Walk-Off HBP Spells Heartbreak For 'Cats In Altoona
New Hampshire defeated in bottom of the ninth as Curve win 4-3
By Tyler Zickel / New Hampshire Fisher Cats | May 11, 2017 9:35 PM ET
Altoona, PA - A walk-off hit by pitch in the bottom of the ninth spelled doom for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Thursday night, as the Toronto Blue Jays affiliate fell 4-3 to the Altoona Curve at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
Altoona started the scoring in the third. Starter Conner Greene issued back-to-back walks to start the inning and the Curve used a sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly to plate the first run of the game without recording a hit. Greene went six innings and held Altoona hitless until the fifth but did not factor into the decision.
Trailing 1-0 to start the eighth, the Fisher Cats sent nine men to the plate and scored three times. Jonathan Davis and Anthony Alford singled to put the first two runners on and Ryan McBroom walked to load the bases. After a strikeout, Richard Urena hit a ground ball to second base that looked like it would become an inning-ending double play, but an errant throw by the second baseman allowed two runners to score without an out. Gunnar Heidt brought in the third 'Cats run with a sacrifice fly later in the frame to make it 3-1.
The Curve got a run back in the bottom of the eighth via a solo home run from Edwin Espinal and entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 3-2. Altoona got to Tim Mayza (L, 1-1) for a one out single then Mayza walked a batter to put runners at first and second. Kevin Kramer followed with an RBI single to right field that tied the game 3-3. New Hampshire elected to put the next batter on via the intentional walk to load the bases, but Mayza hit the next batter to force in the winning run as the Cats lost 4-3.
With the loss, the Fisher Cats (11-22) are now 1-9 in games decided by one run.
The series continues Friday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field in Altoona. Francisco Rios (3-3, 3.86 ERA) will be opposed by Yeudy Garcia (1-2, 4.74 ERA) with first pitch set for 6:00 pm. The game 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.