Senators take opener from Richmond
Richmond right-hander Craig Westcott worked around potential trouble in the first inning, but wasn’t as fortunate in the second as the Senators grabbed a 2-0 lead. Devin Ivany sliced a double up the right-field line to start the inning and was bunted to third base. The Squirrels elected to walk eight-hole hitter Sean Nicol to get to the pitcher Paul Demny. Demny then sacrificed Nicol to second base. Eury Perez lined a two-run single to right field, plating both Ivany and Nicol.
Demny was brilliant on the hill through the first five innings, facing the minimum and not allowing the Squirrels a hit. Leading off the sixth inning, Ehire Adrianza finally recorded the first Richmond hit with a double. Wendell Fairley followed and bounced a ball to the shortstop Jose Lozada. Lozada tried to cut down Adrianza at third base and skipped the throw past the third baseman Sean Nicol. Adrianza scored to shave the Harrisburg lead to one run on the Lozada error. Fairley reached on the fielder’s choice and took second on the wild throw. Westcott failed to bunt Fairley over, but while Gary Brown batted, Demny delivered wild to the backstop moving Fairley to third base. Brown then brought Fairley in to tie the game, 2-2, when he cracked a single through the hole on the left-side of the infield.
Westcott settled in nicely and needed just 32 pitches to keep the Senators at bay from the third through the seventh inning. However, things went awry for Westcott and the Squirrels in the eighth inning as the Senators mounted the game-winning rally. An error opened the door as Daniel Mayora threw errantly on a one-out grounder to third base from Jeff Kobernus. Chris Rahl followed with an infield-single to put two runners aboard. Westcott then got ahead of left-handed batting Tim Pahuta. However, Pahuta tripled through the alley in right-center field, plating the decisive runs.
Westcott (3-3) took the loss over 7 1/3 innings. He was charged with four runs – three earned – on seven hits. He walked one and struck out two. Demny did not factor in the decision over six innings.
Harrisburg right-hander Marcos Frias (1-2) worked two scoreless innings of relief following Demny for the win. Righty Christian Garcia finished the win with a perfect ninth inning and earned his fifth save of the season. Garcia and the Senators had to wait through a 14-minute delay in the ninth when the lights went out at The Diamond due to a power surge. When the lights came back up, Garcia struck out Chris Dominguez to complete the ballgame.
The three-game series continues with game two at The Diamond on Wednesday night at 6:35 PM. Richmond LHP Jason Stevenson (1-4, 6.69) will make the start opposite Harrisburg RHP Jeff Mandel (3-2, 3.89). Tickets are available and can be purchased at SquirrelsBaseball.com. Pregame coverage will begin at 6:05 PM on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com.