(Manchester, NH) – New Hampshire scored five in the first inning to pull ahead, then fended off a Trenton charge by plating six more in the eighth as the Fisher Cats drubbed the Thunder, 15-7, Monday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. Seven Trenton hurlers combined to allow 14 hits and 13 walks, the last four of those from outfielder Shane Brown who entered when the Thunder ran out of available pitchers.
Trenton start Matt Tracy (0-1) struggled in his Eastern League debut, collected only one out before being lifted after eight batters in the first inning. Tracy allowed three hits and four walks, including two with the bases loaded during a 10-batter first-inning rally that put New Hampshire ahead 5-1.
The Thunder trailed 9-1 after five innings, but then rallied to send 11 batters to the plate in the sixth and score six times to cut the deficit to 9-7. Walter Ibarra started the inning with a solo home run, then culminated the outburst with an RBI single later in the frame. Tyler Austin, Kyle Roller and Neil Medchill also collected RBI hits in the sixth.
The Fisher Cats broke the game open in the eighth against Branden Pinder, who was charged with four runs on three hits including a three-run double to Sean Ochinko. Brown, who pitched a scoreless inning and won a game against New Hampshire last June, then entered and induced an RBI groundout from John Tolisano that made the score 13-7.
New Hampshire then took four consecutive walks from Brown, who issued a free pass to Clint Robinson to force home the 14th run. Brown hit Kevin Nolan with a pitch to make the score 15-7, before finally inducing a ground out from Ricardo Nanita to end the 12-batter rally.
Every batter in the New Hampshire lineup recorded at least one hit, led by Robinson who went 3-for-5 with three RBI and two doubles. Ryan Schimpf and Brad Glenn each walked three times, while Kenny Wilson scored three runs and Ochinko picked up four RBI.
Austin homered in the first inning to open the scoring and finished the night 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Ibarra also went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBI.
Game two of the series is scheduled for Tuesday late afternoon beginning at 5:05 pm. Right-hander Caleb Cotham (NR) is expected to start for Trenton in his EL debut while New Hampshire counters with righty Austin Bibens-Dirkx (1-0, 0.00). Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 4:50 pm.