.
Ramirez tied the game up in the third with a home run of his own, but then Portland’s Jeremy Barfield hit his fourth home run this week and second in as many days an inning later to give the Sea Dogs an 8-6 lead.
Not to be outdone, the Fisher Cats tied the game later in the fourth and took the lead once more thanks to Matt Dean’s blast in the fifth.
Danny Mars would tie the game yet another time in the eighth, but Richard Urena’s single later in the inning gave New Hampshire the lead one last yet.
Still, even that lead was not entirely safe. Cole Sturgeon put the contest back within one run, bringing home Joseph Monge on a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth.
That brought Mike Olt to the plate with two outs and Chad De La Guerra just 90 feet away from tying the game one more time.
Olt came into Tuesday’s contest batting .289 against the Fisher Cats this year with two home runs and eight RBI. On this night though, he’d strike out swinging on four pitches against Dominican righty Carlos Ramirez to seal Portland’s fate once and for all.
The run scored by Monge was the first one given up this year by Ramirez (2-0) in just under 18 innings of work. Ty Buttrey (1-3) was credited with the loss for Portland, allowing two runs off two hits and two walks during his appearance covering the seventh and eighth innings.
Both teams had 10 hits and both teams also had three errors, with New Hampshire’s last three error performance coming on May 13 against Altoona. The game lasted three hours and 22 minutes, coming just five minutes short surpassing New Hampshire’s longest nine inning game of 2017: a May 4 contest against Binghamton.
Wednesday’s rubber match is set for 7:05 p.m. New Hampshire sends Sean Reid-Foley (7-7, 4.48 ERA) against Portland’s Henry Owens (1-3, 6.32 ERA).