Akron storms back from early deficit, defeats Squirrels

Richmond Flying SquirrelsAfter having a four-run lead, the Richmond Flying Squirrels allowed 11 consecutive runs in an 11-7 loss to the Akron RubberDucks Saturday night at Canal Park.

Richmond (38-33) has dropped four straight games in the series against Akron (42-27). The Flying Squirrels launched three home runs and five extra-base hits in the loss.

The Flying Squirrels found a power surge in the second inning, launching two home runs to put up a 4-0 lead. Brandon Martorano led off with a solo home run. After back-to-back baserunners, Will Wilson mashed a three-run homer to center and put Richmond ahead by four. It was Martorano’s third home run of the season and Wilson’s second.

This was the third time the Flying Squirrels have launched two home runs in an inning this season.

Akron stormed back with a three-run third inning to make it 4-3. After Aaron Blair walked the bases loaded with no outs, Ronnie Williams (Loss, 4-4) checked in and allowed an RBI single to Andruw Monasterio for Akron’s first run. Daniel Schneeman followed up with an RBI single and with the bases loaded, Jose Fermin lifted a sacrifice fly for the RubberDucks’ third run of the inning.

Nic Enright tossed 3.0 scoreless innings for the RubberDucks with no hits allowed and one walk with seven strikeouts. He struck out six consecutive Richmond batters from the third to the fifth inning. Skylar Arias (Win, 7-0) pitched a scoreless sixth inning allowing one hit and one hit batsman with one strikeout for his second winning decision of the series.

The RubberDucks put up six more runs in the sixth inning to take a 9-4 lead. With the bases loaded in the sixth, Joey Marciano replaced Williams and walked in the tying run with two outs. Steven Kwan hit an RBI single and Monasterio walked with the bases loaded that plated Mike Rivera. Richie Palacios drove a bases-clearing double that put the RubberDucks ahead by five runs. Matt Seelinger came out of the bullpen in the sixth and collected one strikeout to end the inning.

Akron tacked on two more runs in the seventh with back-to-back home runs from Jonathan Engelmann and Rivera to extend the RubberDucks’ advantage to 11-4.

The Flying Squirrels answered back with a three-run eighth inning and pulled the score to 11-7. After Diego Rincones led off with a triple, Martorano plated him with a sacrifice fly and Luis Alexander Basabe responded with a solo home run in the next at-bat. It was Basabe’s first home run of 2021 with Richmond.

Later in the eighth, Jacob Heyward walked, advanced to third base off a fielder’s choice and scored on a wild pitch thrown by Kyle Marman to put Richmond within four runs.

In his debut for the Flying Squirrels, Blair allowed three runs off two hits, three walks and one strikeout over 2.0 innings. The Flying Squirrels used five pitchers in the ballgame.

RubberDucks starter Logan Allen pitched 2.0 innings, allowing four hits, four runs, two home runs and two walks with two strikeouts.

The series finale is Sunday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 2:05 p.m. Left-handed pitcher Michael Plassmeyer (3-4, 4.18) is scheduled to start for the Flying Squirrels opposed by left-hander Juan Hillman (6-2, 3.88) for the RubberDucks.

The Flying Squirrels return to The Diamond on Tuesday, July 27 for the first game of a two-week homestand against the Bowie Baysox and the Reading Fightin Phils. On July 27, Richmond celebrates all things sports with Sports Appreciation Night and the first 1,000 fans 15 and older can receive a connectable-base bobblehead of mixed nut racer John Walnut presented by Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Tickets are available online at SquirrelsBaseball.com/Tickets, by phone at 804-359-3866 or in person at the Flying Squirrels offices.

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