League-Best 'Cats Inch Closer to Playoff Berth
RICHMOND, VA - The New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays) continued their playoff push Friday night with a 4-1 triumph over the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants) at The Diamond in Virginia. As it stands, New Hampshire is three games up on second-place Trenton (Yankees) for the top spot in the Eastern Division and 12.0 games ahead of third place Reading (Phillies).
After two scoreless innings, the 'Cats broke through for three in the third. After singles from Santiago Espinal and Connor Panas then a groundout that moved the runners to second and third, a wild pitch forced home the first run of the game. Forrest Wall delivered an RBI groundout later in the inning that was followed by a two-out RBI single from Harold Ramirez to make it 3-0.
Max Pentecost belted his fifth home run of the season on the first pitch of the sixth to put New Hampshire up by four.
T.J. Zeuch (W, 8-4) was again excellent for the Fisher Cats. The right-hander logged six shutout innings, his second consecutive outing in which he went six stanzas without allowing a run. He scattered four hits, struck out five and didn't walk a batter.
Richmond avoided the shutout with a solo home run in the eighth, but that would be all as Corey Copping (S, 1) got the final four outs to secure a 4-1 'Cats victory.
Seven of nine starters had a hit in the game, with Espinal leading the way courtesy of his second three-hit game with New Hampshire. Pentecost, Wall and Jon Berti notched two knocks apiece.
With the win, the 'Cats improve to 20 games over .500 for the first time this season.
The Fisher Cats return to action tomorrow night for the second game of the series with the Flying Squirrels. Southpaw Tayler Saucedo will be opposed by Richmond's Logan Webb. Coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. with the Fisher Cats Pregame Show and continues with first pitch at 6:05 p.m. on the WGIR Fisher Cats Radio Network.
The next home game will be Tuesday, August 14 when New Hampshire will play host to Altoona (Pittsburgh Pirates Double-A). For tickets and information, visit nhfishercats.com or call (603) 641-2005.
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