New Hampshire Hardball

Patriots 8, Fisher Cats 7

BRIDGEWATER TOWNSHIP, N.J. – For the third time this season and for the second time in as many games, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats had a ninth-inning comeback that came up one run short Tuesday. New Hampshire (10-12) lost the series opener to the Somerset Patriots (New York Yankees, 15-7) by a score of 8-7.

Moments after first pitch at 11:08 a.m., the Fisher Cats offense awoke, scoring five runs across the first two innings. Orelvis Martinez blasted his seventh home run of the year in the top of the first inning. The 20-year-old Dominican Republic native is now tied for second in the Eastern League in home runs. He is 7-for-19 with four homers in first innings this year.

New Hampshire has now scored in the opening frame in 13 of its 22 games.

After a Tanner Morris single in the second inning, Zac Cook got in on the party with a two-run homer. Morris went 3-for-4 in his second straight three-hit game. Cook now has five long bombs this season, second only to Martinez.

Somerset scored four runs in the bottom on the second on a Michael Beltre grand slam and added another four in the fourth inning. The Patriots led, 8-5, heading into the fifth. They tabbed Joey Murray (L, 1-1) for four hits and eight earned runs across 3.1 innings of work. Murray walked four and struck out three.

Geison Urbaez and Sean Rackoski combined for 4.2 scoreless innings of relief. Urbaez has now worked 3.2 scoreless innings across his last two appearances. Rackoski has not allowed a run since his first appearance on April 22, good for 4.2 consecutive scoreless frames.

Somerset pitching held New Hampshire off the scoreboard from the third through the eighth inning. The Fisher Cats tallied three hits in that stretch.

In the ninth, the Fisher Cats added four hits, including a Sebastian Espino two-run homer, his first dinger since April 15. Trailing, 8-7, Steward Berroa and Zac Cook dropped bunt singles to put the leading run on first base. Martinez then hit a line drive that was caught in left field as Berroa was stealing third. Berroa was doubled up at second base to end the game.


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