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Hartford outduels Flying Squirrels in 3-2 win

Richmond Flying SquirrelsIn a low-scoring pitchers’ duel, the Richmond Flying Squirrels came up short, 3-2, against the Hartford Yard Goats Thursday night at Dunkin Donuts Park.

It was the first loss for Richmond (24-21) in the series and the second dropped contest against Hartford (14-31) this season. All five combined runs in the game were scored off homers.

The Yard Goats took an early 2-0 advantage in the first inning off a two-run homer from Taylor Snyder with Richmond starter Trenton Toplikar (Loss, 1-3) on the mound.

After the first, Toplikar retired 12 of the next 14 batters he faced. He finished the night with 5.0 innings pitched, allowing five hits, two runs and one walk while matching a career-high eight strikeouts.

Richmond was held to only three hits through the first six innings while going 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

Vince Fernandez mashed a solo home run to break the shutout in the seventh inning and put the Flying Squirrels within one at 2-1. Fernandez has seven home runs on the season, the second-most on Richmond’s roster.

Matt Seelinger started the sixth inning in relief and struck out two Yard Goats in a three-up, three-down frame. Patrick Ruotolo worked a scoreless inning while leaving runners stranded at first and third.

The Yard Goats widened the lead to 3-1 in the eighth courtesy of a solo home run from Snyder off Richmond reliever Norwith Gudino. Snyder now leads the Double-A Northeast in home runs with 13 on the season.

The Flying Squirrels clawed back in the ninth inning with a solo home run from Sandro Fabian to cut the deficit to 3-2. Tommy Doyle (Save, 2) fought back with three straight outs to secure the Hartford win.

Yard Goats’ starter Frank Duncan (Win, 2-3) pitched into the seventh inning but was pulled after allowing back-to-back baserunners. He totaled 6.0 innings with one run allowed on four hits and four strikeouts.

Richmond takes on Hartford in game four Thursday night with a first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Akeel Morris (1-0, 3.60) will start for Richmond opposed by Hartford right-hander Karl Kauffmann (0-5, 7.50).

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, by phone at 804-359-3866 or in person at the Flying Squirrels offices.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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