Wallace posts quality start, Fisher Cats fall in extras

Photo/NH Fisher Cats

MANCHESTER, NH — New Hampshire and Richmond needed extra innings for the second time this week, as the Fisher Cats (28-34) fell to the Flying Squirrels (29-33) in 11 innings on Saturday night, 3-2. The Fisher Cats finished 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position and left 15 batters on base, a season-high.

Stuck in a 2-2 tie, New Hampshire left the winning run on-base in both the ninth and tenth innings. Richmond then scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th with an unearned run off Fisher Cats lefty Jimmy Burnette (L, 1-2). Richmond’s Tyler Myrick (W, 1-3) staved New Hampshire away from the scoreboard in the final three innings and struck out two.

New Hampshire starter Trenton Wallace allowed a pair of runs in his six innings for his fourth quality start of the season. With two outs in the fifth inning, Wallace gave up a single and a two-run home run on two itches and exited with the Fisher Cats trailing Richmond, 2-0.

After five scoreless innings from Richmond starter John Michael Bertrand, New Hampshire’s offense awoke in the bottom of the sixth against the Flying Squirrels’ bullpen. First baseman Andres Sosa led off the inning with a single, then with two outs, catcher Kekai Rios ripped a double down the left field line to advance Sosa to third. The next batter, Devonte Brown, poked a backside single into right to score Sosa and cut Richmond’s lead in half, 2-1.

The middle of the Cats order was the catalyst for New Hampshire to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. Shortstop Josh Kasevich singled to start the frame, then Alex De Jesus ripped a double to right. De Jesus has a hit in six straight games. Miguel Hiraldo clubbed a sacrifice fly to center field to score Kasevich and knot the contest at 2-2.

Reliever Eric Pardinho held Richmond off the scoreboard with four strikeouts in two scoreless innings. New Hampshire had a leadoff runner in McCarty in the bottom of the ninth, who was hit by a pitch, but couldn’t score to force a 10th inning.

Richmond’s decisive run came in the top of the 11th against Burnette, who walked his first batter faced. A groundout moved inherited runner Carter Howell to third and the Fisher Cats intentionally walked Victor Bericoto to load the bases. Flying Squirrels Andy Thomas grounded to Kasevich and reached on a fielder’s choice to push the go-ahead run across and lead, 3-2.

Despite a successful bunt single from Rios in the bottom of the 11th to place runners at the corners with nobody out, New Hampshire’s top three hitters were retired to give Richmond their second-straight win.

The series at Delta Dental Stadium concludes on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16, with a 1:35 PM EDT first pitch. New Hampshire right-hander Michael Dominguez (2-1, 4.36 ERA) opposes Richmond RHP Carson Ragsdale (2-3, 4.09 ERA), a rematch of Tuesday’s series opener which New Hampshire won, 3-1.

Next week, the Fisher Cats welcome the Reading Fightin’ Phils to Manchester from Tuesday, June 18 through Sunday, June 23. The conclusion of the Reading series marks the end of the first half of the season.