The New Hampshire Fisher Cats take down the Portland Seadogs during my visit to the Toronto Blue Jays Double-A affiliate.
The Fisher Cats came hot out of the gate as Sean Reid-Foley marched through the Seadogs first 3 hitters in the 1st inning. This set an excellent tone for the Fisher Cats to carry into the bottom of the inning. The Cats attack was ready to claw in runs during this one as they kicked things off with a 4 run bottom of the first.
The Cats were able to get to former Boston Red Sox starter Henry Owens. He has been working on his mechanics with a new arm slot that looked very Chris Sale like in nature. That being said he had plenty of issues with the Cats in the first inning. He walked Jonathan Davis to start the inning and moved up to second on a wild pitch. Richard Urena then singled to put runners on 1st and 3rd. Danny Jansen promptly made the Seadogs pay with a single.
Things only got worse for own who now trailed 1-0 when he plunked Ryan McBroom. Now the bases were loaded for Tim Lopes who walked to force the 2nd run home. Gunnar Heidt came on and wrecked a pitch into left center field to plate a pair of runs. This put the cats up 4-0 to end the first.
Sean Reid-Foley found a groove early in this one and only had minor bumps in this one. Reid-Foley did not allow base runner during the first three innings on his first go around vs the Seadogs lineup. He was masterful and looked untouchable through those 3 innings. On to the 4th, the Seadogs were able to find a gap in the armor and get 2 runs in the 4th inning. A single and double led to a sac fly along with a run scoring fielders choice. This puts the Seadogs within striking distance but down 4-2.
In the 5th Harold Ramirez led off the home half of the inning with a single. Owens tripped mid delivery and was called for a balk. This moved Ramirez up to second for Tim Lopes. Lopes then singled to put runners on the corners. Derrick Loveless then singled to drive in both runners. Loveless then was able to reach 2nd base on a failed pick off at first base to extend the inning. The old saying don’t give a team extra outs rang true as Jonathan Davis singled to score Loveless. The Fisher Cats extended the lead to 7-2.
The Seadogs were able to get to get to Sean Reid-Foley one more time on a Michael Chavis solo home run. That was the Red Sox’s 9th ranked prospects 5th home run of the season. Reid-Foley would finish the inning and have a final line 6 IP, 4 hits, 3 ER, 2 walks, and 3 K’s.
The Fisher Cats made the lead even more crooked in the bottom of the 7th where they put up another set of 3 runs. Tim Lopes singled to lead off the inning which capped of a 3-4 afternoon. Next Gunnar Heidt had another RBI opportunity. He crushed an outside pitch around the right field foul pole. The opposite field 2 run home was his 11th home run of the season and his second home run in as many days. The All-Stars home run put the Cats up 10-3.
Carlos Ramirez pitched 2 innings of shutout baseball while allowing just 1 hit. He also did not walk a batter and punched out 2. Justin Shaffer came in for the 9th and allowed a hit to start the inning. Shaffer settled in and was able to shut down the Seadogs to seal the victory.
During the game, some of the Fisher Cats players really stood out. Sean Reid-Foley was able to start his second half on a solid note with a quality start in which he looked like an ace for the majority of the start. He started off perfect as he shut down the first 9 batters in this one. Tim Lopes went 3-4 with a double, 2 runs scored, and an RBI. Matt Dean was the only Fisher Cat to not record a hit in this one and 5 players had multi hit performances.
Gunnar Heidt earns player of the game honors in this one as he went 2-4 with a double, a 2 run homer, and 4 RBIs total.
Visit Review: Do yourself a favor if you are in the area of Manchester, NH and go see a Fisher Cats game. It is a beautiful ballpark and just hosted the Double-A All-Star game. It is a great ballpark for all ages and you will have a #FerociousFun time.