RICHMOND, VA – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats’ swing south of the Mason-Dixon Line continued on Friday, and it continued on a positive note with an authoritative 4-1 victory over the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
T.J. Zeuch hurled a masterful six-inning performance, allowing just four Richmond baserunners in his eighth victory of the year. His effort proved to be more than enough to support a Fisher Cat offense that didn’t quite live up to the lofty standards it has set throughout the year.
To be fair, New Hampshire’s fault on Friday laid not with the amount of opportunities they produced. No, New Hampshire’s weakness rotated on the ability to capitalize on the opportunities they made. By the evening’s end, the Fisher Cats left 12 men on base, going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Still, a pair of singles and smart baserunning in the third proved to be enough to build a lead that survived the contest, with New Hampshire scoring three runs before the end of the inning.
In the sixth, Max Pentecost provided an insurance run, sending a hanging first pitch from Richmond pitcher Taylor Hill over the center field fence. Luigi Rodriguez countered with his 13th homer of the year, coming in the bottom of the eighth, but the Rodriguez blast proved to be a momentary respite on a night when New Hampshire’s pitching was in control.
Corey Copping notched his first Eastern League save of the year after collecting the final four outs of the contest. The loss went to Chase Johnson, who left after 3 1/3 innings of work.
At the plate, Rodriguez and C.J. Hinojosa combined for four of Richmond’s six hits while the Fisher Cats received multi-hit efforts from Pentecost, Forrest Wall, Jon Berti and Santiago Espinal.
The two teams return on Saturday for a 6:05 p.m. contest as New Hampshire sends Tayler Saucedo (3-1, 5.19 ERA) against Richmond’s Logan Webb (0-0, 5.40 ERA).