Double-oh-no: Squirrels shut out in double dip
The Richmond offense scuffled through a pair of games on Wednesday, playing without recently promoted slugger Chris Shaw for the first time.
The Flying Squirrels (17-27) dropped both ends of a doubleheader and were shutout in each contest, 1-0 and 5-0. Binghamton lefty PJ Conlon tossed a complete game shutout in game one while righty Donovan Hand did the same in a rain-shortened 5-0 loss in game two. The Squirrels will look to avoid the sweep in the homestand finale on Thursday night at The Diamond.
Game 1: The night’s first contests featured a pair of prospect hurlers in Sam Coonrod and PJ Conlon. Coonrod dealt with a bevy of foul balls and a two-out walk in the first. The righty worked around the free pass and retired the next eight Binghamton hitters.
Binghamton’s Conlon dodged trouble early, working around a single and a double in the first and a pair of runners in the second inning. The lefty then settled in and cruised through the remainder of the game. Conlon (5-2) retired the final 16 batters to earn the win and shutout the Richmond offense.
The Ponies eked out a run in the fourth inning to grab a 1-0 lead over Richmond. Tomas Nido doubled to start things up and advanced to third on a base hit. Right fielder Kevin Kaczmarski then ripped a single into center field to provide the game’s first run. Coonrod was able to limit the damage, picking up a double play to end the inning. Coonrod needed 80 pitches to get through the first four innings in the outing
Coonrod (1-5) returned for the fifth and lasted five innings for Richmond. The righty left the game trailing 1-0 and allowed four hits and the one run on 92 pitches. He walked one and struck out two in taking the loss.
Lefty Christian Jones entered to replace Coonrod in the sixth inning and Reyes Moronta added a scoreless seventh to finish the game for the Squirrels.
Game 2: Reliever Jose Flores took the ball for Richmond in a spot start for game two of the doubleheader and Flores was fluid in his first start since 2008. The righty faced the minimum in the first two innings and worked around a walk in the third. Flores needed only 37 pitches to record the first nine outs.
Unfortunately for Richmond, Binghamton’s right-hander Donovan Hand was also sharp to start game two. Hand did not allow a hit through the first three innings and kept Richmond off the board in all six innings that he pitched.
Flores kept the game tied and tossed four scoreless innings before turning the ball over to Collin Balester. The righty Flores allowed just two hits. He walked one and struck out one in the no-decision.
Binghamton took advantage of Balester in his Squirrels debut. LJ Mazzilli opened up the fifth inning with a single and David Thompson added a double to place runners on second and third. Catcher Colton Plaia then snapped the scoreless tie with a base hit and a Hand followed with a sacrifice bunt to make it a 2-0 game. A pair of wild pitches pushed the third run of the inning across for a 3-0 Ponies advantage.
Rodolfo Martinez worked the sixth inning and allowed an unearned run to fall behind 4-0. Tyler Cyr started the top of the seventh and yielded a solo home run to Jio Mier over the left center field wall to make it 5-0. With Cyr on the mound, the rain picked up and the tarp was placed on the field to end the day.
The Flying Squirrels conclude the homestand on Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. RHP Cory Taylor (2-3, 4.29) is scheduled to start against Binghamton RHP Corey Oswalt (3-3, 2.18). Flying Squirrels individual tickets, mini plans and group packages are on sale by contacting the Richmond box office at 804-359-FUNN or online at www.squirrelsbaseball.com