That's a night at the ballpark I'll never forget. To recap the 17-inning game between the Fisher Cats and SeaWolves in Manchester, N.H., last night:
Ryan Schimpf contributed to one of the most incredible games in Fisher Cats history with a home run in the ninth, triggering a Thursday-into-Friday marathon at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. New Hampshire erased a four-run deficit in the ninth inning and a one-run deficit in the 11th inning but lost to Erie, 9-7, in the longest home game in club history. Highlights and historic notes from my game story in the New Hampshire Union Leader:
1. Erie slugger Jordan Lennerton fouled off four straight pitches before doubling off Chorye Spoone in the 17th, driving home Niuman Romero, and ending the 5 hour, 39-minute contest. Spoone (2-2) was the game's 13th pitcher.
2. Schimpf, called up from Single-A Dunedin this week, broke an 0-for-8 stretch with a two-run homer against fireballer Bruce Rondon. The Erie reliever blew the save but registered 100, 101 and 102 mph on radar guns.
3. New Hampshire trailed by four runs when Ryan Goins (4-for-6) stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth. Goins' train-track homer against Kelvin De La Cruz launched New Hampshire's four-run rally.
4. Erie pulled ahead in the 11th on Jamie Johnson's sacrifice fly, but once again the Fisher Cats played long ball to force extra frames.
5. This time, Kevin Howard cranked a first-pitch fastball from Ryan Robowski over the right-field wall, tying the game at 7-apiece.
6. In the 16th, the Fisher Cats loaded the bases with no outs. Reliever Michael Morrison entered to strike out Schimpf, Sean Ochinko and Brian Bocock. Morrison (3-3 ) worked two innings, striking out five straight, for the win. More in the Union Leader.