MANCHESTER, N.H. - On what many around Northeast Delta Dental Stadium were calling the first “best day of the year,” New Hampshire and New Britain heeded the advice of Ernie Banks and “played two,” splitting their Wednesday night double header with shutout performances on both ends.
The nightcap saw the hosts take a 3-0 pitcher’s duel behind six shutout innings from starter Ryan Tepera who allowed only one hit and one walk to earn his third win of the season.
"I felt great," said Tepera. "I tried to stay aggressive in the strike zone, keep the ball down and I let my defense do most of the job. I mixed pitches very well and felt like I had pretty good command all night long and it worked out for me."
"He was the key to the game," said Fisher Cats manager Gary Allenson of his starter.
Rock Cats starter Pat Dean faced only one batter over the minimum through four innings, but ran into trouble in the fifth before getting bailed out by the arm of Jonathan Goncalves who threw out Brian Van Kirk at the plate on a single to right by Kevin Ahrens.
The next batter, catcher Jack Murphy, made sure the next runner headed home would not be tested as he roped a double to left field, scoring Ahrens easily for the only run the Fisher Cats would need.
"That's a big hit because it was like the first team to score, wins," said Allenson.
New Hampshire would plate two more in the sixth inning, including a solo home run to dead center from Ryan Schimpf, his fifth of the season.
Chad Beck came on to shut the door on the Rock Cats in the seventh inning, striking out two to earn his fifth save.
"It's nice to get back in the win column," said Allenson whose team had lost three straight heading into the second game. "It feels like it had been two weeks for us."
A complete game effort from Trevor May helped the New Britain capture a 5-0 victory in the game one.
"We didn't hit many hard off him," said Allenson about May. "He challenged with fastballs and we couldn't hit him."
The Fisher Cats were the first to pose a threat in the early evening affair, loading the bases in the first inning after Kevin Pillar’s lead-off double, but the threat was nixed when Trevor May forced Ricarco Nanita to ground out to first to end the inning.
The Rock Cats made them pay the following inning when number nine hitter Jonathan Goncalves launched a two-out, two-run homer into the picnic grounds in left field for his first Double-A long ball and a 2-0 lead that would not be relinquished.
May and the Rock Cats ran into trouble again in the third inning, allowing runners at second and third with one out, but were once again able to get out of the jam with two fly ball outs to second baseman James Beresford.
New Britain padded their lead with two more runs in the top of the fourth inning, highlighted by former Red Sox farmhand Reynaldo Rodriguez’s RBI triple, his first of the year.
Despite tossing 41 pitches in the first two innings, May settled down and retired 12 in a row over the final five frames, earning a seven-inning, complete game victory, his first win with New Britain.
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