New Hampshire Hardball

Juenger, Fisher Cats win series

PORTLAND, Maine – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats (2-1) scored six runs across the seventh and eighth innings on Sunday to defeat the Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox, 1-2) and secure their first series win of 2022. Hayden Juenger and Paxton Schultz (W, 1-0) combined for seven scoreless innings and 12 strikeouts in the victory.

Juenger started the game in his first Double-A appearance and struck out seven batters his first time through the Portland order. He allowed one baserunner in three innings of work — Sea Dogs shortstop David Hamilton reached on a walk.

Schultz was originally scheduled to start on Sunday, but after a rain-shortened game on Saturday, manager Cesar Martin gave Juenger the nod and brought Schultz in in the fourth.

Schultz carried the combined no-hit bid into the sixth, as he retired the first eight batters he faced. Hamilton then hit a ground ball to shortstop and beat out the throw from Orelvis Martinez for an infield single. Schultz earned the win, allowing no runs and two hits while striking out five and issuing no walks.

Portland had five hits in the game, and only one reached the outfield.

New Hampshire had its own struggles at the plate early. Sea Dogs starter Brandon Walter pitched five innings and faced one batter over the minimum, allowing one hit and striking out seven.

With the game scoreless in the top of the seventh, Rafael Lantigua hit a leadoff double to left field, and Spencer Horwitz singled soon after. Zac Cook was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs, and Phil Clarke belted a 3-RBI double off the base of the right field wall to give the Fisher Cats the lead.

On the next pitch from Portland reliever Joan Martinez, Luis De Los Santos smacked another double to left field, scoring Clarke and putting New Hampshire up, 4-0.

Horwitz hit New Hampshire’s fourth double of the game in the eighth and scored Tanner Morris and Lantigua, both of whom reached base on singles.

Hagen Danner got two quick outs in the bottom of the ninth, but Sea Dogs hitters five through nine all reached base and cut the Fisher Cats lead to four, 6-2. The two runs snapped a 17-inning scoreless streak by the New Hampshire pitching staff, going all the way back to the fifth inning of Friday’s season opener. Trey Cumbie relieved Danner and struck out Hamilton to end the game.

The Fisher Cats are off on Monday. They return to Delta Dental Stadium for a six-game homestand beginning Tuesday, April 12 against the Hartford Yard Goats.


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