Late comeback falls flat for F-Cats

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Portland Sea DogsPORTLAND, MAINE – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats have now lost seven of their last ten games, falling 6-5 on Saturday night to the Portland Sea Dogs despite a late comeback attempt.

For the third time in their current series, the Fisher Cats scored first, with Jon Berti’s single bringing around Harold Ramirez, followed by Andrew Guillotte’s two-run RBI later in the opening frame. That double brought Berti and Cavan Biggio across the plate and nearly brought home Connor Panas as well.

However, the Sea Dogs caught Panas at the plate and narrowed the lead to one in the second thanks to a Danny Mars single, bringing Austin Rei and Deiner Lopez home.

Portland posted another two runs in the sixth to take the lead and added another pair in the eighth for insurance, with a laser beam line drive directly to Panas keeping Portland from sending its two runners in scoring position home for even more runs.

If there’s been one continuing trait about this year’s Fisher Cats though, it’s been their ability to generate offense in situations where they want to make their opponents sweat. That trait came into play in the ninth, with New Hampshire obtaining singles from their first three at-bats. With the bases loaded, Ryan Hissey came around to score on a wild pitch, and Dalton Pompey brought the game within one run on a Harold Ramirez ground out.

Unfortunately for the Fisher Cats, there would be no more late heroics on this night. Jordan Weems followed the Ramirez at-bat with two consecutive outs, giving him his fourth save of the year.

Portland spot starter Daniel McGrath continued to ease his way into the Sea Dogs rotation, leaving after three innings, with Georgia Tech graduate Matthew Gorst earning the win for his efforts in the fourth, fifth and sixth.

The Sea Dogs allowed just seven hits to Fisher Cats batters, with New Hampshire starting pitcher T.J. Zeuch allowing as many before he left after the fifth.

Justin Dillon got the loss, entering in relief of Zeuch and leaving after only two outs during Portland’s rally.

Dillion drops to 1-4 on the year, with Gorst getting his first Eastern League win of the year.

With Dillon’s loss, each Fisher Cat loss in the month of July has been credited to the bullpen, continuing a streak following Craig Breslow’s victory on June 27 at home against Portland.

At the plate, Guillotte led the way for New Hampshire with a pair of hits, with Mars, Rei and Tate Matheny also collecting two hits for Portland. Mars also collected three RBI for the Sea Dogs while Jeremy Betts finished the night 3-for-4, his first three-hit for Portland this year.

New Hampshire concludes the series on Sunday with a 1 p.m. matinee against Portland southpaw Kyle Hart (6-5, 3.74 ERA). Jon Harris (6-3, 4.74 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for New Hampshire.