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Big night from Ryan Howard lifts Flying Squirrels to win over Hartford

Richmond Flying SquirrelsRyan Howard picked up three hits and drove in a pair, including the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, as the Richmond Flying Squirrels topped the Hartford Yard Goats, 6-4, on Wednesday night at The Diamond.

The Flying Squirrels (1-1) collected 14 hits on the night to even the season-opening series with the Yard Goats (1-1).

With the game tied, 4-4, in the bottom of the eighth, Howard drove an RBI double off of Yoan Aybar (Loss, 0-1) to put the Flying Squirrels ahead. Kyle Mottice followed with a squeeze bunt single to push the lead to 6-4.

Howard finished the game 3-for-3 with a walk, two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored.

Norwith Gudino (1-0) pitched through the final 3.0 innings, including the ninth, to close out the game. He struck out seven batters in his Double-A debut.

After the Yard Goats opened a 3-0 lead through three innings, Howard hit an RBI double in the fourth to get the Flying Squirrels on the board. Later in the inning, Peter Maris brought in a run with a groundout to close to gap to one.

In the fifth, Heliot Ramos blasted a solo home run, his first of the season, to tie the game at 3-3.

Andy Sugilio gave the Flying Squirrels their first lead of the night in the seventh inning with an RBI single, but the Yard Goats evened the score in the top of the eighth when Todd Czinege scored on a wild pitch by Gudino.

Ramos, Sugilio, Andres Angulo and Frankie Tostado each had two hits on the night.

Sam Long made his Double-A debut and his first appearance as a member of the Giants organization, allowing two runs with five strikeouts over three innings in his start. Ronnie Williams worked three scoreless relief innings with two strikeouts.

The homestand continues on Thursday night. Right-hander Sean Hjelle will be on the mound for the Flying Squirrels, opposed by Yard Goats right-hander Will Gaddis. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

Thursday is Front Line Workers Night at The Diamond. The Flying Squirrels honor doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ballpark gates open at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are available online at, by phone at 804-359-3866 or at the Flying Squirrels ticket office.

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