Anderson lights out in Richmond Flying Squirrels debut
Newcomer Shaun Anderson guided the Richmond Flying Squirrels (1-1) to their first win of the season in a 5-2 victory over the Trenton Thunder (1-1) at Arm & Hammer Park on Friday night. The Squirrels were leading 5-2 in the eighth inning before a light failure sent the game into a delay for 19 minutes. Upon resumption, Jake McCasland finished the inning and Ray Black closed out the contest to earn his first save since July 28, 2016.
Anderson out-shined Yankees uber prospect Justus Sheffield throughout the contest. He worked five solid innings and struck out seven batters on 76 pitches in his Richmond debut. The 6-5 hurler, acquired in a trade with Boston for Eduardo Nunez last year, was in command throughout the night. Anderson (1-0) limited Trenton to one run on three hits to earn the win.
The Squirrels took advantage of 11 Trenton walks issued, including six from starting pitcher Justus Sheffield. Richmond grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning off of Sheffield after Jerry Sands opened the inning with a walk. Sands and sprinted around the bases to score when Dylan Davis drilled a double to right field. Sheffield needed 46 pitches through the first two innings.
Richmond added four more runs in the fifth, forcing Sheffield (0-1) from the contest. Aramis Garcia made it a 2-0 contest on a triple off the centerfield wall to score Ronnie Jebavy. It was just the third triple of the catcher’s career. Reliver Stephen Tarpley entered and relinquished an RBI base hit to Jonah Arenado for a 3-0 Richmond advantage. Tarpley also struggled to throw strikes, walking four consecutive batters for a 5-0 Richmond lead.
Sheffield (0-1) finished with a career-high six walks in the loss. The lefty allowed three runs on two hits over 4.1 innings of work. Tarpley recorded just two outs in the outing.
Anderson was backup up by solid relief efforts from Mike Connolly, Jake MCasland and Ray Black. Connolly tossed a 1-2-3 sixth while McCasland allowed a lone run over two innings of work. Black punched out two batters and retired the side in order in the ninth inning to earn the save.
Ryan Howard, Ronnnie Jebavy, Arenado and Matt Lipka all stole a base in the win.
The two teams will play game three of the year on Saturday at I p.m. from Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton, NJ. RHP Jordon Johnson gets the start for Richmond against Trenton RHP Dillon Tate. The Squirrels will return home on April 13 for the home opener at The Diamond. The team is pushing for their ninth consecutive Opening Night sellout crowd. Limited tickets for the event that featured dueling fireworks and Fred McGriff remain by contacting the box office at 804-359-3866 or online at squirrelsbaseball.com.