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Trenton tops Fisher Cats in 11 innings
MANCHESTER — The New Hampshire Fisher Cats could not hold an early 3-0 lead, falling to the Trenton Thunder in 11 innings, 4-3, Satuday afternoon at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium before 4,415 fans.
Walter Ibarra knocked in the winning run when he blasted a double off Matt Daly that was ruled just fair inside the left field line that plated Yadil Mujica, who had walked and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt.
“Sometimes it happens. It's not easy,” said Fisher Cats manager Sal Fasano. “I thought they (Trenton) did a good job of making adjustments. They executed their pitches. Unfortunately, we had a couple of opportunities and didn't capitalize on them. You expect them to get it done. We labored with guys on base and that's something we're trying to work on. You've got to give them (the Thunder) credit, too. They kept putting on the pressure. We shot ourselves in the foot a little bit with the lead-off walk (in the top of the 11th).”
The Fisher Cats scored all three of their runs in the second inning. Mark Sobelewski, who later would leave the field suffering light-headedness, hit a solo shot off Thunder starter Cory Arbiso (5.0 IP, 2.55 ERA) that sailed over the left-center field fence. One out later, Koby Clemens took Arbiso deep over the right field wall for a two-run homer.
The Thunder heated up in the middle stanzas, adding one run in the fifth when shortstop Ibarra blasted an RBI triple down the right field line off starting pitcher Casey Lawrence (5.1 IP, 7.36 ERA), who was making his first Double-A start, and then putting up single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to even the score.
Jonathan Diaz, who took over at third base for Sobelewski, made several spectacular defensive plays, but none bigger than the one in the top of the 10th. With a runner on second and relief pitcher Daly (1.2 IP, 4.50 ERA) on the mound, Thunder catcher Jeff Farnham rocked a hard line drive to third. Diaz made a great stab and strong throw to first to end the inning.
“Jonathan Diaz played a tremendous game,” said Fasano. “He's a pleasure to watch in the field. A lot of times guys want to worry about their hitting at this level but he's playing as good as a defender as you're going to see at this level, or at any level above. He was awesome.”
The Thunder's Kelvin Perez (1-0, 2.1 IP, 0.71) was the winning pitcher and Ryan Flannery (1.0 IP 0.79) was credited with the save while Daly (0-2) took the loss for New Hampshire.
Notes: Fasano said that Sobelewski is expected to play today when New Hampshire concludes the three-game series with Trenton at 1:35 p.m. The pitching match-up is highly anticipated with RHP Chad Jenkins (2-2, 5.82), coming off a big performance in his last outing for New Hampshire, going against RHP Brett Marshall (3-1, 4.35), who is the Yankees top prospect on the Thunder. ... Infielder Kevin Howard, the MVP of the ELCS last year, has been called up to Triple A Las Vegas.