TRENTON, N.J. – It will take a miracle for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats to make the playoffs, but if they keep on winning like they did on Tuesday night, they might just keep that slim hope alive long enough to make things interesting.
Seven unanswered runs in the eighth and ninth kept New Hampshire’s recent hot streak going, giving them a 7-2 win against the Trenton Thunder.
Trenton’s pitchers had limited the Fisher Cats to just three hits until Brock Lundquist slammed a two out line drive to right, bringing in Vinny Capra for New Hampshire’s first run.
Nash Knight’s subsequent double brought Lundquist home to tie things up and Christian Williams’ triple brought Knight around for the go-ahead run.
Danny Young relieved starter Yennsy Diaz to shut down the Thunder in the eighth and the ‘Cats took three more hits in the first four at-bats of the ninth, capped by a triple from Cullen Large that brought in another three runs.
A sacrifice fly by Lundquist brought home Large for New Hampshire’s final insurance run and Young retired Trenton in order to seal his third save of the year.
The late rally salvaged a good Diaz performance, with the Fisher Cat starter scattering seven hits and a walk over his seven innings.
He climbed to 10-8 on the year and Brooks Kriske fell to 1-2, recording four outs during the seventh and eighth.
Chris Gittens drove in one of the Trenton runs off his sixth inning double while Max Burt’s sacrifice fly brought Brandon Wagner home in the fifth for the other Trenton run.
The Fisher Cats pitching has now allowed just ten runs in its last nine games, a trend it will need to continue in their 1 p.m. Wednesday series finale against Trenton.
If Reading’s divisional lead holds, the second Eastern Division playoff spot would go to the Eastern Division team with the best overall record other than Reading. That is currently Trenton, which leads New Hampshire overall by 10 ½ games, but the Fisher Cats still have 13 games left to play, with five of them head to head against Trenton.