Category Archives: NH Sports

SeaDogs Bring Knuckleballer to NH

by PATRICK CAVANAUGH

(SeaDogs.com)

(MANCHESTER, N.H.)—It may not be the ideal night for baseball, but nonetheless, two rivals will face off in the Queen City tonight. The New Hampshire Fisher Cats take on the Portland Sea Dogs in game two of the three game series. The Fisher Cats will throw RHP Deck McGuire. The SeaDogs give righty Charlie Haegar the nod.

Haegar, 29, was drafted in 2001 by the Chicago White Sox when he was only 17! Another unique thing about Haegar is he throws a flawless knuckleball. He hurls it in at about 70 mph, and it is fairly accurate. The Eastern League has certainly seen it’s fair share of talent before, and this guy is another name to add to the list.  Charlie Haegar may be a little too old to see time in The Show, but he certainly shows the big-league caliber talent that the Sea Dogs need.

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats will go on to play the Portland Sea Dogs tomorrow (5/15) before they head on a seven-game roadtrip. For live updates throughout tonight’s game, you can follow Patrick on Twitter (@pcava12).

Patrick Cavanaugh covers pro baseball for www.BostonSportsU18.com. He can be reached at

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Fisher Cats Drop Series to New Britain

by PATRICK CAVANAUGH

(MANCHESTER, NH)—The Fisher Cats got on the scoreboard first, but in this case, one run isn’t good enough to win the game.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx, the Fisher Cats starter, glided quickly through the first couple of innings. He gave up one run in the fifth, but things fell apart in the seventh after he gave up a single to former Fisher Cat Mark Sobolewski, and the defense behind Bibens-Dirkx committed a throwing error, which resulted in two New Britain runs crossing the plate.

“He did a great job but he gave up some hits,” said Fisher Cats skipper Gary Allenson in a postgame interview. “Overall he kept it to a minimum.”

Evan Crawford came in and pitched the completion of the 7th, as well as the entire 8th inning. He gave up one earned run, walked a batter, and struck out one batter as well. After eight, the score stood 4-1 in favor of the Rock Cats.

There were a few close calls on the diamond, including a balk call in the top of the 8th, which resulted in a New Britain runner moving from first to second base. The runner went on to score what was the Rock Cats fourth run.

“We were still down by two runs and its hard to tell if the guy really balked or not from my point of view.” said Allenson.

The Fisher Cats now go on a seven game road-trip, playing three games in Reading against the Phillies, and four against the Thunder in Trenton. The team will return home next Friday (5/3) to open up a six-game homestand.

Patrick Cavanaugh covers pro baseball for www.BostonSportsU18.com. He can be reached at .

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Fisher Cats Win Home Opener!

by Patrick Cavanaugh

(MANCHESTER, N.H.)–The New Hampshire Fisher Cats won their home opener 9-0 against the Reading Fightin’ Phils on Thursday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. It was a solid team effort that won the game for the Fisher Cats, and the 6, 224 fans in attendance seemed pleased by the outcome.

Kenny Wilson, John Tolisano, and Brad Glenn were some of top contributors for the Fishers. Wilson had three hits, Glenn had two hits, and John Tolisano had a two run homer that got the momentum going for the Fisher Cats. You do however, have to give credit to the hometown hero Kevin Nolan who had an RBI single to plate the first Fisher Cats runs of the season.

In the end, the Fisher Cats blew out the Reading Fightin’ Phils 9-0 and look ahead to tomorrow’s matchup where RHP Marcus Walden gets the nod for the Fisher Cats.

 

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NH Native Highlights Fisher Cats Roster

by Patrick Cavanaugh

(MANCHESTER, N.H.)–It is opening night in Manchester, NH, as the New Hampshire Fisher Cats are set to take on the Reading Fightin’ Phils (formerly the Reading Phillies) at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

(Courtesy of NH Fisher Cats)

Upon glancing at the Fisher Cats roster, you will notice one name that sticks out like a sore thumb. Kevin Nolan, a New Hampshire native, is listed as an infielder on the Fishers roster, his stats show that he has the Double-A caliber that the Fisher Cats are going to need this season.

