BINGHAMTON, NY – Even when the Fisher Cats lose, it’s still been exciting this season.
On Monday, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats lost their fifth game of the year, an 8-5 defeat at the hands of the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. Call it a silver lining, but the Fisher Cats once again forced a save situation out of their opponents, something they’ve done in all but one of their losses so far.
That achievement is notable due to a first inning rally by the Rumble Ponies, bringing six men across the plate off home runs by Patrick Mazelka and Matt Oberste, doubles from Jhoan Urena and Tim Tebow and a triple from Jeff McNeil.
Francisco Rios would leave the contest after allowing those hits and two walks as well, recording just one out before making way for Conor Fisk.
Fisk stabilized the situation, giving the Fisher Cats breathing room until they could finally respond two home runs of their own in the fourth, Max Pentecost’s second of the year and Cavan Biggio’s third in three days. Juan Kelly would also cross the plate before the end of the inning to cut the Ponies lead down to three.
Binghamton would add another homer in the fifth, this one by Levi Michael, but the Fisher Cats were not done.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. responded with a double half an inning later to bring Gunnar Heidt and Jonathan Davis home, putting New Hampshire within two. Oberste’s sacrifice RBI in the bottom of the sixth put the Ponies’ lead back up to three, but the Ponies were unable to take advantage of Heidt’s fielding error later in the inning, denying Binghamton insurance runs that could have put the outcome out of question.
The Fisher Cats big moment finally came in the top of the ninth, but what could have become a one-out bases loaded situation was erased as Guerrero was caught stealing third.
New Hampshire eventually would load the bases after Harold Ramirez was hit by a pitch, but a three pitch strikeout to Connor Panas would end the Fisher Cat threat once and for all.
With the loss, Rios (0-2) saw his ERA climb to 8.53, his counterpart didn’t have a night to write home about. Binghamton starting pitcher Joseph Shaw left after just 3 2/3 innings pitched, allowing five hits and four walks during the appearance.
Binghamton’s winning pitcher was Eric Hanhold (2-0), an hour achieved after allowing just one baserunner in the seventh and eighth.
Despite the scare, Tyler Bashlor earned his third save of the year, his second of the year against New Hampshire.
Obviously, it was a good day at the plate for both teams, with Binghamton receiving multiple hits from McNeil and Mazelka while New Hampshire also obtained two-hit performances from Guerrero, Biggio, Pentecost and Ramirez.
Four games into the Fisher Cats current road trip, Biggio is slugging an absurd 1.000, bringing him into the league lead with a season total currently standing at .708, almost .100 ahead of Binghamton’s Peter Alonso, the league’s second best slugging mark.
New Hampshire will get another shot at the Rumble Ponies on Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. as Jordan Romano (2-0, 1.42 ERA) takes the mound against Binghamton’s Andrew Church (0-2, 4.70 ERA).