Fisher Cats breeze on Opening Night
MANCHESTER - John Tolisano and Ryan Schimpf each homered onto the train tracks beyond right field, and the Fisher Cats opened the 2013 season by thrashing Reading, 9-0, before a crowd of 6,224 on Thursday night.
Fisher Cats right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx, a farmhand for Colorado and Washington last season, worked six innings and allowed three hits to notch the victory in his Eastern League debut. Clint Everts pitched a pair of scoreless innings, and Trystan Magnuson put another zero on the scoreboard in the ninth.
Nashua native Kevin Nolan enjoyed a homecoming at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, going 1-for-3 and driving in the first run of the season with a wall-ball liner in the second inning.
You know it's an excellent night when the No. 9 hitter (Tolisano) homers, and the team combines for six two-out RBIs. Reading starter David Buchanan, chased in the fifth, was tagged for six earned run in the loss.
"It may have been my most relaxing opening day game," manager Gary Allenson said.
Kenny Wilson went 3-for-5, and Schimpf homered in the sixth inning to give the Fisher Cats an 8-0 lead. Bibens-Dirkx fanned six and issued two walks, coasting through six frames. The 27-year-old picked up his 32nd career win.
The Fisher Cats jumped on Buchanan early, scoring four runs in the second inning. Clint Robinson doubled and eventually scored on Nolan's liner to right field. The Nashua South graduate also walked and struck out in his first Double-A game.
"It was a good night. We knew coming into the season we had a solid lineup, one through nine, and good pitching," said Nolan, who received the loudest cheers during pregame introductions. "It was nice being back home and out there playing."