MANCHESTER, NH – Maybe they just needed a name change.
The franchise that eventually became the New Hampshire Fisher Cats almost became known as the New Hampshire Mountain Men. On Sunday, the Fisher Cats donned “Mountain Men” jerseys and avoided a sweep at the hands of the Reading Fightin’ Phils, earning a 14-2 matinee victory.
New Hampshire’s four-run third inning rally was enough for victory on its own, but Gunnar Heidt added a solo shot in the sixth as a prelude to a monster eighth inning barrage.
There, the Fisher Cats sent 14 men to the plate, putting nine runs on the board thanks to a Jonathan Davis grand slam, a Juan Kelly RBI single and several Reading miscues, including two bases loaded walks.
Reading avoided the shutout thanks to consolation solo shots from Malquin Canelo and Zach Green. The fourth inning homer by Green was his 17th of the year and ninth of the year off Fisher Cat pitching.
Eduard Pinto marked his sixth game for the Fisher Cats with a 3-for-5 day, joining Harold Ramirez in the three-hit club for New Hampshire. Jon Berti ended the day with two hits and like Kelly and Heidt, ended the day with two RBI.
As one would expect, it was not a good day Reading’s pitching box score. Fightins’ starting pitcher Franklyn Kilome came into the contest with two strong appearances against New Hampshire earlier in the season, scattering six hits over five innings on Sunday.
His performance was nominally adequate, keeping his team in the game until the eighth inning catastrophe, which required saw three Reading pitching changes.
Kilome actually outlasted New Hampshire starting pitcher Jon Harris, with Harris leaving after four innings of work. Coming in after the departure of Harris, Nick Hartman (2-1) got the win in relief, facing six batters in two innings of work, striking out three of them in the process.
Sunday’s contest, combined with a 3-2 Trenton loss in Altoona, put New Hampshire back into first place by half a game, with the squad heading to Portland on Thursday following Wednesday’s All-Star Game in Trenton.