Fisher Cats’ playoff hopes end on Sunday

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MANCHESTER, N.H.  – The 2019 New Hampshire Fisher Cats have been officially eliminated from playoff contention, falling 5-1 to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies on Sunday afternoon.

After Cullen Large led off the game with a first-pitch single, Binghamton hurler Zach Lee retired ten straight batters.

New Hampshire’s Joey Murray submitted an admirable performance of his own, but a pair of Binghamton doubles by Jacob Zanon and Quinn Brodey followed by a Patrick Mazeika home run proved too much to overcome.

That third-inning barrage gave the visitors four runs, with Brodey adding another home run for Binghamton in the seventh.

New Hampshire clawed back a run off Vinny Capra’s RBI single after Lee’s departure.

Lee got the win for Binghamton, climbing to 4-1 in Eastern League play this season. He left after 7 1/3 innings striking out eight and giving up four hits. He was on the hook for the runner who scored in the eighth.

Murray was the loser, allowing six hits and striking out six in six innings of work. He is now 2-3 for the Fisher Cats this year.

Elsewhere in the Eastern League, the Reading Fightin’ Phils defeated the Hartford Yard Goats, 5-1. After Sunday’s loss, the Fisher Cats fell 8 ½ games behind Reading in the Eastern League Eastern Division standings with eight games to play.

As Reading won the first-half playoff berth in the Eastern Division, the second spot will now likely go to the holder of the next-best full-season record holder in the division, the Trenton Thunder.

New Hampshire was mathematically eliminated from catching Trenton’s full-season record earlier this week.