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Fishers outlast Curve in 11 innings, 7-6
Fisher Cats' pitcher Richard Bleier watches Altoona's Drew Maggi steal third in the third inning at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, on Thursday, in Manchester. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
Andy Burns hit a one-out single to left field with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th that scored Kevin Nolan with the game-winning run.
Trailing 6-3, New Hampshire (30-41) forced extra innings by scoring three runs against Quinton Miller in the bottom of the ninth. Nolan made it 6-4 when he scored on a Burns sacrifice fly, and Mike McDade delivered a two-out single that scored Kenny Wilson and Jon Berti.
Third baseman Jarek Cunningham hit a three-run home run for Altoona (26-43). Cunningham ignited a benches-clearing brawl when he charged the mound after being hit by a pitch Wednesday night.
John Anderson earned the win for pitching 1⅓ innings of scoreless relief. Miller took the loss.
Cunningham’s home run, his fourth of the season, came against New Hampshire starting pitcher Richard Bleier with two outs in the second inning. Elias Diaz and Willy Garcia each singled in the inning and scored on the home run, which gave the Curve a 3-1 lead.
Altoona added to that lead in the fourth. Left fielder Drew Maggi doubled, stole third and scored on a Keon Broxton single to make it 4-1.
The Fisher Cats cut their deficit to 4-3 against reliever Yao-Hsun Yang in the sixth. Matt Newman’s two-out double scored Michael Crouse, and Newman scored when Jack Murphy followed with a single.
Cunningham also walked and scored on an Alen Hanson single in the seventh to stretch Altoona’s lead to 5-3.The Curve capped its scoring when Broxton’s sacrifice fly drove in Gift Ngope in the ninth.
New Hampshire also collected a run in the first inning, when a McDade single scored Wilson from second. Wilson had four of New Hampshire’s 14 hits.
Bleier, one of five New Hampshire pitchers used in the game, allowed four runs (all earned) on seven hits in five innings. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.
New Hampshire manager Bobby Meacham wasn’t at the ballpark Thursday. The Toronto Blue Jays require all of their minor league managers to take a midseason vacation, and Meacham’s four-day break began after Wednesday night’s game. Pitching coach Jim Czajkowski served as the Fisher Cats manager.
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