MANCHESTER, NH – Coming into Tuesday night’s game, Jack Murphy did not have a hit to his credit in the 2015 season. He changed that in a big way against the Reading Fightin Phils when the Fisher Cats catcher bashed a second inning home run, and then launched a two-run walk-off blast to lift the Fisher Cats to a 5-4 win.
Home runs were the early calling card for both clubs as Ryan Schimpf erased a 1-0 deficit with his first homer of the season, a two-run shot to right field off Reading starter Ben Lively (ND) in the first inning.
The Phils answered in the second with a solo shot by former Fisher Cat Gustavo Pierre to tie the game up. Murphy pushed the Fisher Cats right back into the lead in the bottom of the inning with his first hit of the year, a solo home run that just cleared the wall in right.
That’s where the score stayed as both starters settled in. John Anderson allowed just two runs for the Fisher Cats while Lively allowed three runs over six innings in his Phillies’ organizational debut.
In the eighth, Reading finally broke the drought with a pair of runs against Cory Burns (BSV, W, 1-0). Roman Quinn singled and stole second, then scored on a single by Brock Stassi to tie the game. A safety squeeze bunt pushed another run across to give Reading the 4-3 lead.
In Monday’s game, it was the eighth inning that the Fisher Cats used to build their winning rally. On Tuesday it was the ninth. With one out, Matt Newman walked against closer Nefi Ogando (BSV, L, 0-1). Murphy followed with a titanic home run onto the railroad tracks beyond right field to send the Fisher Cats to the win.
It was Murphy’s second home run against Ogando following a three-run blast in 2014. The homer gave the Fisher Cats their second walk-off win of the homestand, and it clinched their second straight series victory to begin the year. In team history, the Fisher Cats had never won the first two series until Murphy’s home run landed outside the ballpark.
The homestand and series come to an end on Wednesday morning at 10:35 a.m. It’s Manchester Public Schools Day presented by Youk’s Kids. Tickets are available by visiting www.nhfishercats.com, stopping by the Fisher Cats ticket office, or by calling (603) 641-2005.
The pitching match-up features lefty Matt Boyd against Reading lefty Anthony Vasquez. Coverage with Tom Gauthier begins at 10:15 a.m. on the WGIR Fisher Cats Radio Network and atwww.nhfishercats.com.
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