Nolan, 25, shined bright in Spring Training, and started at shortstop in the season opener. He got right to work and showcased his skills early in the season opener Thursday night, as he had an RBI single to score the Fisher Cat’s first run of the season. The crowd immediately erupted with cheers and applause. What a homecoming for the “granite stater!”

Follow Patrick Cavanaugh on Twitter (@pcava12) for Fisher Cats updates throughout the season. He can be reached by email at .

Posted in Baseball, Home, NH Sports | Tagged Kevin Nolan, , , Reading Fightin Phillies | Leave a comment

Fisher Cats Baseball is Back!

by Patrick Cavanaugh

(MANCHESTER, N.H.)–Ten years. Seven managers. Two championship rings. A countless amount of players making their way from the Minor Leagues to The Show.

New Hampshire Fisher Cats is back for the 10th season! It seems like just yesterday we were back at historic Gill Stadium in the championship inaugural season back in 2004. Since then, Manchester has seen the faces that shape today’s baseball world pass right before their eyes. Oh my, time has flew by!

Tomorrow, April 2, the Fisher Cats will host their annual Media Day from 12-2PM. Players and coaches will be available for pictures and interviews with the local media. I will be running a live blog, giving insight to the festivities at the ballpark. The live blog will start at 11 AM and can be found by clicking here.

See you at the ballpark!

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Boston College 79, Dartmouth 58: Joe Rahon Perfect from Behind the Arc in BC Win

by Alex Fairchild and D.J. Barrile

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — In front of a crowd of 2,678 at Conte Forum, the Boston College Eagles faced off against Dartmouth College in a New Years’ Eve battle. It started off rocky for Boston College as Dartmouth jumped out early on a 6-0 run before Joe Rahon hit his first three to get BC on the board. This was the largest lead Dartmouth would hold over BC. Dartmouth hung around until midway through the first half thanks to the sharp shooting of guard Alex Mitola and the great play of big man Gabas Maldunas. At 9:23 BC went on a 5-1 run started by an Olivier Hanlan three pointer. Boston College never lost this new found.

Connor Boehm did his part in the Dartmouth comeback effort with 7 total points in the first half and 5 consecutive points including a layup that brought them within two points with 5:03 left in the first half. Boston College proved too strong however and ended the half on an 8-0 run finished by a Ryan Anderson jumper.

BC led at the half 41-33.

Boston College’s freshman backcourt stood out in the first half with Olivier Hanlan scoring 10 points and grabbing 4 rebounds, while Joe Rahon contributed 9 points and 4 helpers.

Rahon had quite the game. The freshman guard went 6 of 6 from behind the arc and racked up 24 points on the afternoon, tacking on five assists in the process. Rahon was hitting from everywhere, whether it was the corner, or the top of the key. His play got BC out of quagmire early in the second half, as his 1st three of the period gave the Eagles a 49-35 advantage.

It was Ryan Anderson who assisted Joe on two of those early threes, which proved to be of extreme importance for a team bereft of their captain Dennis Clifford. Anderson has done particularly well in the five spot, as one of the best overall players in the ACC found Lonnie Jackson after a beautiful combination between the two.

Olivier Hanlan earned BC their biggest lead of the game, after a three point play of his put his side in front by 17. Rahon followed up his fellow freshman by hitting his fifth three, and a few possessions later his sixth of the afternoon. The playmaker came off the court with under 4 minutes to go, receiving applause from a minuscule Conte Forum crowd.

Another Lonnie Jackson three put five Eagles in double digits late in the game.

Steve Donahue had the opportunity to throw the backups in, giving Danny Rubin & Co. rare minutes in the team’s 79-58 victory, to put them at 8-5 on the year. However, the second choice lineup failed to score and allowed 7 points into their hoop while on the floor.

“We looked at our schedule before the year started, especially this month of December, where we had six home games and didn’t have to travel,” said Joe Rahon, “One of our goals was to get all six and we ended up dropping the first one to Harvard, but we were able to bounce back and get the next five.”

As for the freshman’s career day, he was in the zone, saying, “It was one of the days where the first one goes in and you’re feeling good.

