MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Manchester Fisher Cats did their job Sunday night with an 8-5 Eastern League victory over the Hartford Yard Goats. But so did the Trenton Thunder.
The Thunder, the Double A affiliate of the New York Yankees, clinched the Eastern Division championship with a 3-0 win over the Reading Phillies. Trenton will host New Hampshire (76-61) in the best-of-5 semifinal series beginning Wednesday in Trenton.
Juan Kelly’s three-run home run was the difference for Trenton (78-61) as the Thunder turned a two-run deficit into a one-run lead, 6-5 over the Yard Goats. After Trenton’s Harold Ramirez walked and Andrew Guillotte singled, Kelly hit his 13th home run of the season.
Trenton’s Forrest Wall added a two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Fisher Cats an 8-5 lead. Seven of New Hampshire’s eight runs came with two outs in the respective innings.
The Yard Goats’ season comes to an end on Sunday when they face New Hampshire at 1:30 p.m.
Hartford (64-72) had a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning and a 5-3 lead in the fifth inning before Kelly blasted a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning to help end Hartford’s four-game win streak.
The Fisher Cats scored the first two runs of the game in the first inning against Hartford starting Ryan Castellani. Jon Berti began the inning with a walk and scored on a two out single by the Eastern League’s top hitter, Harold Ramirez. A throwing error on a pickoff attempt at first base allowed Forrest Wall to score to make it 2-0 Fisher Cats.
However, the Yard Goats tied the game in the second inning on a two-run home run by Omar Carrizales, his second in two games. Carrizales blasted a ball over the right field fence off New Hampshire starter Jon Harris. The homer scored Drew Weeks who singled earlier in the inning.
The Yard Goats took their first lead on a sacrifice fly by Mylz Jones in the fourth inning scoring Roberto Ramos to make it 3-2 Hartford. The Fisher Cats tied the game in the bottom of the frame on Pat Cantwell’s two out RBI single and it was 3-3.
Hartford took a 5-3 lead with a pair of runs in the fifth inning on an RBI single by Scott Burcham and RBI grounder by Brian Mundell.
Hartford can finish third in the Eastern Division with a win on Monday and a loss by Reading to Trenton. The Yard Goats and Reading are tied for third place with records of 64-72.