3-run ninth helps New Hampshire down the Curve in 7-5 triumph
By Tyler Zickel / New Hampshire Fisher Cats | May 13, 2017 10:30 PM ET
Altoona, PA - The New Hampshire Fisher Cats rallied for three runs in the ninth to derail the Altoona Curve 7-5 at Peoples Natural Gas Field Saturday night, earning their first win in 19 tries when trailing after the eighth inning.
The game favored the Curve in the early goings. Altoona got to 'Cats starter Jon Harris for four runs on four hits in the first, capped by a three-run home run from Edwin Espinal that made it 4-0.
New Hampshire started their comeback in the second inning. Tim Lopes got things going with a double and advanced to third on a fly out. Ryan Hissey - who made his Double-A debut tonight - sent a groundball to second baseman that plated Lopes and put the Fisher Cats on the board.
A two-run top of the third made it 4-3. Derrick Loveless singled to start the frame and Jonathan Davis followed with a double that put runners on second and third with no outs. Up stepped Richard Urena, who singled into right field to score Loveless. In the next at-bat, Anthony Alford grounded into a double play that scored Davis and brought the 'Cats within one.
Ryan McBroom tied the game in the top of the sixth. The Fredericksburg, Virginia native took starter Alex McRae deep to begin the inning; it was McBroom's fifth home run of the season and his 20th RBI.
With the game tied 4-4, Altoona retook the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Harris - who held Altoona scoreless between the second and the sixth - allowed an unearned run after he threw wildly to first base on an attempted sacrifice bunt with runners at first and second. New Hampshire went to the bullpen and called upon Jose Fernandez, who entered the game with the bases loaded and no outs. He struck out league-leading hitter Kevin Kramer then induced an inning-ending double play off the bat of Espinal to keep the deficit at one.
The Fisher Cats rally in the top of the ninth began with a Gunnar Heidt infield single. He advanced to second on a wild pitch then went to third on a groundout. After a strikeout, Loveless battled at the plate, working the count full before he was hit by a pitch from closer Montana DuRapau (BS/L, 2-1). With runners on the corners and two outs, Davis tied the game with a single to left field that made it 5-5. Urena dug in next and roped a two-RBI double into right-centerfield that put the 'Cats up 7-5.
Dusty Isaacs (W, 1-1) tossed a perfect eighth and stranded two runners in the bottom of the ninth to secure the comeback win for the Fisher Cats.
The victory improves New Hampshire's record to 1-18 when trailing after the eighth inning. Tonight was the first time the 'Cats scored three or more in the ninth inning or later this season.
The series concludes Sunday afternoon in Altoona. Southpaw Shane Dawson (1-4, 5.14 ERA) will be opposed by Brandon Waddell (0-1, 9.00 ERA). First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m. and can be heard locally on AM 610 WGIR or online via iHeartRadio.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.