Rock Cats sweep Fishers in rain-makeup doubleheader
MANCHESTER -- Daniel Norris’ fourth start with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats was his shortest one.
Norris, Toronto’s second-round pick in the 2011 draft, didn’t make it out of the first inning Tuesday night, when the New Britain Rock Cats completed a doubleheader sweep with a seven-inning 5-4 triumph in Game 2.
The Rock Cats collected three hits and two runs against Norris. He also walked two batters before exiting the mound with two outs in the inning.
New Hampshire led 4-3 entering the sixth, but the Rock Cats (44-44) regained the lead by scoring twice in the inning against Dustin Antolin, who took the loss. Brandon Waring scored on a single by pinch-hitter Brad Boyer, and Boyer gave New Britain the lead by scoring on right fielder Mike Kvasnicka’s single.
New Britain’s Dan Turpen retired the Fisher Cats in order in the seventh.
The Fisher Cats (42-47) trailed 3-2, but took a 4-3 lead by scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth. Center fielder Dalton Pompey singled, took third on Matt Newman’s single and tied the contest when he scored on an error by center fielder Aaron Hicks. Newman then gave New Hampshire the lead when he scored from second on Mike McDade’s single.
Kvasnicka led off the game by hitting a home run off of Norris, who had 25 strikeouts in his first three starts (16 ⅓ innings) since he was promoted to Double-A. Hicks made it a 2-0 game when he scored on a Tony Thomas single in the first.
New Britain increased its lead to 3-0 by scoring a run against Tyler Ybarra in the fourth, when Lance Ray raced home from third on a Stephen Wickens sacrifice fly.
New Hampshire began to dig itself out of the 3-0 hole when McDade, New Hampshire’s first baseman, and designated hitter K.C. Hobson each hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth. It was McDade’s sixth home run of the season, and the second for Hobson.
Waring hit a grand slam to highlight New Britain’s 10-2 victory in the first seven-inning game, which began Monday but was suspended by rain after two innings. The loss ended New Hampshire’s 10-game home winning streak. A Fisher Cats’ victory would have set a franchise record for consecutive victories at home.
Shortstop Kevin Nolan -- a Nashua native -- provided New Hampshire’s offensive highlight when he hit a two-run home run in the seventh. It was Nolan’s fifth home run of the season.
The Fisher Cats had five hits in the loss. Third baseman Andy Burns had New Hampshire’s only other extra-base hit. He doubled in the seventh and scored on Nolan’s home run.
New Hampshire starting pitcher John Anderson allowed two runs in two innings Monday before wet conditions forced the teams off the field. Scott Gracey (three runs in two innings) and Richard Bleier (five runs in three innings) each pitched in relief Tuesday.
Kvasnicka had five hits in the doubleheader.