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May 20. 2012 10:56PM

Ranaudo, Sea Dogs make first trip to NH

When the Portland Sea Dogs make their way to Northeast Delta Dental Stadium tonight for the first of a four-game set with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Granite Staters will be faced with the same dilemma they face year in and year out.

Whom do they root for? The Sea Dogs, of course, are the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, but the Fisher Cats hold a special place in the hearts of New Hampshire residents, particularly Manchester natives.

“I thought last year was great,” said Fisher Cats manager Sal Fasano. “Even when Portland came in, our fans were out there and being supportive of us.”

Fisher Cats fans will get their first look at top-ranked pitching prospect Anthony Ranaudo (0-0, 9.00), who will take the mound for the Sea Dogs tonight, opposed by southpaw Brett Cecil (1-2, 5.06).

Cecil is 26-22 lifetime with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 2010 first-rounder brings a great deal of expectations to the mound with him. The six-foot-seven righty is projected to develop into a top of the rotation starter in the major leagues.

“Whatever the case is, whether they’re Boston fans or whether they’re Fisher Cat fans, you’re going to see these guys in the big leagues,” said Fasano.

Another name to keep an eye on is Bryce Brentz, another first rounder. The 23-year-old ranks as one of the highest outfield prospects in Boston’s farm system and tore up the South Atlantic League in 2011 playing for the Greenville Drive.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.

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