Flying Squirrels rally, defeat Somerset, 6-4
The Flying Squirrels (35-29) have won three of their last five games and collected their second come-from-behind victory against the Patriots (40-23) in the series.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Vince Fernandez cranked a go-ahead two-run homer to right field that wrangled a 6-4 lead for the Flying Squirrels. It was Fernandez’s 12th home run of the season, which leads the team, and has racked up eight RBIs in the series.
After trailing 3-1, the Flying Squirrels produced three runs in the fourth inning which gave Richmond a 4-3 lead. Simon Whiteman led off the inning with a walk, then stole second and third base on back-to-back pitches. Heliot Ramos walked and reached second on a caught stealing error and brought home Whiteman. David Villar delivered a game-tying RBI single that scored Ramos and Fernandez gave Richmond the lead with a sacrifice fly.
Somerset responded in the seventh with an RBI double off the bat of Oswald Peraza to even the score, 4-4.
The Patriots opened the scoring with a 2-0 lead in the in the fourth inning off back-to-back home runs from Brandon Lockridge and Michael Beltre with Sean Hjelle on the mound.
Richmond cut the deficit to 2-1 in the fifth inning off Brandon Martorano’s RBI single which scored Villar from second. Martorano has collected three RBIs over his past two games.
Somerset’s advantage grew to 3-1 after Lockridge delivered an RBI single in the sixth inning. With two outs, Raffi Vizcaíno entered in the sixth with two runners on and delivered a strikeout to retire the side.
The Flying Squirrels fought back with five runs in the final three innings of the comeback.
Richmond’s bullpen of Vizcaíno, Matt Seelinger and Joey Marciano (Win, 3-1) combined for 3.1 innings with one run allowed off two hits and four walks and five strikeouts.
Hjelle allowed 10 hits and three runs over 5.2 innings while striking out five Patriots in his start.
Luis Medina allowed four runs (two earned) off two hits over 5.0 innings through his start.
Game five of the series between the Flying Squirrels and Patriots is Saturday night. Somerset will send out right-hander Hayden Wesneski (1-3, 6.30) and Richmond has yet to announce its starting pitcher.
On Saturday, the Flying Squirrels continue the Richmond 34 Legacy Weekend with the commemorative Richmond 34 Legacy jerseys up for an auction with proceeds going to the creation of a Richmond 34 Legacy scholarship fund. In-Your-Face Fireworks will launch at the end of the game, presented by Capital One. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m. from The Diamond with gates opening at 5:00 p.m.
Tickets are available online at SquirrelsBaseball.com/Tickets, by phone at 804-359-3866 or in person at the Flying Squirrels offices.