Flying Squirrels finish 2018 with loss to Senators
Fan Appreciation Day drew 5,207 fans to say goodbye to the team for the year while simultaneously securing the 2018 Eastern League attendance title, drawing a nightly attendance of 6,198 fans. Richmond ended the year with a 62-76 record. The Squirrels organization operates at The Diamond year-round and fans can keep up to date with offseason events by visiting www.squirrelsbaseball.com
The final game of the year began on an ominous note. Flying Squirrels starting pitcher Conner Menez tossed just five pitches before departing the game due to what appeared to be a leg injury. Ryan Halstead was summoned into emergency duty and picked up a pair of strikeouts and a pop up to end the top of the first. Halstead gave Richmond three scoreless innings of much-needed relief. Halstead struck out three and allowed just one hit in the effort.
Scoreless heading into the fifth, Harrisburg struck for three runs against reliver Dusten Knight. Knight relieved Halstead in the fourth and retired the side in order but encountered trouble in the fifth. Drew Ward opened the inning with a double and with one out, Osvaldo Abreu singled him home for a 1-0 lead. The Senators collected five consecutive hits with RBI singles form the pitcher Logan Darnell (single left field) and Richmond native Alec Keller. Knight allowed three runs in the inning and slipped away with the bass loaded.
Richmond responded quickly in the bottom half of the inning. Matt Winn ignited the offense as he smashed a double off the warning track in straight away centerfield. The next hitter Ronnie Jebavy drilled a two-run homer over the left field fence, pulling Richmond to within a run, 3-2. The homer for Jebavy was his second of the series and his fourth of the year.
Knight worked three innings of relief and was taken off the hook for the loss when the Squirrels tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. Reliever Dakota Bacus allowed a leadoff base hit to Caleb Gindl. With one out, Matt Lipka tied the game, rattling a double into the leftfield corner. Harrisburg starting pitcher Logan Darnell received a no-decision in five innings of work. The lefty allowed two runs on five hits. Darnell struck out four and walked one.
After Knight’s three innings, Sam Wolff was summoned and the righty had no trouble setting the side down in the seventh. Wolff then returned for the eighth and was touched up for four runs on five hits. Harrisburg forged ahead 7-3 and handed Wolff (1-2) the defeat.
The 2019 season begins in April at The Diamond. The full scheduled for next year will be released in the near future. Offseason events and activities can be found at www.squirrelsbaseball.com or by calling 804-359-FUNN.