Baragar strikes out season-high eight batters as Squirrels snap losing slide
A late RBI single by Jacob Heyward and a two-run homer by Gio Brusa helped the Flying Squirrels to a 4-3 win over the Trenton Thunder on Thursday night at ARM & HAMMER Park, snapping a six-game losing streak.
Richmond (24-45, 1-1) combined to strike out 14 Trenton (39-28, 1-1) batters, including a season-high eight by starter Caleb Baragar, to pick up a win and avoid being swept in the three-game set.
With the game tied, 3-3, in the eighth, Heyward drove in Johneshwy Fargas with a single to put the Flying Squirrels ahead by a run against Thunder reliever Brady Lail (Loss, 1-1).
Sam Moll pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Melvin Adon (Save, 8) struck out two in a perfect ninth to close out the game.
After retiring the first nine batters of the game in order, Baragar allowed a lead-off single to Rashad Crawford to open the fourth. Wendell Rijo followed with a two-run homer to give Trenton a 2-0 lead. The pair of Thunder batters combined for the only two hits allowed by Flying Squirrels pitchers in the game.
In the top of the sixth, Jonah Arenado got the Flying Squirrels on the board with an RBI single to plate Fargas. Later in the inning, Brusa belted a two-run homer to right, his fifth of the season, to put Richmond ahead, 3-2.
Baragar worked into the sixth, finishing his night with three runs allowed (two earned) on two hits with two walks and eight strikeouts over his 5.1 innings of work.
In the bottom of the sixth, Trenton tied the game at 3-3 when Hoy Jun Park scored on a passed ball charged to Richmond catcher Matt Winn.
Ryan Halstead (Win, 2-4) worked through a scoreless seventh inning. Over his last 12 outings since May 6, Halstead has combined to post a 0.95 ERA (2 ER/19.0 IP).
Trenton starter Nick Nelson struck out eight batters over 5.1 innings, allowed two runs on one hit with a pair of walks. Thunder pitchers held the Flying Squirrels’ batters to three hits.
The Flying Squirrels begin a three-game series against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies on Friday night. Right-hander Brandon Beachy (1-3, 4.56) will start for Richmond, opposed by Binghamton right-hander Harol Gonzalez (3-2, 3.39). First pitch at NYSEG Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.