Flying Squirrels even series with Fisher Cats

Photo/NH Fisher Cats

MANCHESTER, NH — The New Hampshire Fisher Cats (28-33) lost to the Richmond Flying Squirrels (28-33) at Delta Dental Stadium Friday, 9-3. Richmond recorded 15 hits against five Fisher Cats pitchers.

Two Fisher Cats made their 2024 season debuts Friday. Right-handed pitcher Braydon Fisher, recently acquired by the Blue Jays in a trade with the Dodgers, tossed 1 2/3 innings without an earned run and struck out two through the sixth and seventh. Designated hitter Kekai Rios, in his second season with New Hampshire, went 1-for-2 with a double and the RBI groundout.

Fisher Cats starter C.J. Van Eyk gave up two solo home runs over his first four innings and stranded four Richmond runners. The right-hander’s night ended after a walk and a hit in the top of the fifth; the first batter to face Van Eyk’s replacement, reliever Hunter Gregory, hit a home run. Van Eyk finished the evening with four earned runs on seven hits and three strikeouts.

Gregory wrapped up the top of the fifth and held the Richmond lead at 5-0.

New Hampshire’s offense came alive in the bottom of the fifth. Second baseman Miguel Hiraldo singled, then right fielder Garrett Spain doubled. With two runners in scoring position and no outs, Rios drove in Hiraldo with a ground ball to second. Center fielder Devonte Brown plated Spain with a chopper to shortstop. The bases cleared, and Richmond held a three-run lead.

Third baseman Ryan McCarty kept the rally alive with two outs, bashing a double off the right-center field wall. Shortstop Alex De Jesus did the same, and McCarty came around to score to cut the Flying Squirrels’ advantage to 5-3. De Jesus finished the night 2-for-4, and now has a hit in five straight games.

Richmond scored three unearned runs in the seventh, all with two outs, and one run in the eighth. New Hampshire right-hander Juan Nuñez tossed a scoreless ninth.

The series at Delta Dental Stadium continues Saturday night with a 6:35 PM EDT first pitch. New Hampshire southpaw Trenton Wallace (3-2, 2.94 ERA) to face Richmond LHP John Michael Bertrand (3-3, 3.14 ERA).