Manchester, NH - Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette and Jon Berti each knocked in two runs and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays Double-A affiliate) topped the Trenton Thunder (New York Yankees) 8-0 to win the first game of the Eastern Division Championship Series on Wednesday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
Four New Hampshire pitchers combined on the shutout. T. J. Zeuch (W, 1-0) worked the first six innings with relievers Kirby Snead (H, 1), Dusty Isaacs (H, 1) and Travis Bergen (S, 1) finishing up. Bergen notched the final four outs, and the staff combined to strike out 13 Thunder hitters.
Trenton and New Hampshire went to the sixth inning scoreless. The Thunder could not produce a run against Fisher Cats starter T. J. Zeuch despite eight singles. New Hampshire then took charge in the bottom of the sixth with five consecutive batters reaching base. Jon Berti walked and stole second. Bo Bichette doubled him home to make it 1-0. Harold Ramirez followed with a single and Cavan Biggio ripped a two-run double for a 3-0 lead.
The Fisher Cats sent ten men to the plate in a five-run bottom of the eighth inning which included RBI hits by Josh Palacios, Berti and Bichette. Max Pentecost also knocked in a run with a groundout.
Starter Brian Keller (L, 0-1) took the loss for Trenton, pitching seven quality innings with a walk and six strikeouts.
The second game of the series will be played on Thursday at 6:35 p.m. at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. RHP Hector Perez (0-1, 3.86) is scheduled to start for New Hampshire against Trenton RHP Nick Green (1-2, 3.63). Pre-game coverage begins at 6:15 p.m.
If the Fisher Cats win the best-of-five series with Trenton, they'll have home field advantage and host the final three games of the best-of-five Eastern League Championship Series against either Akron (Cleveland Indians) or Altoona (Pittsburgh Pirates) next weekend. Tickets are available at NHFisherCats.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.