(Manchester, NH)---The New Hampshire Fisher Cats
the playoffs for the first time since the championship year of 2004
despite a 5-2
loss to the Portland Sea Dogs in front of a season-high crowd of 8,746
at Merchantsauto.com Stadium. Saturday
marked the third highest attendance
in franchise history behind the John Smoltz rehab assignment on May 29,
(8,903) and the Eastern League All-Star Game on July 16, 2008 (8,762).
With the magic number down to one, New Hampshire
relied on the Reading Phillies'
4-3 loss to the Binghamton Mets to make the postseason.
Cooper's 20th home run of the season couldn't help the
Cats (75-57) celebrate with a win.
Starting pitchers Kyle
Drabek and Blake Maxwell were part of an old-fashioned pitchers
start the game. Drabek, fresh from being
named Eastern League Pitcher of the Year, left after five innings with
score notched at zero. The right-handed
hurler, who was dealt the no-decision, only allowed one hit while
four and walking four. Three double
plays helped his cause especially in the top of the fifth when he
first two batters of the frame.
The Sea Dogs (63-69) made some noise against the
bullpen, bringing eight runners to bat in the top of the sixth and
runs on four hits. Ray Chang and Luis
Exposito did the damage with back-to-back two-run singles to give Portland the 4-0
Maxwell went unscathed until the bottom of the
sixth when Adam Calderone's single set up Cooper's
home run on a 0-0 count. The two-run blast
over the right-center field
fence brought the score to 4-2. Cooper
has now joined teammates Eric Thames (25) and Shawn Bowman (22) with
home runs, and it is the first time in franchise history three members
Fisher Cats have reached that plateau in the same season.
Maxwell (6-0), who recorded the victory, called it
after 5.2 innings, allowing the two runs on five hits while striking
and walking one. Daniel Turpen received
his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth.
David Purcey (0-1), who is making a rehab stint
Toronto Blue Jays, was given the loss for the Fisher Cats, allowing
on two hits while striking out one and walking one.
added a run in the top of the seventh on a pair of doubles by
and Nate Spears to stretch the lead to 5-2.
homestand continues on Sunday with the final game of the season against
Portland Sea Dogs at Merchantsauto.com Stadium.
New Hampshire and Portland are
tied 7-7 in the season
series. Fisher Cats right-hander Zach Stewart (8-3) will get the ball,
and take on Sea Dogs starter Kyle Weiland (5-8). Fisher
Cats Pre game begins at 6:45 p.m. on the WGIR Fisher Cats Radio
It is Fisher Cats
Giveaway at the ballpark Sunday. Be one
of the first 1,000 kids to enter the stadium and receive a FREE Fisher
Lunch Bag courtesy of Terminix. Kids Run
the Bases, presented by NH Bureau of Liquor
Enforcement, follows the game. New Hampshire
the Harrisburg Senators from August 30-September 2. Playoff
tickets and 2011 Season Tickets are
now available. Visit www.nhfishercats.com
or call (603) 641-2005 for details.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.