NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — Kevin Pillar pieced together a four-hit night and scored the game-winning run in the top of the ninth to help the Fisher Cats (20-22) beat the New Britain Rock Cats 4-3 on Friday night.
The victory is just New Hampshire's third against the Rock Cats (20-21) this season as it starts a seven-game road trip.
The winning rally started for the Fisher Cats with one out. Pillar reached on an infield single to shortstop before stealing second base against New Britain reliever Mike Tonkin (L; 1-2). After a single by Ricardo Nanita moved Pillar to third, Clint Robinson's groundball to short trickled through Danny Santana's legs to bring home Pillar for the winning run.
Joel Carreno closed the door in the bottom of the ninth, working around a single and a two-out walk for his third save. He picked up the save to end a good night for the bullpen, which had allowed seven runs on Thursday. Carreno (save, 3), Evan Crawford (win 2-1), and Dustin Antolin (Double-A debut) combined for four scoreless innings in relief of Tyson Brummett.
Pillar's four hits led the Fisher Cats offense, but the biggest blow of the night belonged to Nashua's Kevin Nolan. Trailing 3-1 in the sixth, Nolan smashed a 2-0 fastball to left field for his third home run. The blast tied the game at 3-3, nearly clearing a 45-foot-high video board structure in the process. Adam Loewen had a solo homer for the Fisher Cats.
The series continues tonight at 6:35. Lefty Sean Nolin (1-0, 1.93) takes the ball against New Britain southpaw Logan Darnell (3-2, 2.06).