Flying Squirrels win on 11th inning walkoff
It was the first walk-off win of the 2021 season for the Flying Squirrels (34-28), taking a back-and-forth game against the Patriots (39-22).
With runners at the corners and two outs in the bottom of the 11th, Fernandez muscled a walk-off RBI single to right field that scored Simon Whiteman from third and secured a 7-6 victory.
Fernandez finished the night 4-for-5 with five RBIs. It was the second five-RBI game by a Flying Squirrel this season.
Frank Rubio (Win, 4-2) worked a scoreless top of the 10th with two groundouts and a flyout to set up the bottom of the inning.
The ballgame saw five lead changes and was tied on four occasions. With runners at first and third in the second inning, Michael Beltre stole second and Brandon Lockridge scored from third base off a throwing error, giving Somerset (39-22) a 1-0 lead. Michael Plassmeyer answered back with two-straight strikeouts and a flyout to prevent further damage.
After a leadoff base hit by David Villar in the second, Fernandez unleashed a two-run homer to right-center field that delivered a 2-1 lead to Richmond. Fernandez is now tied for the team lead in home runs with 11.
The Patriots evened the game, 2-2, in the top of the third inning off Oswald Peraza’s solo home run.
Heliot Ramos led off the fourth inning with a double and Fernandez traded places with him off an RBI double, bringing the lead back to Richmond at 3-2.
Somerset tied up the ballgame, 3-3, in the sixth inning off a solo home run for Michael Beltre. It was Beltre’s 10th home run of the season.
The Patriots took a 6-3 lead in the eighth inning when they scored three runs. With Jose Marte pitching, Donny Sands led off with a double and was brought home by an RBI double from Jason Lopez. With the bases loaded, Max Burt bounced into a fielder’s choice then a throwing error in the sequence allowed two runs to score.
In the bottom of the eighth with two runners on, Fernandez smacked an RBI single, and Diego Rincones punched a two-RBI single to right that tied the game, 6-6.
Plassmeyer threw 3.0 innings in his start, allowing four hits, two runs (one earned) and one walk with four strikeouts.
Somerset starter Janson Junk gave up a season-high three runs on seven hits over 5.2 innings.
The series between the Patriots and Flying Squirrels continues Thursday night. Right-hander Caleb Kilian (3-0, 2.09) will start for Richmond opposed by right-hander JP Sears (3-0, 2.31) for Somerset.
For Thursday’s game, fans are encouraged to donate as July 15 is National Give Something Away Day and the Flying Squirrels are hosting a clothes, toy and home goods drive for those in need presented by Seredni Tire. Fans who make a donation will receive a voucher for tickets to a future Flying Squirrels home game. In-Your-Face Fireworks from inside the fences will fire after the ballgame. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. from The Diamond with gates opening at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets are available online at SquirrelsBaseball.com/Tickets, by phone at 804-359-3866 or in person at the Flying Squirrels offices.