PORTLAND, MAINE – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats are back, but they’ll have to wait at least another day for their first win of 2022.
New Hampshire fell 11-6 against the Portland Sea Dogs on Friday night in what was the first game of the year for both teams.
The Fisher Cats took a lead on the first pitch of the contest, a ball high in the zone that Tanner Morris took beyond Hadlock Field’s center field fence. New Hampshire wouldn’t be able to add to that lead, and soon it would slip out of their grasp.
David Hamilton led off the bottom of the first with a triple for the Sea Dogs, the first of five hits in what became a four-run inning.
Portland put up another four-run inning in the fourth thanks to a Hamilton grand slam, following a two-run homer by Hamilton in the second and an RBI double by Hamilton in the third. While the San Marcos, Tex. native couldn’t complete the cycle in his fifth and final at-bat of the contest, his seven RBI was still more than enough to give victory to Portland.
New Hampshire narrowed the gap in the fifth, with four straight walks setting the stage for a two-RBI double from Sebastian Espino and an RBI single from Will Robertson. Orelevis Martinez got the Fisher Cats’ other run, a solo shot to center in the eighth.
Elvis Luciano (0-1) was on the hook for the loss, lasting two innings and giving up six runs off eight hits, striking out two Portland batters. Portland starter Chris Murphy was pulled after four innings, putting him out of line for the win, which instead went to Chase Shugart (1-0).
Shugart was the fifth of six Portland hurlers on the night, pitching a perfect seventh and eighth outside of Martinez’ homer.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday at 1 p.m. New Hampshire will send Nick Fraze to the mound against Portland’s Victor Santos.