On Baseball: Fisher Cats prove point
MANCHESTER -- The Fisher Cats are going to come up short against the Portland Sea Dogs for the season.
That little fact makes last weekend’s series against the Eastern League leaders that much sweeter.
The Sea Dogs were a strike away from getting a win and a split of the series on Sunday afternoon when the Fisher Cats mounted an unlikely rally, spurred by a couple of two-out, pinch-hit walks and finished off by run-scoring singles by Dalton Pompey and Jon Berti in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Fisher Cats won the game, 3-2, and the series, three games to one.
“That’s the best team in the league and we fought like crazy to get the win,” said New Hampshire manager Bobby Meacham. “We’re glad to get that win.”
Meacham’s guys are 7-12 against the Boston Red Sox wannabes thus far and the teams meet only three more times: The Sea Dogs come back to town for contests on Aug. 22, 23 and 24.
Portland took a 64-37 record into a Monday night game at home against Binghamton.
“They’re a really good team,” Meacham said of the Sea Dogs. “There’s a lot of talent there, but they know they’re going to get a struggle every time we see them. We’ve lost most of the time, but we’ve also put a scare into them most of the time, too.”
The Fisher Cats had lost four games of a five-game series in Portland right before last week’s All-Star break and continued what amounted to a nine-game, two-city set with the Sea Dogs last Thursday.
“We knew coming into the series off the break it would be a big series for us to kind of turn things around,” Berti said.
The Fisher Cats’ homestand continued with four games against Trenton, starting with a doubleheader on Monday night.
The Fisher Cats held down fourth place in the Eastern Division — 1½ games in front of Trenton — as Monday night began.
“We just turn the page and get to the next team,” Meacham said. “We’ve got to plug away. Let’s just keep getting better and try to win and in the end hope we get rewarded with a bunch of wins — hopefully enough to get to the playoffs.”
Right-hander Scott Copeland (5-7 with a 4.34 earned run average) faces Thunder lefty Manny Banuelos (0-3, 6.03) tonight at 7:05. Lefty Matt Boyd (1-3, 6.42) goes for New Hampshire against righty Zach Nuding (5-2, 3.00) on Wednesday at 12:05 p.m. in the second Splash Day of the summer at the park.
The Fisher Cats then head out on a seven-game road trip, starting on Thursday in Harrisburg for four games and moving on to Binghamton for three.
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LEFTY starter/reliever John Anderson made his fourth start of the season for the Fisher Cats in Monday night’s first game.
Right-hander Radhames Liz went up to Triple-A Buffalo for the second time this season on Sunday.
Liz has a 2-2 record with a 1.93 earned run average in eight starts for the Fisher Cats. He has allowed 32 hits over 42 innings with 33 strikeouts and 11 walks and opponents have a .212 batting average against him.
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KEVIN NOLAN, the Fisher Cats shortstop out of Nashua, ran his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single in the fourth inning of Game 1 on Monday night. In his last 27 games before Monday night, Nolan was hitting .365 (35-96) with 11 doubles, two home runs and 14 runs batted in ... In their last 47 games going into Monday, the Fisher Cats were 29-18 with a run differential of plus-38. They boosted their batting average from .221 to .243 during that stretch.