With the threat of a serious downpour looming in Altoona last night the game was delayed for three hours. Many rounds of sunflower seed spitting contests later, very little precipitation had fallen and the game finally began. Altoona could have used some serious rain right after the 5th inning but the weather held out.
Fisher Cats took game 1 of the best of 5 series in the Eastern League Championship Series.
New Hampshire 5, Altoona 4
After the long delay, the Fisher Cats got off to a shaky start. Ace Gustavo Chacin gave up a pair of RBI hits to former Blue Jays farmhands Mike Moriarty and Tom Evans in the first and a triple, RBI single combo in the second.
Fast forward 3 innings. Chacin had settled down and retired the next 8 batters in a row but the Fisher Cats still trailed 3-0. In the top of the 5th, the Cats would begin their run. Ty Godwin legged out an infield single followed by a Dominic Rich RBI triple. Rich then scored on a sac fly from Aaron Hill. In the bottom half of the fifth, Chacin would hit the second batter of the inning. That runner would eventually reach third on a error and score on a wild pitch making it 4-2 for the Curve.
John Hattig and Maikel Jova led off the sixth with a pair of singles. Hattig came around to score on a Ty Godwin single but Jova would be thrown out at the plate trying to score the tying run on the same play. With a gassed Gus, Cats manager Mike Basso pulled out all the stops and brought in the man expected to start game 2, flamethrower Brandon League. He pitched two and two-thirds shutout innings relying on Jamie Vermilyea for the final out in the 8th.
Meanwhile, the Cats tied it up in the seventh as John-Ford Griffin drove in Hill and took the lead in the eigth after Rich doubled in a run. Jordan DeJong came on and pitched the ninth for his third save of the playoffs.
Chris Baker will be bumped up to the 2nd spot in the rotation as the Cats try to take game 2 tonight.