New Hampshire Hardball

Fisher Cats rally in ninth

Vinny Capra beat out a bunt single as Chad Spanberger scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning to give the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays Double-A affiliate) a 7-5 win over Erie (Detroit Tigers) in the opener of a three-game series Friday night at UPMC Park.

Erie tied the game in the bottom of the eighth inning with a two-run homer by Kody Eaves. New Hampshire responded with a pair in the ninth against losing SeaWolves reliever Ethan DeCaster (3-2). Spanberger led off the ninth with a double into the right field corner and Christian Williams followed with a single. Capra laid down the squeeze bunt as Spanberger scored. Williams advanced to third on a fielders choice by Forrest Wall and Santiago Espinal then singled to make it 7-5.

Dany Jimenez (S, 2) came out of the bullpen to nail down his second save, retiring Erie in order in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Erie’s Derek Hill led off the game with a home run to left field on the first pitch thrown by Fisher Cats starter Joey Murray. Issac Paredas, who went 3 for 3, followed with a single and scored on a double by Cam Gibson. The SeaWolves made it 3-0 in the second inning on a two-out base-hit by Paredas.

The Fisher Cats had a four-run top of the fourth inning that included a walk by Espinal, doubles by Josh PalaciosRiley Adams and Brock Lundquist, and a triple by Spanberger, knocking Erie starter Alex Faedofrom the game. Forrest Wall walked, Espinal singled, and Lundquist doubled in the fifth to put New Hampshire in front 5-3.

Murray allowed three runs on five hits in his five innings. He walked two and struck out seven. Corey Copping (W, 1-1) kept Erie off the board for two innings before yielding the Eaves homer. He earned the win.


NOTES: Santiago Espinal went 2 for 4, extending his hit streak to a season-best 10 games. He has driven in runs in each of the Fisher Cats last five games. … Brock Lundquist had three RBIs for the Fisher Cats, matching a season-high. He drove in two with a double in the fourth inning and another with his single in the fifth. … Erie, which had won 17 of 21 games, kept a one-game lead over Bowie in the Western Division after Portland rallied for a 7-6 win Friday night at Bowie. … The Fisher Cats and SeaWolves play again on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. RHP Thomas Hatch is scheduled to make his first start in the Blue Jays organization after coming over in a trade with the Cubs for Toronto reliever David Phelps. He’s expected to be opposed by Matt Manning for Erie. … The next home game at Delta Dental Stadium will be Aug. 6 at 7:05 p.m. when the Fisher Cats play the Akron RubberDucks. For tickets and information, visit

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