MANCHESTER, NH – The 2018 New Hampshire Fisher Cats can slug the ball, but they can bunt it too.
On Wedneday, Gunnar Heidt produced his second walk-off bunt of the year, helping the Fisher Cats earn a 7-6 victory over the Akron Rubber Ducks.
Heidt has filled numerous roles for the Fisher Cats this year and his initial role on Wednesday was that of a pinch runner, filling in for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the fourth inning.
Guerrero led off the inning with a single, reaching second off Cavan Biggio’s single during the following at-bat. That was when he would leave the game, but Heidt would be stranded at third, with the Fisher Cats unable to counter the Ducks three runs earlier in the inning.
Akron added two more runs off Bobby Bradley’s double in the fifth, but the Fisher Cats clawed those two runs back in the bottom of the fifth through Patrick Cantwell’s third homer of the year.
New Hampshire eventually tied the game in the eighth, batting through the lineup with a rally highlighted by RBI singles by Heidt and Harold Ramirez.
Andrew Calica’s solo home run in the top of the ninth allowed Akron to tie up the contest, but Heidt’s heroics coupled with poor fielding of Heidt’s bunt by new relief pitcher Argenis Angulo provided Jonathan Davis all he needed to cross the plate for the winning run.
Biggio, Guerrero, Cantwell and Bo Bichette contributed multi-hit days for New Hampshire while Connor Marabell led the way for Akron with a 3-for-5 day.
Sam Haggerty and Mark Mathias also finished the game with two hits each for the Ducks, including a triple and a home run respectively.
Andrew Case (1-1) was the winning pitcher by default, coming in to blow the lead in the ninth only to see Angulo enter in the bottom of the ninth and not record a single out.
Guerrero’s departure was due to what was described as a leg injury, although Fisher Cats manager John Schneider indicated that the move was mostly precautionary in nature, with the team providing no further information on Guerrero’s leg.