Sunday, August 18 - New Hampshire 2, Trenton 1
Everybody loves a walk off win, but when that win helps get you back in the playoff race, it becomes even more fun.
It was a 1-1 game in the last of the ninth on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, and the Fisher Cats had already taken the first two games against the Trenton Thunder, the team leading the Wild Card chase in the playoff race. A win on this day gets the Fisher Cats within 2.5 games of Trenton with plenty of time to catch them.
Austin Bibens-Dirkx started the game on the mound having taken the place of Sean Nolin, who was promoted to Triple-A Buffalo. It was Bibens-Dirkx's first start with the Fisher Cats since May, and it would have been nearly impossible for Nolin to pitch better than Bibens-Dirkx did that day, as he went seven shutout innings on just two hits. But, because he was involved in a pitcher's duel, ABD was left with a ND for his efforts.
In the ninth, the offense made sure the team was not left with the same fate as Bibens-Dirkx. Jack Murphy drew a one-out walk to start the rally and, after a pitching change, Lance Zawadzki singled up the middle to put runners on first and second. That brought up the No. 9 hitter, Amadeo Zazueta. On a one strike pitch, Zazueta sliced a ball just fair up the first base line. It rolled into the Fisher Cats bullpen, allowing Murphy to score from second. When Zazueta hit second base for a walk-off double, 24 of his teammates swarmed him on the middle of the field while a big crowd could feel the playoff atmosphere building in Manchester.