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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Fisher Cats complete sweep of Curve with 2-1 win

ALTOONA, Pa. – Melky Mesa’s single in the 12th inning broke a 1-1 tie and lifted the Fisher Cats (21-35) to a 2-1 win over the Altoona Curve (20-36). With the win, the Fisher Cats swept their first road series of the season and finished their road trip with a 4-2 record.

While the final margin was just one run, it looked like one run was all the Fisher Cats would need. Kevin Nolan belted a solo home run in the top of the fourth, breaking a scoreless tie to give the Fisher Cats a 1-0 edge. ...

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ALTOONA, Pa. – Melky Mesa’s single in the 12th inning broke a 1-1 tie and lifted the Fisher Cats (21-35) to a 2-1 win over the Altoona Curve (20-36). With the win, the Fisher Cats swept their first road series of the season and finished their road trip with a 4-2 record.

While the final margin was just one run, it looked like one run was all the Fisher Cats would need. Kevin Nolan belted a solo home run in the top of the fourth, breaking a scoreless tie to give the Fisher Cats a 1-0 edge.

Unfortunatley, that was all the offense they could generate against Altoona starter A.J. Morris and his bullpen during the first nine innings. After Nolan’s homer, Morris and Co. retired the next 15 batters to keep the lead at 1-0.

The Fisher Cats didn’t allow much either. Austin Bibens-Dirkx (ND) went the first five innings, allowing three hits with six strikeouts. Tyler Ybarra came on for the sixth before yielding to Arik Sikula for the final out of the seventh. At that point, the Fisher Cats had not allowed a run since the eighth inning on Thursday in Binghamton.

That would all change in the bottom of the eighth. A lead-off double against Sikula found green grass in shallow center field to set up the Curve’s game-tying rally. A sacrifice bunt moved Drew Maggi to third, and shortstop Alen Hanson brought him home with a single to center field.

In the ninth, still tied, the Curve had a chance to win the game. They put runners at first and second with one out against Dustin Antolin, but a double play started by first baseman Mike McDade sent the game to extra innings.

In the twelfth, the Fisher Cats pulled ahead, just as they did in the opener on Friday night. With one out, Michael Crouse singled and stole second. Jonathan Jones followed with a grounder to short, but Crouse was thrown out when he tried to advance to third. That left Jones at first with two outs, so he promptly stole second. Melky Mesa brought him home on a single to left to put New Hampshire ahead 2-1.

Randy Boone (S, 5) shut the door with a 1-2-3 12th inning for his fifth save since taking over the closer’s role. He saved the win for Scott Copeland (W; 4-5), who worked a scoreless 11th.

The Fisher Cats now return home to enjoy a day off on Monday before beginning a six-game homestand against Bowie and Erie starting Tuesday.

Tuesday’s pitching match-up features righty Aaron Sanchez (1-4, 4.14) against Bowie lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (1-2, 4.73).