Altoona holds off Richmond in series finale

richmond flying squirrelsThe Richmond Flying Squirrels rallied with four runs in the eighth, but lost late to the Altoona Curve, 8-6, in the series finale at Peoples Natural Gas Field on Sunday afternoon.

The Flying Squirrels (8-12) dropped two of three in the series against Altoona (11-11) and have now lost nine of the last 11 games.

With the scored tied, 6-6, in the bottom of the eighth, Altoona’s Bligh Madris drove a two-run double against Richmond reliever Ryan Halstead (Loss, 1-1) to put the Curve on top for good. Vicente Campos (Save, 1) worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to finish the game.

Trailing by four entering the eighth, Hamlet Marte smashed a solo home run to left, his first of the season, to spark what became a four-run frame for the Flying Squirrels. Later in the inning, Chris Shaw brought home Johneswhy Fargas with a double to close within two.

With two outs, Brock Stassi hammered a two-run homer off Matt Eckelman (Win, 1-0) to even the score at 6-6.

Richmond opened the scoring in the third inning with a solo homer by Jalen Miller, his team-leading fourth of the year, against Altoona starter Yeudy Garcia.

In the top of the fourth, Miller worked a walk with the bases loaded to extend the lead to 2-0. Altoona’s Beau Sulser struck out Stassi to strand the bases loaded and limit Richmond to one run on the inning.

Altoona scored two runs in the fourth to tie the game. Bralin Jackson knocked an RBI single and Mitchell Tolman brought him home with a triple.

In the sixth with Kieran Lovegrove on the mound, Tolman launched a solo homer to center to give the Curve their first lead of the game at 3-2. Later in the inning, Jared Oliva doubled in two runs to extend the Altoona lead to 5-2.

Hunter Owen pushed the Curve’s lead to 6-2 with a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh inning off of Tyler Cyr.

Richmond starter Alfred Gutierrez pitched 4.1 innings and allowed two runs on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

After collecting 11 hits for the first time this season on Saturday, the Flying Squirrels set a new season high with 12 hits in Sunday’s loss. After hitting .126 over a six-game losing streak and averaging less than a run per game, the Richmond offense has combined for 14 runs on 23 hits in the last two games.

The Flying Squirrels open a three-game road series against the Bowie Baysox on Monday night. Right-hander Logan Webb (1-2, 2.14) will be on the mound for Richmond, opposed by Bowie lefty Bruce Zimmermann (0-0, 1.59). First pitch at Prince George’s Stadium is set for 6:35 p.m.

After the road trip concludes on Wednesday, the Flying Squirrels return home to begin a seven-game homestand on Thursday night. For tickets or more information, visit SquirrelsBaseball.com/Tickets, call 804-359-FUNN (3866) or stop by the Flying Squirrels offices.

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