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‘Ducks pummel Squirrels: Akron takes Game 1

richmond flying squirrelsThe Akron RubberDucks (29-19) scored 14 unanswered runs in a 14-6 win over the Flying Squirrels (23-21) on Friday night at Canal Park. The Squirrels scored six runs over the first two innings in an early attack that included a two-run homer from Jerry Sands. The 14 runs allowed were a season-high for Richmond. Game two of the series is on Saturday at 6:35 p.m. Richmond returns home to The Diamond for an extended Memorial Day weekend celebration on Tuesday, May 29 with a Camo Cap Giveaway. Tickets and details for the upcoming homestand in Funnville can be found here.

The Flying Squirrels offense bombarded Akron starter Dominic DeMasi to the tune six runs over the first two innings. Luigi Rodriguez and Jerry Sands opened the game with a pair of singles and Ryan Howard followed with an RBI base hit for a 1-0 Richmond lead. DemMasi managed to retire the next two hitters before he walked Dillon Dobson. Ronnie Jebavy capitalized with a two-run single into left centerfield for a 3-0 advantage. Richmond added one more run as Jebavy took off for second while Dobson broke home to score.

Jerry Sands added to the attack with a two-run homer over the left centerfield wall in the second. Rodriguez flipped a single into shallow left field with one out in the inning and Sands blasted his seventh home run for a 6-0 advantage.

From there on, it would be all Akron. The RubberDucks scored the next 14 runs in the game and chased Flying Squirrels starter Garrett Williams in the fourth inning. The RubberDucks struck for three runs in the second, three more in the third and six runs in the fourth. Akron’s scoring was highlighted by rehabbing Major League outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall connecting on an RBI double in the second inning and three doubles from shortstop Willie Castro. Castro went 4-5 and drove home four runs in the Akron onslaught. Joe Sever added a pair of doubles including the go-ahead hit in the fourth frame.

Williams had his pitch count elevated with a pair of errors in the second inning and did not make it out of the fourth. The lefty was replaced by Jake McCasland, after Castro connected on his second, two-run double of the game. Williams (1-4) worked 3.2 innings and allowed 11 runs (eight earned) on nine hits. He walked three and struck out three in the loss.

DeMasi fourn his footing after the early struggles and lasted 6.2 innings to earn the win. DeMasi (4-1) retried 16 consecutive batters until Luigi Rodriguez singled to end his outing. Rodriguez had three hits in the loss for Richmond and raised his average to .409. DeMasi allowed six runs on seven hits in the win.

Richmond used McCasland and Dan Slania out of the ‘pen to finish the game. McCasland lasted 3.1 innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits. Slania allowed a run in the eighth on a pair of hits.

The Flying Squirrels and Akron RubberDucks play game two of the series on Saturday at 6:35 p.m. Richmond RHP Chase Johnson (0-1, 5.40) is scheduled to make the start against a TBA pitcher for Akron. Richmond returns home to The Diamond for an extended Memorial Day weekend celebration on Tuesday, May 29 with a Camo Cap Giveaway.