New Hampshire Hardball

Fisher Cats drop two

ALTOONA, Pa. – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats (7-5) dropped both games of a Thursday doubleheader to the Altoona Curve (Pittsburgh Pirates), 5-2 and 11-2. New Hampshire never led over the pair of games.

Game 1 – Altoona 5, New Hampshire 2
New Hampshire starter Joey Murray had another solid outing. The righty went 3.2 innings and gave up two earned runs while walking one and striking out three. He threw 68 pitches. Curve infielder Nick Gonzales, the No. 1 prospect in the Pirates system, scored both runs on Murray.

The Fisher Cats defense stole the show in the second inning. Second baseman Tanner Morris made an over-the-shoulder, basket catch in shallow right field and fired to first base for a double play. Moments later, shortstop Luis De Los Santos made a leaping grab on a Curve line drive to end the inning.

After a double from Spencer Horwitz in the top of the fourth, Sebastian Espino and Phil Clarke drew walks to load the bases. De Los Santos hit a sharp grounder into center field, scoring two runs and tying the game, 2-2.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Curve combined for four singles and two runs. Altoona led, 4-2, after five and would add another on a Will Matthiessen solo homer in the sixth.

New Hampshire left seven runners stranded in the 7-inning game, including runners on the corners in the sixth. Curve pitching held the Fisher Cats scoreless in the final three frames to take game one, 5-2.

Game 2 – Altoona 11, New Hampshire 2
Morris started off game two with a bang, taking the first pitch from Curve starter Mike Burrows out of the park over the right field fence. The blast was Morris’ third home run of the season, and every one has come on the first pitch of the at bat. Morris is 5-7 with three walks, three home runs and a hit by pitch in the first inning this year.

In the third inning, New Hampshire starter Nick Fraze (L, 1-1) allowed three runs, two of them earned, and Altoona (5-7) jumped in front, 3-1. Fraze threw 12.0 scoreless innings across his first three starts before allowing his first earned runs of the year to Altoona. The righty has a 1.35 ERA and finished with two walks and five strikeouts.

Rafael Lantigua scored Chris Bec on an RBI double in the fifth inning to bring New Hampshire within one, 3-2. That was the closest the Fisher Cats would get to the Curve on Thursday.

Altoona piled on seven runs in the fifth inning, the most runs allowed by New Hampshire pitching in a frame all year. The Curve scored another in the sixth and won, 11-2.


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