Heston gets win for Richmond

richmond flying squirrelsFormer Flying Squirrels ace and San Francisco Giants hurler Chris Heston tossed four scoreless innings to earn the win for Richmond (45-46) in a 4-3 victory over Trenton (51-41) on Sunday afternoon at Arm & Hammer Park. Heston made his first appearance for Richmond since earning the Eastern League Pitcher of the Year Award in 2012. He struck out five batters to help the Squirrels split the four-game set against Trenton. The Squirrels now return to Richmond to begin a brief three-game series against the Erie SeaWolves on Monday. Monday in Funnville is a Bark in the Park night with a live appearance from the K-9 Crew Dog Show presented by VCA Animal Hospitals.

Richmond maintained a 1-0 lead in the contest until they added three much-needed insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning. Aramis Garcia and Caleb Gindl each walked to begin the ninth and Jonah Arenado then capitalized on the free passes with an RBI base hit into right field. Matt Lipka added a sacrifice fly and Ali Castillo capped the Richmond scoring by lofting a mis-judged triple over the right fielder Devyn Bolasky for a 4-0 advantage.

Squirrels reliever Sam Wolff entered to close out the win but encountered some difficulty in the bottom of the ninth. The Thunder put a pair of runs on base and with one out, Mandy Alvarez lined an RBI base hit into right, snapping the Richmond shutout. After Wolff punched out Kellin Deglan for the second out of the inning, Mandy Alvarez roped a two-run double to right, pulling Trenton to within a run, 4-3. Wolff then grounded out Bolasky to end the game and split the series. Richmond also won the overall season series, 8-7 with the win.

Right-hander Jose Flores starter the game for Richmond before turning the ball over the Heston. Flores turned in three solid innings in a spot start, his first this season with Richmond. Flores danced around five hits and did not allow a run in the no-decision. The struck out one and did not walk a batter while using 48 pitches. Heston then entered for the fourth and shutdown the Thunder over four innings of relief while allowing two hits. He walked one, struck out five and used 46 pitches to earn the win.

Richmond’s offense was jumps started by Aramis Garcia (3-3, 2,2B). Garica doubled in the second and again in the fourth. Despite the low score there was no dearth of opportunities early in the contest on Sunday. After the Trenton’s Trevor Stephan retired the side in order in the first, Richmond managed to put runners on base against him over the next five innings. Trenton also had an abundance of baserunners, gathering five hits in the first three innings. Stephan (2-6) suffered the loss with 5.1 innings pitched.

The Squirrels pushed across the game’s first run in the third. Matt Lipka worked a walk to start the frame and Ali Castillo executed a sacrifice bunt, advancing Lipka to second. Stephan then stuck out Luigi Rodriguez prior to Ryan Howard lifting a flare shot to shallow left, scoring Lipka for a 1-0 Richmond lead.

The Flying Squirrels concluded the four-game series in Trenton with a pair of wind and now the team returns to The Diamond tomorrow (Monday) to begin a three-game series against the Erie SeaWolves. Left-hander Conner Menez (3-1, 5.13) will make the start for the Flying Squirrels against Erie RHP Alex Faedo (0-0, 5.53). Richmond returns to Funnville on Monday for a three-game series against the Erie SeaWolves. Monday is a Bark in the Park night with a live appearance from the K-9 Crew Dog Show! Tickets and information can be found at www.squirrelsbaseball.com or by calling 804-359-FUNN (3884)

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