Muskrats hoping to secure home playoff series

LACONIA — The Muskrats (8-11) are currently in fourth place of the Northern Division after splitting the week with a pair of home wins and two losses. "There is still more than half of the season left to play," said General Manager Noah Crane. "So much can change between now and August first."

The Muskrats are only four games behind the top spot in the North and currently holding on to the final playoff seed. If Laconia can climb into the top two positions in the division, the Muskrats would earn the chance to host a home playoff series for the first time in the five years the team has been at Robbie Mills Field. "If we continue to hit like we have and continue to play solid defense, I like our chances in the playoffs," Crane added. "We are still short three members of the pitching staff and those additions will be crucial to our success down the stretch."

Friday Night saw some drama when Braxton Martinez (St. Louis) lead off the bottom ninth inning with a game tying home run against the Valley Blue Sox. Martinez, who hit over.400 with six stolen bases this week went 4-5 and scored two runs on the evening. Two innings later the Muskrats took advantage of a four pitch walk by advancing him to second on a fielder's choice, before Vinny Zarrillo (Rutgers) drove him in on a walk off single winning 5-4.

The late night heroics did not carry over to Saturday, losing to Sanford 10-5. The Muskrats gave up six runs in the first three innings and could not recover. Shortstop Kenny Hostrander (Eastern Kentucky) led the Muskrats offense going 2-4 with a homerun and three RBI.

The Muskrats enjoyed a two day break before scoring five runs to beat the Ocean State Waves 5-1. Mariano Rivera (Iona) earned the win, pitching 6.2 innings, striking out six and giving up one run on five hits. Laconia scored two unearned runs in the second and tacked on two more in the eighth to secure their eighth win of the season.

Wednesday Laconia traveled to New Bedford only to lose 13-8. The Muskrats scored three runs in the top of the first, but the lead was short lived when The Bay Sox drove in four in the bottom half. Laconia would tie it in the top of the second. The tie was broken in the fifth inning by New Bedford with two runs. The Bay Sox scored five more in the sixth. Martinez continued his hot streak with three hits and three runs scored on the evening.

The Muskrats have a matinee game today, hosting Keene at 12:30. Saturday will see the team in Vermont before coming home to host Newport on Sunday and Vermont on Monday.