New Hampshire wins Friday in total team effort

Zac Cook. Promotional Photo/Kristin Basnett

Manchester, NH – Friday night’s game between New Hampshire and Harrisburg was tied three times, and the good guys pulled out to win in front of their home crowd at Delta Dental Stadium. The Fisher Cats (26-41, 57-79) scored late to claim a 5-4 victory over the Senators (Washington Nationals, 22-44, 52-83) in their penultimate game of the 2022 season .

The win was a total team effort. Eight of the nine players on the roster had hits. The pitchers had bright spots and there were no errors.

Tied 3-3 in the seventh inning, New Hampshire scored a pair of runs over the next two frames. Zac Cook smoked a solo homer, his 15th of the season, over the right field wall. In the eighth, Luis De Los Santos doubled up and Addison Barger singled it home for what turned out to be the winning run.

But New Hampshire also had big hits in big spots for most of the night. Late in the second set, Sebastian Espino smashed a wall-scratching double into the deepest part of the stadium, scoring Phil Clarke to tie the game, 1-1.

Harrisburg went up 2-1 in the third, but Orelvis Martinez tied the game with a swing in the bottom half of the fourth. He took the first pitch from Senators starter Jake Irvin to the left-field seats in front of the Sam Adams Brewhouse.

The home run was Martinez’s 30th of the season. He is the first Fisher Cat to reach that mark and the 14th player in all minor league baseball with 30 or more dingers this season. The 20-year-old is ranked No. 3 among Toronto system prospects.

In the sixth, De Los Santos and Barger reached base with a single and a double, respectively. Clarke kicked off with a groundout, and the Fisher Cats took their first lead, 3-2. The duo of De Los Santos and Barger was a combined 4 for 8 with two runs, two doubles and an RBI.

Starter Paxton Schultz was terrific, making his second quality start of the season. He went 6.0 innings and allowed five hits and two earned runs, including one on a solo homer. Schultz walked two and struck out six. He finishes the 2022 season with a 4.04 ERA and a 7-6 record.

The Senators squandered Schultz’s chance for victory with a run in the top of the seventh, but New Hampshire responded with the crucial two runs. Harrisburg scored in the top of the ninth, but Jimmy Burnette finished the game with a one-out save, eliminating Nationals No. 1 prospect Robert Hassell III. It was sold in Washington in the trade of Juan Soto.

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