Jacob Heyward slam lifts Squirrels to walk-off win

Richmond Flying SquirrelsJacob Heyward drilled the first pitch he saw in the 10th inning over the left-field fence for a grand slam to give the Richmond Flying Squirrels a walk-off 7-3 win over the Erie SeaWolves on Monday at The Diamond.

It was the fifth walk-off win of the season for Richmond (47-78, 24-34) and the second walk-off win in the last three games. It was the first grand slam for a member of the Flying Squirrels since July 22, 2018, when Ryan Howard hit a grand slam against the Akron RubberDucks.

With the game tied, 3-3, in the 10th inning, Heyward pinch-hit for Gio Brusa with the bases loaded and two outs. He crushed a first-pitch fastball from Jose Fernandez (Loss, 1-1) over the left-field wall to give the Flying Squirrels the win. It was the 10th home run of the season for Heyward.

Richmond led, 3-2, entering the ninth inning, but Erie (72-52, 41-17) tied the game on a solo home run by Josh Lester. Carlos Navas retired 10 consecutive batters in relief before allowing the game-tying homer.

The Flying Squirrels failed to score in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game to extra innings. It was the 18th extra-inning game of the season for Richmond, establishing a new single-season franchise record. The Flying Squirrels improved to 6-12 in extra-inning contests this year.

Sam Wolff (Win, 2-0) retired the side in order in the top of the 10th to set the stage for Heyward’s homer.

The SeaWolves started the scoring in the top of the first inning, taking an early lead when Kody Eaves drove in Lester with an RBI single.

The Flying Squirrels bounced back to tie the game in the bottom of the first on a solo home run by Joey Bart. It was the second Double-A home run for Bart and his first at The Diamond.

Richmond extended its lead in the third against Anthony Castro. After Johneshwy Fargas drew a two-out walk, Heliot Ramos ripped an RBI double to left-center field.

Erie knotted the score in the fourth against Ryan Halstead when Lester doubled to start the frame and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Cam Gibson. Halstead completed a career-high five innings, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out five and walking one.

The Flying Squirrels pulled back in front in the fifth inning. With Zach Houchins at third base and one out, Fargas laid down a squeeze bunt to bring in Houchins and put Richmond up, 3-2.

The Flying Squirrels continue their series against the Erie SeaWolves on Tuesday when right-hander Brandon Lawson (5-8, 3.63 ERA) starts opposite Matt Manning (11-4, 2.47 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. and coverage begins with the Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup at 12:35 p.m. on Sports Radio 910 the Fan and 105.1 FM.

As part of the 10 memorable past promotions series, the first 1,500 fans 15 & older receive a T-shirt celebrating the Flying Squirrels former jovial acorn mascot, Zinger, presented By Seredni Tire. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

Fans can also celebrate Virginia’s most famous nut, the peanut as part of Tribute to the Peanut Night at The Diamond. The night will feature peanut prizes, an appearance by the NUTmobile and a peanut butter drive, presented by Virginia Peanut Growers Association, Inc.

For tickets or more information, call 804-359-3866 (FUNN), visit SquirrelsBaseball.com/Tickets or stop by the Flying Squirrels box office.

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