UVa. alum Jarrett Parker keys Richmond victory
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Jarrett Parker blasted a solo-home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the Richmond Flying Squirrels (66-64) to a walk-off, 4-3, win over the Harrisburg Senators (69-61) in front of 7,248 at The Diamond on Wednesday night. The win salvaged a game for Richmond in the series and allowed them to pull back within 2 ½ games of a playoff spot in the Western Division.
Parker launched his 16th home run of the year to right field off of Harrisburg righty Neil Holland. The shot – which tied Parker with Javier Herrera and Roger Kieschnick for the Richmond franchise record for home runs in a season – came with two outs and doomed Holland (1-4) to the loss. It was Parker’s second walk-off home run of the season.
Richmond left-hander Edwin Escobar reached the Giants’ organizational pitch limit and didn’t survive the first inning. His pitch count escalated as he walked the first three batters of the ballgame, including Billy Burns on 11 pitches. Escobar uncorked a wild pitch with Justin Bloxom at the plate, allowing Burns to score. Escobar struck out Bloxom, but Carlos Rivero chopped an infield-single up the middle to score Brian Goodwin for a 2-0 lead. Escobar was lifted on the single, having thrown 34 pitches – 17 of which were strikes.
Escobar was credited with just a third-of-an-inning. He was charged with two earned runs on one hit. He walked three and struck out one in the shortest outing of his career.
Right-hander Edwin Quirarte came on for Escobar and kept the Squirrels in the ballgame. He ultimately worked 3 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. He kept the Squirrels down by just two runs into the bottom of the fourth.
Richmond rallied there against Senators’ right-hander Rob Gilliam. Mark Minicozzi led off and sparked the Squirrels with a double to right-center field. An out later, Adam Duvall cranked a moonshot two-run home run to left field. Duvall’s 14th of the season tied the ballgame, 2-2.
The Squirrels bullpen continued to cobble it together as left-hander Phil McCormick handled a scoreless fifth inning.
Skyler Stromsmoe pinch-hit for McCormick to start the Squirrels’ fifth inning and doubled into the right-field corner off of Gilliam. Gilliam departed on the double in favor of right-hander Ryan Perry. Ryan Lollis moved Stromsmoe to third base when he grounded out. Perry then struck out Joe Panik for the second out of the inning. However, he delivered wildly to the backstop with Javier Herrera at the plate. Stromsmoe scampered in from third to give Richmond their first lead, 3-2.
The run was charge to Gilliam, who conceded three over four innings plus one batter. He permitted five hits, walked one and struck out three. Neither starter factored in the decision.
Richmond left-hander Josh Osich worked two scoreless innings to keep the Squirrels in front, working out of a jam in the seventh inning to do so. Right-hander Cody Hall came on to work the eighth inning and got the first two outs of the frame. However, Jason Martinson flared a single into right field with two outs. Parker tried to make a sliding catch and inadvertently kicked the ball onto the warning track in foul territory. Martinson tore towards third base. Angel Villalona picked up the ball and threw errantly towards third. Martinson streaked in to score to tie the ballgame, 3-3. Villalona was charged with an error and the run was unearned against Hall.
Hall returned to get the first two outs of the ninth inning before Burns worked a two-out walk. Goodwin followed with a double and the Senators had the go-ahead run at third base. The Squirrels brought on right-hander Drew Bowlin to face Ricky Hague. Hague had hit the game-winning home run off Bowlin in the first game of the series on Tuesday night. Bowlin (4-2) struck him out. It earned him his fourth win of the season.
The Squirrels continue their current home stand as they welcome the Altoona Curve (Pittsburgh Pirates) to The Diamond for a four-game series beginning on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. Richmond LHP Jack Snodgrass (10-4, 3.45) will make the start against Altoona RHP Eliecer Navarro (4-5, 3.97). The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup will begin on Sports Radio 910,www.sportsradio910.com and IHeart Radio at 6:35 p.m.