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Rumble Ponies use homers to top Fishers

By ROGER BROWN
New Hampshire Union Leader

April 17. 2018 11:32PM




MANCHESTER — Binghamton third baseman Jeff McNeil spent five days on the disabled list earlier this season, but he looked healthy Tuesday night.

McNeil homered twice to power the Rumble Ponies to a 4-3 victory over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

McNeil’s second home run came against reliever Justin Shafer and broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the eighth inning. McNeil also hit a solo homer in the second. The Rumble Ponies, who broke a five-game losing streak, hit three solo home runs in the game.

“The long ball (hurt) and the layoff kind of showed a little bit with pitching, offense — the overall flow of the game,” Fisher Cats manager John Schneider said. “Not really how we usually roll out there, but not unexpected with a couple days off and the weather the way it is.”

New Hampshire shortstop Bo Bichette went 1 for 4 and extended his hitting streak to 10 games, but struck out with one out and a runner on third in the bottom of the ninth. Vlad Guerrero Jr. followed with a hard-hit ball to left that was caught for the game’s final out. Guerrero went 0 for 5 and failed to reach base in a game for the first time this season.

New Hampshire second baseman Lourdes Gurriel Jr., first baseman Cavan Biggio, right fielder Andrew Guillotte and designated hitter Juan Kelly each had two hits in the loss. Gurriel has reached base in all 10 Fisher Cats games.

Binghamton (4-5) starter Marcos Molina, the No. 8 prospect in the Mets’ organization according to MLB.com, allowed two runs on six hits and struck out two before he left after four innings. New Hampshire starter Jon Harris pitched five innings and surrendered three runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out four.

Binghamton reliever Tyler Bashlor recorded the final four outs to collect the win.

Jhoan Urena also hit a solo home run against Harris. That broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the fourth.

New Hampshire (7-3) got on the scoreboard when a Biggio single scored Kelly from third in the bottom of the third, and made it a 2-2 game when Biggio led off the bottom of the fourth with a triple and Guillotte followed with a run-scoring single.

Binghamton took a 3-2 lead when a Peter Alonso triple scored Champ Stuart in the top of the fifth, but the Fisher Cats answered when a triple by Max Pentecost scored Bichette in the bottom of the inning.

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Tim Tebow went 2 for 4 in his first trip to Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. He collected a wind-aided double that dropped in behind shortstop in the sixth inning, and also doubled in the ninth.

Tebow struck out on three pitches in the sixth, and grounded out to shortstop in the fourth.

Tebow, who played left field, also threw out Gurriel trying to stretch a single into a double with no outs in the eighth.

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The Fisher Cats entered Tuesday night’s game leading the Eastern League in batting average (.263) and were third in ERA (2.63). … The teams will play again tonight (6:35) before concluding the three-game series Thursday morning (10:35). New Hampshire’s Francisco Rios (1-0, 6:14 ERA) is scheduled to pitch against Binghamton’s Joseph Shaw (0-1, 6.00) tonight. … Tuesday’s announced attendance was 3,328.

rbrown@unionleader.com


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