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Thursday, August 7, 2014

New Hampshire Fisher Cats top Erie SeaWolves

Fisher Cats 3,

SeaWolves 1 ...

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Fisher Cats 3,

SeaWolves 1

For the third time this season, Scott Copeland hurled eight strong innings to deliver the Fisher Cats to a 3-1 win over the Erie SeaWolves on Wednesday night at Jerry Uht Park. The righty was backed by a pair of two-out, first-inning runs to win his eighth game and set the Fisher Cats up for a series sweep on Thursday night in Western Pennsylvania.

In a repeat of game one, the Fisher Cats struck first in the bottom of the first inning with two outs. With Jon Berti at first, Andy Burns doubled off the left field wall for a 1-0 lead. Cory Aldridge followed on the next pitch with a ground rule double to center to make it 2-0, Fisher Cats.

They added a run in the fourth after Burns (double) and Aldridge (single) both had hits to begin the inning. Mike McDade followed with a groundout to plate Burns for a 3-0 lead.

Copeland took care of the rest as he tied his season high with eight total innings. He picked up double plays in the first and second, wiping out early base runners. He stranded a runner at second in the third, and then two more in the fourth.

Erie netted its only run in the fifth, missing a good chance to pull even in the game. The first two guys reach, and then were pushed to second and third on a sac bunt. But Copeland buckled down to get a pair of ground outs, allowing just one run in the inning.

Copeland allowed just the one run on six hits, three walks, and a pair of strikeouts. He impressively recorded 19 of his 24 outs on grounders, including three more double plays. He leads the Fisher Cats staff with 17 double plays induced this season.

Burns extended his hit streak to eight games with a 2-4 night that included two doubles. Aldridge was also 2-4, and has three RBI in the series – all with two outs. Dalton Pompey extended his hit streak to a career-best 10 games, but left in the third after re-injuring his leg trying to run out a ground ball.

The Fisher Cats will now go for the sweep of the series on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. Righty Austin Bibens-Dirkx (4-2, 2.49) will face Erie’s Buck Farmer (1-0, 3.00).