Hard times In Hartford: Squirrels lose opener 12-2

The Hartford Yard Goats (24-26) drubbed the Flying Squirrels (19-31) by a final of 12-2 on Tuesday night at Dunkin’ Donuts Park. Richmond was forced to use position players Rando Moreno and Ryan Lollis as pitchers to cover the last two innings of the defeat. Hartford’s Parker French was sharp in the outing and  earned the win with eight scoreless innings. The series continues on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. with RHP Cory Taylor (2-4, 5.09) on the mound.

richmond flying squirrelsMiguel Gomez extended his hitting streak to aseason-high 13 games with a base hit in the eighth inning. Richmond managed to avoid a shutout with a pair of runs in the ninth inning and actually out-hit Hartford 9-7 in the loss. Dylan Davis brought home the first Richmond run with a single to right and Rando Moreno drove in the second run on a double play. Hartford turned three double plays in the contest.

The Yard Goats were in command of the series opener from the third inning on. Richmond starting pitcher Sam Coonrod scuffled with his control and was limited to just three innings. Hartford took advantage of three walks in the third inning to grab a 5-0 lead. Ryan McMahon and Josh Fuentes collected the only hits n the frame – a single and a double respectively – in the five-run inning. Coonrod (1-6) tossed a total of 60 pitches in the outing and suffered his sixth loss of the season.

Luis Pino relieved Coonrod to start the fourth and also struggled to throw strikes. Pino walked consecutive hitters in thefourth and then Hartford’s Ashley Graeter doubled home a pair of runs to move ahead 7-0. McMahon followed with another double for an 8-0 advantage. Pino managed to end the inning with a strikeout of Dillon Thomas.

Parker French kept the Squirrels guessing in his 10th start of the season. French (4-4) shutdown the Flying Squirrels over eight innings of work to earn the win. The Texas product was able to keep his pitch count down with a double play to end the second inning and another to close out the third. He scattered six hits and struck out four in the victory.

Richmond walked a combined 12 Yard Goats batters in the contest. Ryan Lollis entered to pitch the seventh inning for his second career pitching appearance. Lollis walked a pair but was able to turn in a scoreless outing. Rando Moreno followed for his third career pitching performance and allowed four runs in the eighth. Dillon Thomas drilled a three-run home run to put the game out of reach, 12-2.

The Flying Squirrels continue the seven-game road trip on Wednesday at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford, CT. Right-hander Cory Taylor (2-4, 5.09) is scheduled to start against the Yard Goats RHP Konner Wade (1-4, 4.78). Flying Squirrels individual tickets, mini plans and group packages are on sale by contacting the Richmond box office at 804-359-FUNN or online at www.squirrelsbaseball.com.

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