“They were able to fall for me today, and it’s a good feeling.”

Steve Donahue complemented his playmaking guard, in addition to the play of Joe’s Canadian colleague Olivier Hanlan.

“To be honest with you,” said coach, “I’m really amazed that they’re this far along. I thought they’d be prepared to play at this level, but Joe Rahon, he might as well be a seasoned senior right now. He does everything you can imagine on a basketball court. There’s no BS to him, he just goes out [and] he knows the game. Oliver has learned rapidly what it takes to win at this level. Both kids are lightyears away from what I anticipated.”

The coach that took Cornell to the Sweet Sixteen several years ago told the press that he his proud of his team, as they enter ACC play facing No. 23 ranked North Carolina State.

Earlier in the season he commented that the boys are sometimes “too coachable,” though they are beginning to show much improvement according to Donahue.

“I thought today, a little bit in particular [they were]. I’d yell at them to run a set and they weren’t even listening to me and that’s a good sign. They are playing. They’re holding each other accountable out there as well, and that’s less of me which is a good thing.”

Posted in Home, NCAA Hoops, NH Sports | Tagged , , Dartmouth Big Green | Leave a comment

Red Sox Skipper Fired

by Patrick Cavanaugh

(BOSTON, M.A.)–It’s official. Bobby Valentine is no longer the manager of the Boston Red Sox, after he was fired on Thursday afternoon by management. There had been

Bobby Valentine signs for fans (Kevin Littlefield)

rumors being spread, saying the skipper would be fired sometime in the near future, but the Red Sox made the official announcement in a press statement around 1:00 PM on Thursday.

This decision does not strike many by surprise, as the Sox finished off their worst season since 1965, with a record of 69-93. This was also the first season that the Sox finished last in the AL East during the eleven year reign of John Henry and Tom Werner, the team’s owners.

“I understand this decision,” said Valentine in a statement released by the Red Sox Media Relations Department.  “This year in Boston has been an incredible experience for me, but I am as disappointed in the results as are ownership and the great fans of Red Sox Nation.”

In an interview with WEEI, the former skip thought that his coaching staff did not back him up at all times during the season.

“There were situations during the year I didn’t think it was all for one or one for all, whatever it is,” Valentine said in an interview with WEEI. ”I don’t really remember specifically… It was just a feeling.”

The Fenway Park centennial season is certainly one to remember, but not for the right reasons. Ben Cherington, the team’s Vice President and GM,  said “No single individual is to blame for the disappointing 2012 season.”

As for Mr. Valentine, he said he enjoyed his stay in Beantown.

“It was a privilege to be part of the 100 year anniversary of Fenway Park and an honor to be in uniform with such great players and coaches,” said Valentine.  “My best to the organization.  I’m sure next year will be a turnaround year.”

So without blaming the falls of this season on a particular person, lets take a look at some of the solutions to make the 2013 season better than 2012.

First, the Red Sox need to do a total personnel clean up. The organization started making some major changes earlier in the season, which include firing the pitching coach Bob McClure, and trading Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto. The Sox need to continue with this trend. Spring is a long way aways but there is no doubt the Red Sox will be doing their share of “Spring Cleanup” before April comes around again.

Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino agrees, saying, “This year’s won-loss record reflects a season of agony. More [changes] will come.”

Patrick Cavanaugh covers pro baseball for BostonSportsU18. He can be reached at .

Posted in Home, NH Sports | Tagged beantown, Ben Cherington, Bobby Valentine, , larry lucchino, | Leave a comment

Portland Ends Season on 7-3 Loss to Reading; Reading Advances to Postseason

by Patrick Cavanaugh

(Portland, M.E.)–It was a nail-biting game that both the Sea Dogs and the Phillies wanted to win. Reading wanted a shot at the postseason, and the Sea Dogs wanted no such thing. The end result; Portland’s wheels came off in the final innings, and the Reading Phillies get the 7-3 victory over Portland, and advance to the postseason.

Reading hit the scoreboard right away, as Jake Fox had a homer off the left-field foul poll in the top of the first inning, getting Reading the early 2-0 lead.

