by PATRICK CAVANAUGH
(MANCHESTER, NH)—The New Hampshire Fisher Cats continued their homestand and opened up a three-game series with the Erie SeaWolves on Friday night, falling to the
Western Division rival by a final score of 5-4.
The Fisher Cats got on the board early, plating three big runs in the bottom of the first inning. Roemon Fields walked to leadoff the game, and stole second base before Melky Mesa hit a pop-up that was mishandled by Erie the shortstop, which allowed him to score. Later in the inning, K.C. Hobson hit a 2 RBI infield single that gave New Hampshire a 3-0 edge.
The SeaWolves were able to strike back however. They tacked one run on the scoreboard in the top of fourth inning, after Dominic Ficociello hit a sacrifice fly to left-field and scored Jason Krizan from third base. Then in the sixth inning, JaCoby Jones hit a solo homerun to right field. In the top of the 7th, Erie plated a run on an Alberto Gonzalex RBI double, and Dean Green sealed the deal with a deep two-run homer in the top of the 8th frame, giving Erie a 5-3 lead.
New Hampshire scraped one run across in the bottom of the 8th inning after Ryan Schimpf hit a solo homer, but their efforts fell short and New Hampshire fell by a final score of 5-4.
“We had a chance to win the ballgame,” said Fisher Cats manager Bobby Meacham. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t come through a couple of times.”
New Hampshire’s ace starting pitcher Casey Lawrence threw well in Friday night’s contest. The righty hurled 7.1 innings, gave up 9 hits, 4 runs (all earned), and walked no Erie hitters. He showcased a dominant fastball in addition to a changeup, slider, and curveball.
“Casey goes out there, throws strikes, and gets them to put the ball in play,” said Meacham. “He kept us close, and in the end they got to him a little bit.”
Lawrence was charged with the loss, while the win was credited to Erie’s reliever Montreal Robertson.
With the loss to open up the weekend, the Fisher Cats drop game one of the three-game series with Erie. The Fishers and SeaWolves are back in action tomorrow night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester. New Hampshire left-handed pitcher Scott Barnes (2-3, 3.99) will take the hill. First pitch is slated for 7:05 P.M.
Patrick Cavanaugh covers professional baseball for www.BostonSportsU18.com. He can be reached at . Be sure to follow him on Twitter: @pcava12