PORTLAND, MAINE – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats got big performances from K.C. Hobson and Matt Dean to batter the Portland Sea Dogs 8-2 Wednesday night at Hadlock Field in Portland, Maine, ending their seven-game road trip on a high note.
The Fisher Cats (19-19) earned their fifth win of the road-trip, bringing their record back to .500 on the season. The Sea Dogs (15-26) only managed three hits against New Hampshire’s pitching staff, all in the first four innings. Hobson ended a grueling 0-for-26 slump with a first-inning, bases-loaded triple to blow the game open.
New Hampshire put a crooked number up right away in the top of the first inning against Portland starting pitcher Justin Haley. Roemon Fields drew a leadoff walk, and advanced to third base when he tried to steal as Jon Berti worked a walk and catcher Ali Solis threw the ball into center field. On a double steal, Berti was caught stealing, but Fields took home, making it 1-0 Fisher Cats. Haley then walked Rowdy Tellez and Dean, and Dwight Smith, Jr. singled to load the bases. Hobson sliced a bases-clearing triple into the right-field corner, giving New Hampshire the 4-0 lead and chasing Haley from the game.
Portland cut into the lead in the bottom of the first inning against Fisher Cats starting pitcher Jason Berken. Leadoff man Cole Sturgeon worked the count full, and took Berken’s tenth pitch over the right-field fence for a solo homer, cutting New Hampshire’s advantage to 4-1.
The Fisher Cats and Sea Dogs traded runs in the second inning, as Jorge Flores singled to lead off against Portland reliever Rob Wort, and moved to third when Fields’ bouncer up the middle was booted by shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin. With one out, Rowdy Tellez cracked an RBI single to right to make it 5-1. In the bottom of the frame, Aneury Tavarez ripped a triple to left, and came in on a groundout to third by Wendell Rijo, trimming the New Hampshire edge to 5-2.
New Hampshire doubled their lead in the top of the sixth inning against Portland reliever Nik Turley. Flores worked a leadoff walk, and moved to second on a bunt single by Fields. Berti and Tellez both struck out, but Dean crushed a 3-1 fastball to straightaway center field for a three-run homer. The blast was the third of the year for Dean, and it put New Hampshire out in front 8-2.
Bergen threw four innings in the start, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk while whiffing three. Danny Barnes (W, 2-0) tossed two perfect frames of relief with three strikeouts. Murphy Smith posted two flawless innings with two strikeouts. Wil Browning finished the ballgame, walking one and fanning one in a shutout inning of relief.
The Fisher Cats return home Friday to take on the Hartford Yard Goats, with righty Casey Lawrence starting for New Hampshire against Hartford right-hander German Marquez. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m., and Bob Lipman and Tyler Murray have the call starting at 6:15 on the Fisher Cats Radio Network.
Join us May 20 for WMUR’s “Play Ball for CHaD” night, where we help raise money for the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock! Tickets are available online at NHFishercats.com or by calling 603-641-2005.