Late Squirrels comeback comes up short in 6-5 loss

Richmond Flying SquirrelsThe Richmond Flying Squirrels scored four runs over the final two innings on Thursday night against the Akron RubberDucks at Canal Park, but their comeback attempt fell one run shy in a 6-5 loss on Thursday night.

The Flying Squirrels (38-31) were held to 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position by Akron (40-27) and left 11 on base.

With runners at second and third base in the fourth, Bo Naylor lifted a sacrifice fly that scored Andruw Monasterio from third and gave Akron a 1-0 lead.

Simon Whiteman tied the game, 1-1, after a rocket double that brought home Brandon Martorano from first base in the fifth inning. It was Whiteman’s fourth double over his last five games.

Akron broke the tie with a four-run sixth inning to make it 5-1. The RubberDucks opened the inning with four consecutive hits, including RBI singles by Chris Roller and Naylor. Later in the inning, Daniel Schneeman bounced into a fielder’s choice that scored Naylor and Will Benson capped the frame with an RBI single that put Akron ahead by four.

After Matt Seelinger walked the bases loaded in the seventh, Luis Amaya came in and threw a wild pitch that scored Monasterio from third, extending the RubberDucks’ advantage to 6-1. Amaya responded with a groundout and two strikeouts to strand two runners.

With the bases loaded in the eighth, David Villar and Vince Fernandez scored on a throwing error off the bat of Luis Alexander Basabe. Frankie Tostado bounced into a double play but scored Diego Rincones from third base to cut the deficit to 6-4.

The Flying Squirrels made it 6-5 in the ninth inning off an RBI single from Rincones, but Kyle Marman (Save, 1) punched in a strikeout and a flyout to secure the win.

Richmond starter Sean Hjelle (Loss, 3-2) pitched into the sixth but was pulled after allowing three straight hits. He allowed four runs off five hits and three walks with four strikeouts.

Adam Scott tossed 5.0 innings in his start with Akron, allowing one run off four hits and one walk with seven strikeouts.

Akron reliever Skylar Arias (Win, 6-0) pitched a 1.1 scoreless innings with no hits and two walks with one strikeout.

The series continues Friday night from Canal Park with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Right-handed pitcher Trenton Toplikar (1-5, 5.33) is projected to start for Richmond opposed by left-handed pitcher Tanner Tully (4-3, 3.62) for Akron.

The Flying Squirrels return to The Diamond on Tuesday, July 27 for the first game of a two-week homestand against the Bowie Baysox and the Reading Fightin Phils. On July 27, Richmond celebrates all things sports with Sports Appreciation Night and the first 1,000 fans 15 and older can receive a connectable-base bobblehead of mixed nut racer John Walnut presented by Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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

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