MANCHESTER, N.H. – A three-run eighth helped the New Hampshire Fisher Cats avoid a fourth straight loss as they beat the Hartford Yard Goats on Friday evening, 3-1.
Not much happened until the Yard Goats got on the board in the sixth. There, Taylor Snyder grounded out, but managed bring L.J Hatch home from third in the process. Until that the Yard Goats’ two hits in the sixth, only Sean Bouchard’s first inning double had spoiled what had been a joint no-hitter from relivers Andrew Ellenbest and Graham Spraker, who ultimately combined to get New Hampshire through the first six innings of the contest.
The Fisher Cats also struggled offensively early in the contest. Hartford Starting Pitcher Frank Duncan was masterful, not allowing a single New Hampshire batter past second base during his seven innings of work, scattering just five hits and striking out eight. New Hampshire would have to wait for the entry of reliever Yoan Aybar in the eighth. Aybar opened the eighth with a strikeout of Austin Martin, but was unable to get another hit. Samad Taylor would score the first run of L.J. Talley’s RBI single. Aybar was on the hook for runs scored by Otto Lopez and Talley, even though he departed just one at-bat after Talley’s single.
Aybar fell to 1-2 on the year while Andrew McInvale rose to 2-2 after retiring the final four Hartford batters.
Friday night’s game was one of the few Fisher Cat games under three hours so far this season, wrapping up in two hours and 37 minutes thanks to the shortage of sustained rallies as both teams combined to hit just 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position over the contest.