Long rain delay, extras don’t deter Richmond Flying Squirrels
In a ballgame that included a rain delay of 86 minutes and 13 innings on top of it, the Richmond Flying Squirrels (18-15) walked off over the Erie SeaWolves (14-18), 7-6, on Friday night and a portion of Saturday morning at The Diamond.
Matt Duffy triggered the rally for the Squirrels with a lead-off double against righty Nick Avila. An out later, Mario Lisson walked and Avila then hit Angel Villalona to load the bases. Myles Schroder then sent the fans home happy with a two-run single into right field. Avila (0-2) took the loss for Erie.
Erie had forged ahead in the top of the 13th inning against right-hander Austin Fleet. With one out, Steven Moya singled. While Fleet struck out Francisco Martinez for the second out, Moya swiped second base. Corey Jones singled into right field to bring him in for the lead, 6-5. Fleet (3-0) earned the win, working four innings and surrendering just the lone run.
Both starting pitchers were forced from the game due to the rain delay. Erie right-hander Tommy Collier didn’t factor in the decision, working three scoreless innings. He allowed two hits, walked two, hit another and struck out none.
Richmond right-hander Kyle Crick had held the SeaWolves scoreless through the first three innings. However, he walked Jason Krizan to open the fourth and then allowed a single to Eugenio Suarez to put runners at the corners with nobody out before the rain started. Lefty Phil McCormick took over upon the resumption of the ballgame and Aaron Westlake greeted him with a fisted-single into left field. It plated Krizan with the first run if the ballgame. However, McCormick got out of the inning with no further damage incurred and the SeaWolves held a 1-0 lead.
Crick was charged with the run in the fourth, the lone run he surrendered over three innings plus two batters. He allowed three hits, walked one and struck out three. He did not factor in the decision.
Left-hander Ryan Robowski followed Collier and twirled two scoreless innings. However, he issued a walk to Mario Lisson to open the sixth inning. He recorded the first two outs of the inning, but was lifted in favor of righty Slade Smith. Devin Harris greeted him and pummeled a triple off the wall in left-center field. Lisson scored to tie the game, 1-1.
McCormick went on to retire nine consecutive batters, including Ramon Cabrera to start the seventh inning. However, he hit the next batter, Dean Green. Steven Moya followed and cranked an RBI double through the alley in right-center field to give Erie the lead back, 2-1.
The Erie lead was short-lived as the Squirrels grabbed control of the ballgame in the bottom of the seventh. Kelby Tomlinson led off with a single, his second of the night. Tyler Graham followed and legged out an infield-single to put two aboard. Matt Duffy then gave Richmond their first lead of the night with a two-run single chopped through the middle of a drawn-in infield. Duffy was picked off, but jarrett parker followed and launched a solo-home run off the left-field foul pole. The Squirrels capped the scoring for the inning when Angel Villalona doubled into the right-field corner. All the damage was done against right-hander Slake Smith.
Richmond carried their three-run lead into the bottom of the ninth inning, and turned the game over to their closer Derek Law. The right-hander was a perfect 8-for-8 in save opportunities coming in. However, the SeaWolves were able to plate three runs to force extra-innings. Jason Krizan and the SeaWolves were down to their final strike before he cracked a two-run single into center field to tie the game, 5-5.
Game three of the four-game series is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. at The Diamond on Friday night. Richmond LHP Ty Blach (2-1, 1.84) will make the start against Erie RHP Warwick Saupold (2-3, 6.67). Pregame coverage will begin on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com at 5:35 p.m.