TRENTON, NJ – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats dropped a heartbreaking decision in extra innings May 24, falling 3-2 to the Trenton Thunder in 11 frames at ARM & HAMMER Park in Trenton.
The Fisher Cats (20-23) lost their second straight and fourth in their last five games, despite rallying twice to tie the score. The Thunder (24-19) benefited from an early RBI single from New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, with Trenton for two games on an injury rehab.
The Thunder got to Fisher Cats starter John Anderson in the bottom of the third inning. Cito Culver and Tyler Wade drew consecutive walks to lead off the frame, and Mark Payton hit a bouncer to second that retired Wade on a fielder’s choice. Rodriguez then sliced a single up the middle, plating Culver and giving Trenton the 1-0 lead.
The Fisher Cats equalized in the top of the seventh against new Trenton reliever J.R. Graham. Rowdy Tellez welcomed him to the game with a double up the right field line. After Matt Dean struck out looking, Dwight Smith, Jr. laced a double to the left-center field gap to score Tellez and even the game at 1-1.
Trenton retook the lead in the bottom of the seventh against Fisher Cats reliever Danny Barnes, who gave up a leadoff single to Culver, and then surrendered back-to-back singles with one out to Mark Payton and Rodriguez. With the bases loaded, Barnes walked Tyler Austin, bringing home the go-ahead run. It was just the third walk of the year for Barnes, and it put Trenton back in front 2-1.
New Hampshire tied it back up in the ninth against new reliever Tyler Jones (W, 2-1). Tellez led off the inning with a double into the right field corner, and Dean singled pinch-runner Ian Parmley to third. Dwight Smith delivered again for New Hampshire, cracking a single to center to score Parmley and tie the game 2-2.
In the bottom of the 11th, Trenton finally broke through against Fisher Cats reliever Brady Dragmire (L, 1-3). Culver led off the frame with a single, and moved to third on groundouts by Wade and Payton. Juan Silva, who had pinch-hit for Rodriguez in the ninth inning, looped a single over Lopes’ head at second base, scoring Culver and giving Trenton the 3-2 win.
Anderson earned a no-decision, allowing a run on five hits and two walks over six innings; he struck out two batters. Barnes allowed a run on three hits and a walk over two innings, fanning one. Dragmire took the loss, surrendering a run on two hits in two-thirds of an inning.
The Fisher Cats will try to get back on the winning track Wednesday night, with righty Casey Lawrence starting for New Hampshire against Trenton lefty Dietrich Enns. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., and Ben Gellman has the call starting at 6:45 p.m. on the Fisher Cats Radio network.