Fisher Cats Off to Hot Start; Play Doubleheader Today

(MANCHESTER, N.H.)—The New Hampshire Fisher Cats are looking like a hot commodity as they finish up their first series of the 2015 season.

The Fisher Cats had a lot of room for improvement after finishing the season in 5th place in the Eastern Division with a record of 66-76 last year. The current roster is a familiarsquad, as 21 of the 26 players listed have worn a Fisher Cats uniform before this season. Some of the more popular names include: Jon Berti, Ryan Schimpf, Dustin Antolin, Andy Burns, and New Hampshire native Kevin Nolan.

The Fisher Cats’ season is officially underway now, but there was quite a commotion when an early-April snowstorm covered the field and spectator area with enough snow and ice to force the team to push Opening Night from Thursday to Friday. Although it was an unfortunate happening. Fisher Cats President and General Manager acknowledged the situation by saying, “Despite the best efforts of our grounds crew and operations team today, you just can’t fight Mother Nature,” according to a Fisher Cats press release.

As for performance on the field, the Fisher Cats have looked solid so far. On Opening Night, the Fishers shut out the Rock Cats 6-0 after a stunning performance from K.C. Hobson (homered), Matt Newman (3 hits), and the pitching staff was incredible. The starter, Matt Boyd, struck out nine batters in his 4+ innings of work, and his relievers did a nice job supplementing his performance, as the team of four pitchers fanned a total of seventeen batters.

With a record of 2-0, the Fisher Cats host the New Britain Rock Cats on Sunday afternoon for a series finale doubleheader. RHP Casey Lawrence will get the nod for New Hampshire in game one, while RHP Shane Carle will take the hill for the New Britain. The first contest will start at 1:35, and the second game will follow approximately 30 minutes after the last pitch is thrown.

For live updates throughout the day, follow me on Twitter(@pcava12) .

GAME RESULTS:

Game 1: The Fisher Cats fell 3-0 to the Rock Cats in the first game of the doubleheader. Casey Lawrence tossed 6.1 innings, gave up 8 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), walked two, and fanned five batters. He was relieved by Blake McFarland in the final frame who struck out a batter, but the damage was already done.

Game 2: The Fisher Cats pick up the 4-0 win over the Rock Cats in game two of the doubleheader. Dustin Antolin tossed 2.2 innings, gave up 1 hit, 0 runs, walked 3, and fanned 3 batters. He was relieved by Greg Burke (Win) and Danny Barnes (Save). The pitching trio struck out ten New Britain hitters in the seven-inning contest.

The Fisher Cats open up a three-game series with the Reading Fightin Phils tomorrow night at 6:35 PM. These three games will cap up the first homestand of the season as the Fisher Cats will hit the road for four games in New Britain and three games in Trenton.

Back on the Blog!

After a crazy summer behind the microphone for the Laconia Muskrats, it will be nice to finally start blogging again and sharing some of the insight into my sports experiences. 

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First, I will briefly summarize the fantastic summer that the Muskrats had in Laconia, NH. Under the management of Matt Alison, young athletes from all parts of the country came to the Granite State to play their summer baseball on the lake. The Muskrats had players from colleges including the University of Connecticut, the University of Florida, Arizona State University, and even the College World Series Champions, Vanderbilt University. The Muskrats never got above the .500 mark, but they came so close as they reached the .500 several times throughout the season. When it came down to the wire, Muskrats clinched the 4th seed in the Northern Division (top 4 teams from each division make the playoffs), but they were swept in the first round by the one-seed Vermont Mountaineers. As far as player development goes, the Muskrats had several players who made major improvements on the field over the course of the summer. Laconia sent 5 players to the All-Star game, 5 players were given postseason awards, and the Muskrats led the league in many offensive categories.

Now that the season in the Lakes Region has come to close, it is time to shift my attention to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats who currently sit in 4th place of the Eastern League’s Eastern Division with a record of 63-70. New Hampshire’s top five hitters include Jorge Flores (.297), Dalton Pompey (.295), Jon Berti (.273), Cory Aldridge (.271), and Ryan Schimpf (.270). The team’s pitching has been a key factor as well this season, as when you rank team pitching by ERA, the Fisher Cats have the third best in the league (3.71), only trailing Portland (3.48) and Richmond (3.61). My time covering the Fisher Cats will be brief however as the Fisher Cats close out their season at home with a four-game series against the Harrisburg Senators. The season will come to an end next week after the team plays four contests with the New Britain Rock Cats. 

The 2014 baseball season may be wrapping up, but the flow of posts to this blog is only beginning. I’d like to thank everyone for following my baseball coverage throughout 2014 and the countdown now begins to Opening Day 2015. 

Back on the Blog!

After a crazy summer behind the microphone for the Laconia Muskrats, it will be nice to finally start blogging again and sharing some of the insight into my sports experiences. 

 

First, I will briefly summarize the fantastic summer that the Muskrats had in Laconia, NH. Under the management of Matt Alison, young athletes from all parts of the country came to the Granite State to play their summer baseball on the lake. The Muskrats had players from colleges including the University of Connecticut, the University of Florida, Arizona State University, and even the College World Series Champions, Vanderbilt University. The Muskrats never got above the .500 mark, but they came so close as they reached the .500 several times throughout the season. When it came down to the wire, Muskrats clinched the 4th seed in the Northern Division (top 4 teams from each division make the playoffs), but they were swept in the first round by the one-seed Vermont Mountaineers. As far as player development goes, the Muskrats had several players who made major improvements on the field over the course of the summer. Laconia sent 5 players to the All-Star game, 5 players were given postseason awards, and the Muskrats led the league in many offensive categories.

