New Hampshire Hardball

Fisher Cats 8, Sea Dogs 7

MANCHESTER – Two nights after Rafael Lantigua’s walk-off single against Portland, Spencer Horwitz delivered a walk-off base hit in the 10th inning to cap an exhilarating Fisher Cats comeback. New Hampshire (22-25) won, 8-7, over the Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox, 22-26) on Thursday night. The Fisher Cats scored four in the ninth inning and trailed by as many as five in the game.

New Hampshire fought back from a 5-0 sixth-inning deficit, and then from a 7-5 deficit in the 10th to win. The Cats are now on a four-game win streak, their longest of the 2022 season.

Horwitz’s walk-off single came on a breaking ball in a 2-2 count and was smacked into the opposite field in left to score Tanner Morris. One batter earlier, Orelvis Martinez tied the game, 7-7, with a 2-RBI double down the left field line.Martinez, the No. 2 prospect in the Blue Jays system according to, finished 2-for-5 with two doubles. His hits came in the ninth and 10th innings. Martinez now has 21 extra-base hits this year (seven doubles, 14 homers).
Down four in the bottom of the ninth, New Hampshire loaded the bases with no outs thanks to a Martinez double, a Horwitz walk and a John Aiello single. Phil Clarke stepped to the dish and hit a first-pitch single to shallow left field, scoring two runs and bringing the Cats with in two.

Portland made a pitching change, but Luis De Los Santos paid no mind. He crushed a two-run homer well over the right field wall to tie the game, 5-5, and force extras.

Mike Ellenbest
 (W, 1-0) gave up two runs in the 10th inning but earned his first win of the year. Both Portland runs were unearned, as New Hampshire made four errors in the victory, their most in a game all season.
Lantigua started off the night with a double, but it was New Hampshire’s only hit until the seventh inning. Portland’s lefty starter Chris Murphy stole the show early with 6.1 innings of shutout baseball. He walked two and struck out nine.

Murphy started the season opener on April 8 between New Hampshire and Portland. In that game, he threw 4.0 innings and allowed just one run on a Tanner Morris solo homer, striking out seven.

New Hampshire starter Brady Lail pitched the first 2.2 innings and allowed two runs, both of which scored on sacrifice flies. He walked one and struck out none. Lail came out of the game after in the third when manager Cesar Martin, pitching coaching Jim Czajkowski and the athletic trainer visited him on the mound. Lail has thrown over 800 minor league innings, along with 21.0 MLB innings, in his career.

Portland led, 2-0, heading into the fifth, when the Sea Dogs added more. Three scored on a double followed by a throwing error. Just one of the runs was earned, and Portland extended their lead to 5-0.

New Hampshire’s rally from five-down made for their largest comeback of the season.


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