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Baysox squeak by Squirrels in series opener

richmond flying squirrelsTen hits and a solid outing from lefty Matt Gage were not enough for Richmond on Monday as the Squirrels (4-7) dropped game one to the Bowie Baysox (7-4), 3-2 at Prince George’s Stadium. Bowie’s Austin Wynns smacked a three-run homer in the sixth inning to produce the lead. MLB right-hander Chris Tillman pitched 2 2/3 innings in a rehab assignment and allowed a solo home run to Carlos Garcia in the first.

It didn’t take long for Richmond to attack the MLB rehabber Chris Tillman. With one out in the first inning, Carlos Garcia drilled a solo home run over the right field wall to take a 1-0 lead. Tillman bookended the homer with a pair of strikeouts and retired the next six batters he faced.

Matt Gage pitched with traffic early on, but was able to navigate trouble. The lefty allowed a walk and a hit in the first inning and two more hits in the second. He picked up a double play with two on and one out in the third to keep Richmond in front 1-0. Gage threw 54 pitches through the first three innings of work.

Tillman ran into trouble in the third inning and had his rehab appearance cut short with two outs. Rando Moreno worked a walk to begin the third and Slade Heathcott roped a single to right. Tillman then induced a fly ball to right field before reaching his pitch limit. Lucas Long replaced Tillman and stranded both inherited runners. Tillman finished with one walk and three strikeouts. He allowed the one run on two hits in the no-decision.

After walking the tightrope through the first three innings, Gage settled in and picked up the pace. The lefty retired the side in the fourth inning and cruised until he hit the batter Drew Dosch to start the sixth. Dosh moved to third base on a one-out double and Austin Wynns put Bowie ahead with a three-run homer to left center field. Gage (0-1) relinquished a double to the next batter and was replaced by Tyler Cyr. The lefty lasted 5 2/3 and allowed the three runs on seven hits. He struck out six and walked one in the loss.

Lucas Long found success in relief for Bowie and kept Richmond silent until the top of the seventh. T.J. Bennett drilled a doubleinto the left field corner and Rando Moreno delivered a two-out double up the first base line to trim the Bowie lead, 3-2. Long was able to strand Moreno at second to close out the inning.  Long earned the win by scattering seven hits over 5 1/3 innings of work. He struck out three and did not walk a batter.

Richmond threatened to tie the game in the ninth when Tyler Horan roped a single to right field to open the inning. Closer Garrett Cleavinger then struck out two of the next three batters to end the game and earn the save.

Game two of the four game series is Tuesday night at 6:35 p.m. in Bowie, MD.  Right right-hander Jordan Johnson is scheduled to start on Tuesday against TBD for Bowie. The Flying Squirrels return to The Diamond on Friday, April 21st against Reading. Season tickets, mini plans and group outings are available by contacting the Flying Squirrels box office at 804-359-3866 or online at www.squirrelsbaseball.com

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