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This panorama of Northeast Delta Dental Stadium was taken back on Media Day in April.

Now that the season in the Lakes Region has come to close, it is time to shift my attention to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats who currently sit in 4th place of the Eastern League’s Eastern Division with a record of 63-70. New Hampshire’s top five hitters include Jorge Flores (.297), Dalton Pompey (.295), Jon Berti (.273), Cory Aldridge (.271), and Ryan Schimpf (.270). The team’s pitching has been a key factor as well this season, as when you rank team pitching by ERA, the Fisher Cats have the third best in the league (3.71), only trailing Portland (3.48) and Richmond (3.61). My time covering the Fisher Cats will be brief however as the Fisher Cats close out their season at home with a four-game series against the Harrisburg Senators. The season will come to an end next week after the team plays four contests with the New Britain Rock Cats. 

The 2014 baseball season may be wrapping up, but the flow of posts to this blog is only beginning. I’d like to thank everyone for following my baseball coverage throughout 2014 and the countdown now begins to Opening Day 2015. 

Fisher Cats Feature: Kenny Wilson

(MANCHESTER)—Kenny Wilson is an outfielder in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, ranked the 22nd top prospect in the club’s farm system. Although he is just 24 years old, Wilson is in his 7th year of professional baseball. He was drafted straight out of high school by the Blue Jays in the 2008 draft.

(Toronto Blue Jays)

(MLB)

Wilson started his professional baseball career in 2008 with the GCL Blue Jays and has slowly made his way up through the organization ever since. Last year, Wilson spent the season in New Hampshire, but only played in 55 games due to a stress fracture in his shin. His hard work and dedication finally paid off when he was added to the Blue Jays 40-man roster this past offseason. Wilson leads the team with most RBIs (8), but also has more strikeouts than anyone else on the team (11).

During a press conference at Fisher Cats Media Day, Kenny Wilson told reporters he enters the ballpark with a mindset that all of his injuries are behind him. His major focus is to improve his results at the dish this season in New Hampshire. Baseball America’s analysis says that Wilson “has the glove to be a defense-first outfield reserve and could be an everyday center fielder if his bat continues to improve.”

Wilson is just one of two players to appear in all nine of the Fisher Cats games this season. If his impressive performance on the diamond continues, he could potentially see his names on the lineup card in Buffalo (Triple-A) or maybe even serve as a backup outfielder in Toronto.

 

Fisher Cats Open Gates for 10th Season

For the tenth time in franchise history, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats open up the gates for Opening Night. From championship titles to rebuilding seasons, the organization has definitely seen it all. With ten seasons comes more than ahandful of memories and the stories of joy and heartbreak. In honor of the Fisher Cats celebrating their decade of operate, let’s reminisce the most memorable winning moments in Fisher Cats history.

2004: The Fisher Cats finished their inaugural season with a record of 84-57 and the Eastern League championship title. Tyrell Godwin, Aaron Hill, and Justin Singleton were some of the top performers for the organization in their first season. The championship team was unstoppable under the leadership of Mike Basso.

2011: The only other time the Fisher Cats have raised the Eastern League championship trophy was in 2011 under the management of former Major Leaguer Sal Fasano. Key players on the roster included Anthony Gose, Eastern League MVP Travis d’Arnaud, and Mike McDade. The Fisher Cats wrapped up the season with a record of 77-65.

The Fisher Cats have played six games so far this season and sit at the bottom of the Eastern Division with a record of 2-4. Brad Glenn, Kenny Wilson, and Kevin Nolan have all contributed offensively for the Fisher Cats. On the mound, Deck McGuire and Blue Jays Top Prospect Aaron Sanchez have both showcased their talents.

The Fisher Cats open up their season at home on Thursday night and go on to play three more games with the Binghamton Mets. The homestand will continue with three games against New Britain before the team heads on a seven-game roadtrip that starts in Binghamton, New York.

 

Greeting the Fisher Cats

As mentioned in the previous article, the Fisher Cats flew from Tampa to Manchester this morning and landed in the Queen City around noon. Alongside Tom Gauthier, Director of Broadcast & Media Operations, I welcomed the team to Manchester and introduced myself to players and coaches. Whether it be old friends like athletic trainer Bob Tarpey and infielder Kevin Nolan or new faces like Manager Bobby Meacham, it was an enjoyable experience to be a part of. 

Kevin Nolan, who grew up in Nashua, was nice enough to answer a couple of questions while the team waited for their bags. The team carried a positive moral and have now officially moved in to their new “home away from home” at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

The organizations hosts its annual Media Day tomorrow and I will be bringing you live updates from the event here on my blog. Look for updates starting at 2 PM and check often!

 

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Fisher Cats Arrive in Manchester

Today is the day! At 9:10 AM, members of the 2014 New Hampshire Fisher Cats will board Southwest flight #2170 with service  from Tampa to Manchester. The team will arrive at Gate 12 in Manchester at approximately 12:05 PM. The roster section of the official Fisher Cats website does not give insight as to who we will see in uniform on Opening Day, but Twitter has come to my aid in figuring out a few of the names to expect on the roster. So far, I have speculated via Twitter that Deck McGuire, Jack Murphy, and Scott Gracey will be listed on the roster. The 2014 roster will be made available on Monday when the Fisher Cats host their annual Media Day at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

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