The Fisher Cats are now 6-1 this year against the Thunder at Waterfront Park this year. According to Stump Merrill, "Ortiz couldn't make a pitch when he had to." "He couldn't locate his fastball."
The Fisher Cats jumped to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first as Ortiz ran into some early trouble. Anton French led off the game with a bunt base hit. He advanced to second on a wild pitch before Tyrell Godwin struck out. The inning could have been worse had Mitch Jones not made an excellent running catch on a ball hit down the right field line by the next batter, Aaron Hill. Four consecutive hits did in Ortiz, who was helped out of the inning when Dominic Rich was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a single to left by Danny Solano to end the inning. In between, John-Ford Griffin doubled to the left field corner to score French, Makiel Jova hit a bloop single to center that scored Griffin, and Rich doubled to right center that scored Jova to put New Hampshire 3-0 after 1 inning.
The Fisher Cats added another run to their lead in the second. Jose Umbria led off the inning with a walk. After Ortiz retired the next two batters in order, Tyrell Godwin tripled to center on a ball that Kenny Lofton misplayed badly in centerfield. Umbria scored on Godwin's triple to give New Hampshire a 4-0 lead.
The Thunder cut the Fisher Cat lead to 4-3 in the second. Aaron Rifkin led off the inning with a double down the right field line that was followed by a single to right by Robinson Cano that moved Rifkin up to third. After Jackson Melian struck out, Mitch Jones hit a no doubt about it, three run homer to left center that pulled Trenton within 4-3. The homer was Jones 13th of the year.
New Hampshire came back with one of their own in the top of the third to take a 5-3 lead. John-Ford Griffin doubled to left center to lead off the inning and advanced to third on Jova's ground out to second before he scored on a sac fly to center off the bat of Dominic Rich to give New Hampshire their 5-3 lead.
After the Fisher Cats failed to score in the fourth, they added two more runs to their lead in the fifth. Aaron Hill led off the inning with a double to right center that was followed by a foul pop from John-Ford Griffin. The next batter, Jova walked to put runners at first and second. Rich singled to right to score Hill and move Jova to third where he scored on Danny Solano's sac fly to center to give New Hampshire a 7-3 lead.
Trenton got one back in the bottom half of the fifth, cutting the Fisher Cat lead to 7-4. Andy Cannizaro led off the inning with a double to left center and the next batter, Lofton, singled to center moving Cannizaro to third. He scored when Kevin Reese grounded into a fielders choice.
The Thunder cut the New Hampshire lead to 7-5 in the seventh after Stump Merrill was ejected by first base umpire Steve Fritzoni for arguing a close play at first base. A two out walk to Kevin Reese started the trouble for Brandon League. Dioner Navarro followed with a triple to the gap in right center that scored Reese.
Each team put another run on the board in the eighth to make it an 8-6 game. Justin Singleton led off the New Hampshire eighth with solo home run to right center field off Thunder reliever Scott Wiggins. In the Thunder eighth, Robinson Cano led off with a single to left. After a wild pitch to Jackson Melian that allowed Cano to move to second, Melian grounded to third and Mitch Jones singled to left center, advancing Cano to third. After Teuris Olivares lined to second, Andy Cannizaro singled to right to score Cano.
Thunder assistant coach Brad Elwood has been reassigned to Battle Creek. No reason for the assignment change was given. Dan Radison has been brought in to help coach the Thunder. Radison spent last year in the Gulf Coast League, where he managed the Yankees to a 26-31 record….Lofton went 1-for4 tonight, making him 2-for-7 on his rehab assignment…. Aaron Rifkin has been the most consistent Thunder hitter over the last month, hitting .352 over the last 30 games….Buddy Carlyle has issued only two walks in his 30.2 innings pitched, going into his start tomorrow against the Fisher Cats….Kevin Reese has 27 doubles on the season. That puts him eight away from the Thunder record for doubles in a season, 35, set by Shea Hillenbrand back in 2000. Reese is halfway to the Eastern League record for doubles in a season, 54, set by Dewey Steffens back in 1924. Reese also has a current 9 game hitting streak.….Dioner Navarro is in the midst of a 11-for-48 slide at the plate….The Thunder pitching staff has not allowed a walk in six different games this year….Trenton has a 13-17 record this year against teams from the Northern Division…..The Thunder are third in the Eastern League in average attendance, drawing on average 5,758 fans to Waterfront Park.…Jake Weber has hit safely in 12 of his last 15 games.… Pitching match ups for the rest of the New Hampshire series have Rik Currier(2-2) going against Todd Ozias (4-3) in Game One tomorrow with Buddy Carlyle(4-0) facing off against Josh Banks (0-0) in the night cap. Sean Henn (3-2) goes against Cameron Reamers (7-3) in the series and home stand finales on Sunday.