(Manchester, NH) - The expectation was that Wednesday's series finale between the Fightin Phils and Fisher Cats would be a well-pitched ballgame between Bailey Falter and Patrick Murphy . Having won three straight decisions, Falter was the perfect matchup for Murphy, who had been very tough on the Fightins in two prior meetings. Murphy prevailed, striking out 10 for his second straight win, and the offense supported him with 12 hits for a 9-3 win to steal the third and deciding game of the series before a crowd of 6,906 at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
After retiring the first four hitters, Falter surrendered a home run to Alberto Mineo that put the 'Cats up first 1-0. In the third, the R-Phils answered back when Josh Stephen went deep for the first time, clearing both fences in right field to tie the score. New Hampshire had the big inning in the home fourth, going ahead for good on three straight hits. An infield single from Brock Lundquist and a hit-and-run play gave Mineo his second run batted in with a double to center. On 2-2, Kevin Smith went deep to left, with his third home run opening the lead to 4-1.
Falter (3-2) came out for the sixth, and left after Mineo singled home Lundquist following a double. With a 5-1 lead, the 'Cats put it out of reach in the seventh when they sent all nine to the plate and scored four runs on four hits. Vinny Capra's first hit was a one-out triple, and Forrest Wall singled him home for a 6-1 lead. Later in the inning, Mineo singled home two more and Smith followed with another run-scoring single to blow the game open and make it 9-1.
With Murphy (2-4) finished after seven innings of one-run ball and a career-high 10 strikeouts, the R-Phils dug themselves out a bit against lefthander Jake Fishman in the eighth. Arquimedes Gamboa led off with a single through the left side, and Raul Rivas reached on an error from shortstop Santiago Espinal , who let a groundball roll through. With one out and runners at the corners, Jose Gomez scored the second run of the game with a sacrifice fly to center for his fourth run batted in. Luke Williams reached for the second straight time with a single and Mickey Moniak would double home one more for the final run of the day.
America's Classic Ballpark is proud to be a part of Pennsylvania's Americana Region. Season tickets for the 2019 season are available online at Fightins.com, by phone at 610-370-BALL, and in-person at the Weidenhammer Ticket Office at FirstEnergy Stadium. Follow the Fightin Phils on Twitter at @ReadingFightins, Instagram at @fightins, and like them on Facebook via www.facebook.com/fightins.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.