New Hampshire Hardball

Fisher Cats 6/2, Patriots 3/3

BRIDGEWATER TOWNSHIP, N.J. – After rainouts on Friday and Saturday, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (12-14) split their Mother’s Day doubleheader against the Somerset Patriots (New York Yankees, 17-9). A first inning lead carried New Hampshire to a 6-3 win in Game 1. In Game 2, Somerset was two outs away from a no-hitter, and the Fisher Cats lost, 3-2.

Game one – New Hampshire 6, Somerset 3

The Fisher Cats showed no signs of rust after three days between games, tallying three runs in the first inning. New Hampshire loaded the bases with two walks and a hit by pitch by Patriots starter Luis Medina (L, 1-2), the No. 12 prospect in the Yankees system according to Luis De Los Santos then lifted a two-out, bases-clearing double to right-center that put the Cats up, 3-0.

Somerset added two runs in the bottom of the second. Paxton Schultz tallied two straight strikeouts to leave runners on first and third and keep New Hampshire in front. Schultz finished with 2.2 innings of work, allowing one hit and two earned runs. He walked three and struck out two.

New Hampshire scored twice more in the fourth inning with the help of two Somerset errors. Phil Clarke reached on an error and scored on a balk. Sebastian Espino also reached on an error and scored on a wild pitch, extending the Fisher Cats lead to 5-2.

After a Somerset run in the fourth, Sean Rackoski (W, 1-0) earned his first decision of the season with 1.1 innings of scoreless relief and struck out three.

Clarke’s solo home run in the sixth inning was his second of the year and put New Hampshire back up three, 6-3.

Parker Caracci threw two perfect innings in the sixth and seventh to earn his second save of the season and secure the Fisher Cats’ second win of the series.

Game two – Somerset 3, New Hampshire 2

Somerset starter Ken Waldichuk turned in the most brilliant pitching performance the Fisher Cats have seen this season. The lefty, ranked No. 6 in the Yankees system by, struck out the side in the first two frames and finished with 12 strikeouts in 5.0 innings. He did not allow a Fisher Cats hit and walked three batters.

After allowing his first baserunner with a walk to John Aiello, Waldichuk picked off Aiello at first to end the third inning.

Max Castillo (L, 3-1) nearly matched Waldichuk through the first two innings, allowing just one hit in his first two frames. Anthony Volpe, the No. 1 prospect for the Yankees according to, hit a solo homer in the third inning to break the scoreless tie.

After RBIs from Patriots right fielder Michael Beltre in the fourth and sixth innings, New Hampshire entered the top of the seventh trailing, 3-0, and did not have a hit.

Spencer Horwitz reached on an error, and Rafael Lantigua spoiled the no-hit bid with a hard-hit double to left field. He leads the team with seven doubles this season.

Ryan Gold then scored Horwitz on a sacrifice fly, and Lantigua scored on a wild pitch to pull New Hampshire within one, 3-2.

Sebastian Espino walked to put the tying run aboard, but a flyout to right field ended the game.

New Hampshire went 2-3 against Somerset this week in their first of three series this year. Due to two postponed games in New Jersey, the Fisher Cats will have a home doubleheader against the Patriots on June 15. Start time is to be determined.

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