Manchester, NH - The New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays Double-A affiliate) locked up a playoff berth for the first time in seven years with a 9-7 win over the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (New York Mets) on Saturday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
Max Pentecost picked up his third hit of the game, a dramatic three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning, to rally New Hampshire after Binghamton had taken a 7-6 lead in the top of the inning.
With Reading's loss on Saturday night to Portland, the Fisher Cats will advance to the playoffs, which will begin on Wednesday, September 5th. Home field advantage has yet to be decided, with the Trenton Thunder trailing New Hampshire by 2.0 games in the Eastern Division with nine regular season games remaining.
The Fisher Cats put together four consecutive singles to take a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Pentecost and Cavan Biggio each singled ahead of a run-producing base knock for Harold Ramirez. Connor Panas followed with a bloop single to left field for the other run.
Binghamton hit the board in the top of the third inning. Andrew Ely walked, Tyler Moore singled and J.J. Franco doubled in the first run. John Mora followed with a two-run double into the right field corner and Joey Terdoslavich singled in a run. After starter Hector Perez left the game, shortstop Andrew Ely drew a bases loaded walk to complete the five-run frame.
Panas ripped his ninth home run of the season for the Fisher Cats, a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to 5-3.
New Hampshire reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Jon Berti singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Forrest Wall's triple. Pentecost then singled to tie the game at 5-5. Cavan Biggio reached on an error and two more singles to the pitcher put New Hampshire in front, one each by Ramirez and Espinal.
Binghamton reclaimed the lead with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Will Toffey walked and Kevin Taylor doubled. With runners on second and third, Tyler Moore reached on a throwing error which allowed both runners to score to put the Ponies up 7-6.
In the bottom of the eighth, Jon Berti walked, Wall singled and Pentecost skied an opposite field homer to right off reliever David Roseboom.
Travis Bergen, the fourth pitcher for New Hampshire, earned the win. Of note, southpaw Danny Young worked a career-high 3.1 innings without allowing a run to help the Fisher Cats notch the win. Francisco Rios also worked out of the bullpen.
The series and the homestand comes to a conclusion with a 1:35 p.m. contest with Binghamton on Sunday at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. Join us as we're giving away FREE Kids Backpacks presented by the NH State Liquor Comm., Div. of Enforcement to the first 1,000 Kids. Kids can also run the bases after the game.
There will be a special Pirate Breakfast Sunday at 11:30 a.m. which includes unlimited pancakes, breakfast sausage links, scrambled eggs, fruit salad and breakfast beverages. Seating is limited and available by going to the August 26th date and using the code "PIRATE".
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.