Altoona, Pa. – Entering Wednesday’s matchup against the Altoona Curve (Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-7), the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (7-3) had not been in a game that was tied after six or more innings this season. The series opener at Altoona was tied, 3-3, after nine innings before New Hampshire won,
Altoona, Pa. – Entering Wednesday’s matchup against the Altoona Curve (Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-7), the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (7-3) had not been in a game that was tied after six or more innings this season. The series opener at Altoona was tied, 3-3, after nine innings before New Hampshire won, 4-3, in 10.
Spencer Horwitz had the game-winning RBI in the top of the 10th, and the New Hampshire bullpen tossed 8.0 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts. Jake Elliott (W, 1-0) worked 2.0 perfect innings in the ninth and 10th, striking out five.
“I felt really good,” Elliott said following the win. “My best pitch is my changeup, and that was definitely on tonight. They didn’t seem to be seeing it real well.”
Back in the first inning, Jack Suwinski struck first for Altoona with a solo homer to left field to put the Curve up, 1-0. Will Matthiessen added a 2-run shot in the second, and Altoona moved ahead, 3-0.
New Hampshire starter Hayden Juenger threw 2.0 innings and allowed three earned runs while striking out four. Juenger issued no walks and threw 33 pitches before handing the keys to the Fisher Cats bullpen.
Horwitz blasted his first homer of the season in the top of the third, scoring two runs and bringing New Hampshire within one, 3-2. Horwitz has a hit in eight of 10 games played this year with 7 RBI.
Fisher Cats reliever Geison Urbaez pitched his longest outing of the season, spinning 3.0 scoreless frames. He allowed three hits and struck out three while issuing no walks.
In the top of the seventh, Steward Berroa reached on an infield single, his second hit of the night. Berroa was the only Fisher Cat with a multi-hit game. After stealing second base, Berroa came home to score on a Zac Cook single which tied the game, 3-3.
Marcus Reyes and Hagen Danner pitched a combined 3.0 scoreless innings for New Hampshire. Reyes left two Altoona runners stranded in scoring position, notably forcing an inning-ending double play in the bottom of the seventh. Danner loaded the bases for the Curve with one out in the bottom of the eighth but delivered a crucial strikeout to Carter Bins followed by a groundout from Matthiessen.
Altoona left 10 runners on base in the game.
The Fisher Cats did not register a hit after the seventh inning, but they took advantage of the minor league rule which places a runner on second base at the start of extra innings.
Cook started on second in the 10th and moved to third on a passed ball by Curve catcher Carter Bins. Horwitz drove Cook home on a groundout to shortstop, his third RBI of the game.
After striking out the side in the ninth, Elliott worked a perfect bottom of the 10th with two strikeouts and a fly out to end the game. Acquired as a minor league free agent on April 12, Elliott spent five seasons in the Chicago White Sox system.
“It’s always an anxious, nervous thing, joining a new team,” Elliott said. “You’re always trying to make a good first impression, and hopefully I have.”
The Fisher Cats continue their six-game road series with Altoona with a doubleheader on Thursday starting at 4:30 p.m. The Fisher Cats return home to Delta Dental Stadium to play the Reading Fightin Phils (Philadelphia Phillies) from Tuesday, April 26 through Sunday, May 1. Tickets for the six-game homestand can be found at NHFisherCats.com, via email at [email protected], over the phone at (603) 641-2005, or in-person at the Fisher Cats box office at 1 Line Drive in Manchester.