Richmond Flying Squirrels drop homestand finale

richmond flying squirrelsThe Richmond Flying Squirrels six-game winning streak game to a halt on Thursday afternoon in 6-1 defeat to Bowie at The Diamond. The Squirrels (10-4) were limited to just the one run on nine hits in the conclusion of the first homestand of the season. Richmond will begin their second road trip of the season on Friday, with the first of three games in Altoona, PA beginning at 6 p.m.

Eluding the Squirrels on Thursday was the game-changing hit with runners on base. Trailing 4-1 in the eighth inning, Richmond loaded the bases with nobody out but failed to score. Bowie Reliever Lucas Long stranded the bases loaded by recording a flyout, strikeout and groundout to escape trouble.

Bowie added a two-run homer from Austin Hays in the top of the ninth inning to put the game out of reach. Facing reliever Dan Slania, Hays launched an opposite field home run to pull ahead, 6-1. Slania worked one inning and allowed the two runs on two hits.

For the first time in eight games, Richmond did not score first in the contest. Bowie put up a run in the first and another in the second for a 2-0 early advantage. Cedric Mullins led off the game with double and was pushed across on a sacrifice fly from Austin Hays in the first. Mike Yastrzemski made it a 2-0 contest by reaching on an error and coming around on a double to left field from Armando Araiza.

Squirrels Lefty Matt Gage worked his way through 5.2 innings in suffering the loss. Gage allowed seven hits, four runs (three earned) on 87 pitches. Gage (0-1) walked two and struck out one.

Richmond’s offense scuffled to produce much early against Bowie lefty Keegan Akin. The Orioles No. 11 prospect needed just 10 pitches to record the first three outs in the first and came back in the second to strike out the side. Ali Castillo mustered the first hit off Akin with two outs in the third, but was left at first to end the inning.

Gage lasted into the sixth inning and departed the game with two outs and two runners on. Ryan Halstead relieved Gage and balked a runner home before ending the inning, trailing 4-0.

Richmond scratched across their lone run in the bottom of the sixth off of Akin. Matt Lipka singled to begin the frame and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Ronnie Jebavy blooped a single into left field, Ryan Howard lined a ball deep enough into right field to score Lipka for the first Richmond run.

Halstead turned in 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. The righty added a pair of strikeouts to keep the contest close, 4-1.

Bowie’s Akin worked six innings to receive the win, his first at Double-A . He struck out seven and did not walk batter.