New Hampshire Hardball

Big fifth lifts Fisher Cats

MANCHESTER — The New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays Double-A affiliate) scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning in Game 1 and Game 2 to sweep a doubleheader from Trenton (New York Yankees) with two comeback wins on Tuesday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

New Hampshire won Game 1, 6-4, and Game 2, 8-6.


New Hampshire found itself in a big hole early in the opener with Trenton scoring four runs on six hits in its first two innings. Ben Ruta knocked in runs with a single and a double while Chris Gittens had an RBI single and a run producing triple for a 4-0 lead.

The Fisher Cats sent 10 to the plate, scoring six times, in the bottom of the fifth inning of Game 1.

Ryan Hissey  singled to start the frame with Forrest Wall  and Kacy Clemens drawing walks to load the bases. Santiago Espinal  then laced a three-run double into the left field corner to cut the lead to 4-3. Nash Knight  followed with a single ahead of a game-tying double by Gunnar HeidtChad Spanberger  delivered the game-winning hit, a two-run double to right field for a 6-4 lead.

Relievers Ty Tice  (W, 1-2) and Jake Fishman (S, 1) combined to shut down Trenton over the final four innings.

In the nightcap, Trenton starter Nick Green held the Fisher Cats to one hit over the first four innings, but New Hampshire erupted again in the fifth.

Trailing 2-0, the Fisher Cats loaded the bases with nobody out on two singles and a walk. Brandon Grudzielanek  bunted back to the pitcher, but Green’s throw home was wild. A run scored, and the bases remained loaded for Wall. He doubled off the left field wall to plate a pair, and New Hampshire was ahead 3-2.

From there, Knight was intentionally walked to load the bases, but the Fisher Cats scored two more runs on a wild pitch and a passed ball. Alberto Mineo  made it 6-2 with a sacrifice fly.

The Thunder stormed back to tie the game at 6-6 with four runs in the sixth inning on two singles, a triple, and two New Hampshire errors, but the score would not stay tied for long.

After a Heidt walk to lead off the bottom of the sixth, Brock Lundquist  blasted his first home run in Double-A, a towering fly over the right field fence, to give the Fisher Cats an 8-6 lead.

Kirby Snead  (W, 2-0) struck out the side in the seventh inning to secure the win.

The Fisher Cats and Thunder will meet one more time on Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. LHP Zach Logue  (1-0, 3.38) will start for New Hampshire against Trenton RHP Albert Abreu (0-1, 7.45). For ticket information, visit

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