MANCHESTER, N.H. – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats could have returned to .500 on Saturday night, but instead lost again to the Hartford Yard Goats, this time by the score of 5-4.
Neither team had any early traction, with Hartford finally striking first off Bret Bostwell’s RBI double in the fifth.
New Hampshire countered in the bottom half of the fifth, thanks to a pair of two-run homers from Riley Adams and Patrick Kivelhan.
The Yard Goats ate into that lead in the eighth, leading off the inning with a pair of singles from Mylz Jones and Manuel Melendez, with Jones eventually cross the plate after a wild pitch from Jackson McClelland.
A Colton Welker double off McClelland brought Melendez across the plate to bring the visitors within a run, but Hartford couldn’t overcome New Hampshire’s lead until the ninth.
There, with McClelland making way for Bryan Baker, the Yard Goats’ first four batters reached safely, as Hartford finished the inning with another pair of runs, giving them a lead for Eastern Leave saves leader Ben Bowden to hold in the bottom of the ninth. Bowden held that lead, retiring the side in order for his 15th save of the year, three more than the Fisher Cats have combined as a team.
Baker fell to 1-3 with the loss while Chris Rusin (1-0) took the win for his three-inning relief appearance between starter Jack Wynkoop and Bowden’s closure.
At the plate, Kivlehan, Adams and Nash Knight each had a pair of hits for the Fisher Cats while Welker, Jones and Brian Serven each had two hits for Hartford.
The series continues at 1:35 p.m. on Sunday. Yennsy Diaz (4-3, 3.14 ERA) takes the mound for New Hampshire against Hartford’s Brandon Gold (4-3, 3.89 ERA).