New Hampshire Hardball

Fisher Cats 10, Baysox 3

Nick Podkul hit the team’s fourth grand slam of the season, Gabriel Moreno recorded three RBIs and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays Double-A affiliate) scored eight runs in the eighth inning to beat the Bowie Baysox (Baltimore Orioles) 10-3 at Prince George’s Stadium on Wednesday night, upping their season-best winning streak to five games.

Down 3-1 in the sixth, New Hampshire began its comeback effort. After Otto Lopez tripled with one out against reliever Cody Sedlock (L, 1-1), Moreno drove him in with a run-scoring groundout to cut the deficit to one.

In the eighth, after three straight walks issued to Samad Taylor, Austin Martin and Lopez, Moreno stepped to the plate again against Sedlock. On a 2-1 pitch, the 21-year-old grounded a two-run single to center to put the Fisher Cats ahead 4-3.

Moreno, who is the reigning Double-A Northeast Player of the Week, now has a league-best 44 RBIs this season. He’s also logged four multi-hit efforts over his last five games.

After Tim Naughton replaced Sedlock, New Hampshire put the game out of reach. Vinny Capra stroked a two-run single, and Nick Podkul capped the frame with the Fisher Cats fourth grand slam of the year to make it a 10-3 contest. The single-season franchise record is five grand slams.

New Hampshire has now scored eight runs in an inning three times this season.

Graham Spraker (W, 1-0) earned the win in relief, tossing two hitless innings and striking out four. Jon Harris wrapped up the victory with a perfect ninth.

For the fourth straight game, the Fisher Cats scored first. With two outs in the second, Jordan Groshans singled against Bowie starter Blaine Knight. After a Chavez Young walk and a Capra single loaded the bases, Tanner Kirwer drew a four-pitch walk to put the Fisher Cats on top 1-0.

That would be the lone run against Knight, who registered five innings, allowing four hits and one run while walking three and striking out four.

Bowie immediately responded to the Fisher Cats’ run by taking the lead in the bottom of the second against starter Johnny Barbato, a former big leaguer with the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Detroit Tigers.

Patrick Dorrian reached on an infield single, and Tyler Stowers followed with an RBI double to center to knot the score at one. Then, Toby Welk walked, and with Robert Neustrom batting, Barbato issued a wild pitch to move Stowers and Welk up a base.

Later in the at-bat, Neustrom smacked a two-run triple to center to give the Baysox a 3-1 edge.

Barbato settled down after that and logged his second quality start with New Hampshire. He registered six innings, yielding seven hits and three runs while walking two and striking out five.


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