The New Hampshire Fisher Cats haven’t had a lot of luck lately, and Friday night in Reading proved to be no exception.
New Hampshire fell 7-6 to the Reading Fightin’ Phils in the first game of their three-game series, a contest where the laws of probability were challenged one too many times.
The Fisher Cats got on the board early with a pair of runs in the first, but Reading continually threatened to erase that lead, gathering multiple hits in each of their first two innings at the plate.
In the third, Reading’s Malquin Canelo finally turned the continuing production into a run, but that would only be the beginning of the onslaught.
Reading brought five runs across the plate in the fourth, with Kyle Martin, Scott Kingery and Osmel Aguila each getting a home run before the inning concluded.
New Hampshire got a run back in the fifth thanks to an unusual baserunning moment, while J.C. Cardenas was out trying to steal second, Emilio Guerrero came across the plate for the Fisher Cats’ third run.
They would tie the contest back up in the sixth thanks to RBIs from Ryan McBroom, Danny Jansen and Guerrero, but they couldn’t retake the lead.
New Hampshire would go hitless over the next three innings and an inning ending double play squandered a golden opportunity in the tenth.
Only so many opportunities can be passed up until bad things happen. Almost on cue, Kingery hit a letters-high 3-1 pitch over the right field fence in the bottom of the tenth to make sure New Hampshire would receive no more opportunities for victory on this night.
Due to the rallies, neither starting pitcher factored into the decision. Shane Dawson left with two outs in the third, following the three-home run barrage by Reading.
He left allowing 12 hits and a trio of walks along with six earned runs.
Reading starter Brandon Leibrandt lasted 5 1/3 innings, leaving halfway through New Hampshire’s barrage.
Leibrandt would be on the hook for five of New Hampshire’s six runs, scattering five hits while walking two and striking out three.
Jesen Therien (2-1) earned his second win this week pitching through the tenth while Dusty Isaacs (1-2) got the loss after two innings of work.
At the plate, Martin, Canelo and Angelo Mora each had three hits for Reading, joining Kingery in the multi-hit club,
McBroom and Guerrero each contributed two hits for New Hampshire, with Dunedin callup Danny Jansen going 3-for-4 in only his third game as a Fisher Cat.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. Chris Rowley (0-1, 2.19 ERA) is the Fisher Cats’ designated starter, slated to meet Reading’s Drew Anderson (3-0, 4.67 ERA)