Flying Squirrels rally, defeat Hartford, 5-4
The Flying Squirrels (24-20) have won three-of-the-last four games on the road trip and seven straight against the Yard Goats (13-31) this season.
Down 3-0 with the bases loaded in the fifth, Andy Sugilio worked a walk as a pinch hitter that brought home Frankie Tostado to bring in the Flying Squirrels’ first run. Richmond had a chance to add on, but Heliot Ramos bounced into a double play to end the rally.
After Hartford brought in Julian Fernández in the sixth with two outs, Sandro Fabian brought home David Villar from first with an RBI single to close back within a run.
In the seventh, Vince Fernandez entered as a pinch hitter and tied the ballgame, 3-3, with a sacrifice fly that scored Simon Whiteman from third base. It was the third consecutive inning that the Flying Squirrels scored one run.
Hartford reliever Yoan Aybar (Loss, 1-3) entered in the eighth inning and allowed back-to-back walks to Shane Matheny and Villar. Bruce Maxwell zipped an RBI single to center that brought Matheny home and snatched the lead, 4-3. Frankie Tostado extended the Flying Squirrels advantage to 5-3 with an RBI single. Tostado has collected five RBIs over his last five games.
Hartford pulled within a run in the ninth when Max George launched a solo home run with two outs off Joey Marciano (Save, 2). Marciano responded with a looking strikeout to secure the win. He collected three strikeouts in the inning.
The Yard Goats punched an early 3-0 lead in the first inning off an RBI double from Coco Montes and a two-run homer off the bat of Elehuris Montero, all with two outs.
Richmond starter Phil Pfeifer pitched 4.0 innings, allowing three runs, four hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Ronnie Williams entered in the fifth inning and pitched two scoreless innings.
Frank Rubio (Win, 2-2) and Jose Marte combined for 2.0 scoreless innings with one hit allowed over seven total batters faced.
Hartford starter Ryan Feltner worked 5.0 innings with one run, two walks and four hits allowed along with seven strikeouts.
The Flying Squirrels and Yard Goats square off for game three of the series Thursday night with a first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Trenton Toplikar (1-2, 4.24) will start for Richmond opposed by Hartford right-hander Frank Duncan (1-3, 2.97).
The Flying Squirrels are back at The Diamond for a six-game series against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies from June 29-July 4. On June 29, the Flying Squirrels honor the 35th anniversary of the Richmond Braves winning the 1986 International League title with the Governor’s Cup Celebration at The Diamond. Charlie Puleo and Brad Komminsk of the 1986 R-Braves will throw ceremonial first pitches. The first 1,000 fans 15 and older can receive a t-shirt featuring the classic logo for The Diamond presented by Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods. Gates open at 5:30 with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch.
Tickets are available online at SquirrelsBaseball.com/Tickets, by phone at 804-359-3866 or in person at the Flying Squirrels offices.