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Early outburst fuels Squirrels past Yard Goats in 12-6 win

Richmond Flying SquirrelsA heap of 11 runs through the first three innings led the Richmond Flying Squirrels to a 12-6 victory against the Hartford Yard Goats at The Diamond Thursday night.

In the second inning, Sean Hjelle chopped a two-run single to center field in his first professional plate appearance to open the scoring against Hartford starter Will Gaddis (Loss, 0-1).

After Hjelle’s hit, Heliot Ramos blasted a three-run homer to put the Flying Squirrels ahead, 5-0. Vince Fernandez followed with an RBI single for Richmond’s sixth run of the inning.

Following a three-run third inning from the Yard Goats, the scoring train continued with a five-run third for the Flying Squirrels. Hjelle picked up his third RBI on a groundout that scored Andres Angulo to stretch the lead to 7-3.

Later in the inning, Ramos doubled to score Kyle Mottice. David Villar rocketed his first Double-A home run, a two-run shot, to extend Richmond’s lead 11-3 after the fifth.

Hartford clawed back with another three-run inning in the fourth off a home run from Javier Guevara and Elehuris Montero’s two-run double to trim the score to 11-6.

In the seventh, Frankie Tostado lifted a sacrifice fly to center that scored Ramos, pushing Richmond further ahead to 12-6.

Flying Squirrels pitchers combined to strike out 16 batters, the most on the young season. Hjelle led the staff with seven in his 2021 debut. The starter went 3.2 innings with six runs allowed (four earned).

In his Double-A debut, Matt Seelinger (1-0) worked 1.1 scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Frank Rubio, Joey Marciano and Patrick Ruotolo combined to pitched 4.0 scoreless innings.

Ramos was a triple away from hitting for the cycle, finishing the night 3-for-4 with four RBIs and three runs.

For the third straight game to open the season, the Flying Squirrels sold out their maximum capacity of 2,943 fans.

Friday’s ballgame against the Yard Goats will be the first as the Flying Squirrels’ Copa la Diversion identity, the Ardillas Voladoras. The first 1,000 fans 15 and older will receive a fleece ruana featuring Richmond’s Copa logo along with Friday happy hour drink specials from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Includes two-dollar 12-ounce domestic beers and two-dollar fountain sodas. 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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