Portland countered quickly, scoring three runs in the bottom of the inning, off a Marquez Smith two-run homer, and a run-scoring ground-out.

The Phillies went on to score three unanswered runs in the 2nd, 6th, 8th, and 9th inning, making the score 7-3 in favor of the Phillies, as the Sea Dogs went into their last at-bats.

The Sea Dogs could not get anything accomplished in the home half of the ninth, and the game was in the books. The Reading Phillies get the win, and go to the postseason.

Patrick Cavanaugh covers pro baseball for BSU18. He can be reached at .

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Portland Sea Dogs Announce Annual Team Awards

by Patrick Cavanaugh

(Portland, M.E.)–Today is the Portland Sea Dogs’ last game of the season, and as always they had their annual Team Awards promotion at Hadlock Field in downtown Portland, Maine.

Here are the results of this year’s awards:

Citizen of the Year: Matt Spring

10thPlayer Award: Jeremy Kehrt

Pitcher of the Year: Chris Hernandez

Most Valuable Player: Bryce Brentz

Had the Red Sox prospect Xander Bogaerts been around longer, there is no doubt he would have been named the team’s MVP. You can check out the story I did on Bogaerts last week by clicking here.

Follow me for live updates throughout today’s game on Twitter (@pcava12).

Patrick Cavanaugh covers pro baseball for BSU18. He can be reached at .

 

Posted in Baseball, Home, NH Sports | Tagged bryce brentz, chris hernandez, jeremy kehrt, maine, matt spring, , , sea dogs, team awards | Leave a comment

Fisher Cats Blank Portland 7-0

by Patrick Cavanaugh

(MANCHESTER, N.H.)—The Fisher Cats are back on the right track, after they took the 7-0 win over the Portland Sea Dogs late Wednesday night, in front of a crowd of 4,020 at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

Tuesday night, the Fisher Cats snapped their five-game winning streak, after they went to extra innings and allowed the Sea Dogs to go on a six-run scoring spree in the top of the 12th inning.

As for tonight’s game, the Fisher Cats got some payback on the Sea Dogs in the bottom of the second inning, when they picked up five runs.

Koby Clemens was first to get two runs on board for the Fisher Cats, when he hit an RBI single to left-field, to score Brian Van Kirk and Gabe Jacobo.

The Fisher Cats go their third run of the inning when Ryan Goins had a double to score Clemens.

The adrenaline kept pumping, as the Fisher Cats put up back-to-back singles to score two more runs, making the score 5-0, and the Fishers had a big lead, early in the game.

The Fisher Cats scored again the following inning, when Fisher Cats outfielder Brian Van Kirk reached on a Sea Dogs fielding error, scoring John Tolisano and getting the Fisher Cats the 6-0 lead.

In the bottom of the seventh, Fisher Cats left-fielder Ryan Schimpf hit a drive deep to center-field to make the score 7-0.

The Sea Dogs never answered, so the Fisher Cats find themselves back on track, blanking the SeaDogs   7-0 in tonight’s game.

The win was credited to New Hampshire’s Yohan Pino. The loss was charged to Portland’s Brandon Workman.

There is no better way to end season coverage, then a game between the arch-rivals. Yes, tonight’s game is the last Fisher Cats game I will be covering this year. The ‘Cats  play the Sea Dogs tomorrow in the series finale, before traveling to New Britain for a four-game season ending series on the road.

WRAP-UP: Tonight I bid farewell to Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. For the 2012 season that is. Tonight was my last night at the ballpark, and I couldn’t have asked for a better game. The Fisher Cats mindset seemed to be in the right place tonight, and thankfully I bid farewell to the 2012 season on a good note.

As always, I hate to say goodbye to a season and the players and coaches I have met during the season, but with every season ending, comes a season beginning, and a few familiar faces.

I want to thank all of my new and returning friends that I often see in the pressbox: Tom Gauthier, Bob Lipman, Chris Shuker, Kevin Gray, Shawn and Lionel, and all of our official scorers.

It has been a great season and I am already counting down the days to next year’s Fisher Cats home opener (April 4, 2013).

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