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Fisher Cats rescue a split

By JOE DUBALL
New Hampshire Union Leader

July 18. 2018 9:19PM
The Fisher Cats' Cavan Biggio puts the tag on Trenton Thunder's Devyn Bolasky on his stolen-base attempt during the first game of Wednesday's double header in Manchester. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)



7/18/18--DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER--The Fisher Cats' Josh DeGraaf pitches to a Trenton Thunder batter during the first game of a double header in Manchester on Wednesday.

MANCHESTER — It looked like the New Hampshire Fisher Cats were on their way to a lost day Wednesday. That is, until Cavan Biggio did what he’s done best this season for the Fisher Cats.

Biggio’s Eastern League-leading 20th home run was timely as could be as it provided the tying and go-ahead runs in a 3-2 comeback win over the Trenton Thunder in the second game of a doubleheader at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

New Hampshire (53-41) was on its way to being swept on before Biggio’s blast as the Thunder took a 3-2 victory in a continuation of a suspended game from April 29.

“I was screaming ‘Get up! Get up!’ and I think it listened to me,” Fisher Cats manager John Schneider said of the homer. “I knew he hit it good, but I wasn’t sure it was high enough. But that’s just a good player stepping up in a really big spot.”

Trenton starter Brian Keller had a 2-0 lead and stumped New Hampshire’s lineup for 5 ⅔ innings before the Fisher Cats’ bats found new life. Bo Bichette walked between the first two outs of the sixth and Harold Ramirez drove Bichette in with an RBI double. Biggio worked his way to a hitter’s count of 3-1 before driving a fastball on a line just over the right-center field fence.

Biggio was prepared for anything when the ball went screaming off his bat, but like Schneider he wasn’t so certain the ball would get out like it did.

“All I was really thinking was to just run hard,” Biggio said. “I knew I hit it well and would at least crush the brick (wall in right) and shoot off so I could maybe get a triple out of it. The wind was blowing out and I just got under it a little bit, which had me hoping it would ride right out of here.”

The run-scoring hits by Biggio and Ramirez were part of a mere four-hit attack for the New Hampshire. The Fisher Cats scored in just two of the the 13 innings they played Wednesday.

Fortunately New Hampshire had starter Tayler Saucedo match Keller to give the bats a chance late. Saucedo allowed a run each in the third and sixth innings, but otherwise held Trenton in check. The lefty scattered six hits and struck out four on the way to his second Double-A win.

“What he did out there for us is exactly what we’re asking our starters to do,” Schneider said. “He pitched his tail off and I almost felt bad for him because we were lugging along there offensively. Really couldn’t have asked for anything more from him.”

New Hampshire played at a disadvantage in the opener as Trenton stepped on the field with a 3-0 lead as the game picked up in the bottom of the third inning.

After Andrew Guillotte led off New Hampshire’s ninth with a double, Juan Kelly twisted a pinch-hit, opposite-field two-run homer just over the right-field fence to cut the Fisher Cats’ deficit to a run. Harold Ramirez singled to put the tying run on base before a Bichette pop out and a Berti ground out ended the game.

Guillotte had two of New Hampshire’s seven hits and was the only batter to record a multi-hit game. The Fisher Cats left 10 runners on base.

Josh DeGraaf picked up where Francisco Rios left off on the mound for the Fisher Cats, combining with reliever Danny Young for six scoreless innings of relief. Rios took the loss despite not pitching Wednesday as he allowed all three Trenton runs before play was suspended .

Garrett Whitlock earned the win for Trenton after picking up where original starter Erik Swanson left off. Whitlock hurled five scoreless innings despite issuing five walks and allowing three hits.

New Hampshire will look to further its division lead as it opens up a four-game series with the Harrisburg Senators tonight at 7:05 at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium

jduball@unionleader.com


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