Eye-Popping Espinal Spurs 'Cats To 10-5 Win

An 8-run first plus 4 hits and 5 RBI from NH's shortstop lead to victory

By Tyler Zickel / New Hampshire Fisher Cats | May 10, 2019 10:52 PM

BINGHAMTON, NY - The New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays) erupted for eight first inning runs in their 10-5 win over the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets) Friday night at NYSEG Stadium, their largest single-stanza run total of the season.

The scoring started with the second batter of the game. After Forrest Wall worked a lead-off walk, Santiago Espinal tattooed his second home run of the season the opposite way to make it 2-0 'Cats. Alberto Mineo followed with a home run off the scoreboard in right field, the second time in as many days the Fisher Cats hit back-to-back jacks.

After an out, the next five batters would reach and two more runs would score - thanks in part to a pair of Rumble Ponies errors - against starter Mike Gibbons (L, 3-4) to bounce him from the game after facing just nine hitters. Wall's second at-bat of the inning came against reliever Austin McGeorge, which resulted in an RBI knock for the Orlando native to make it 7-0. Espinal followed with an RBI groundout that brought home the eighth run of the frame.

Hector Perez (W, 2-2) turned in five solid innings and did not allow a run until the fifth, when the 'Ponies struck for a pair on two hits. The right-hander finished with two walks and matched a season-high with seven strikeouts.

Espinal drove in his fourth run of the game in the third with a single that scored Vinny Capra, who had walked, stole second and advanced to third after the throw on the steal got into centerfield.

Binghamton made things interesting in the later innings. They scored a run in the seventh before sending eight men to the plate in the eighth to score two runs, which included a tense moment with the bases loaded and the tying run at the plate. Ty Tice - who was called upon after the first six batters had been worked through - managed to help the 'Cats escape the frame with the score 9-5.

Espinal's fifth and final RBI came via his fourth hit of the game in the ninth. Capra had reached on a single before the Miami native shot a double down the left field line to give New Hampshire a 10-5 advantage.

Notable Performers

  • Espinal is the first 'Cat to record four hits in a game since Jon Berti hit for the natural cycle on August 28, 2018.
  • His 5 RBI are the secondmost by a Fisher Cat this year; he had six on April 17 against Binghamton at NYSEG Stadium.
  • Chad Spanberger logged three hits for the first time in his DoubleA career.

New Hampshire and Binghamton go at it again Saturday afternoon. LHP Zach Logue gets the nod for the 'Cats while RHP Chris Mazza will start for the 'Ponies. Coverage begins at 1:45 p.m. and continues with first pitch at 2:05 p.m. on the WGIR Fisher Cats Radio Network.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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