New Hampshire grabs opener as Richmond native earns the win

richmond-squirrelsThe New Hampshire Fisher Cats (54-56) snapped the Richmond Flying Squirrels four-game win-streak with a, 5-2, victory in front of 6,747 at The Diamond on Friday night.  The win went to Richmond native Deck McGuire, pitching in front of a healthy contingent of family and friends.

Angel Villalona opened the scoring in the ballgame when he led off the second inning against New Hampshire right-hander Kyle Drabek.  Villalona clobbered the second pitch of the inning, sending it over the center-field wall by a good distance.  The massive solo-home run put the Squirrels ahead, 1-0.

Drabek, working back from Tommy John surgery, left due to a pitch count after four innings.  The home run amounted to the only hit and run that he conceded.  He walked one, struck out three and did not factor in the decision.

Richmond right-hander Craig Westcott was nearly flawless through the first five innings.  He blanked the Fisher Cats, while allowing just a lone hit.  However, a one-out walk in the sixth led to an unraveling for Westcott and the Squirrels.  The walk was issued to Adam Loewen, and he stood at third base with two outs.  A.J. Jimenez followed with an RBI single to tie the game, 1-1.   Brad Glenn then stepped in and crunched a two-run home run to left field that put New Hampshire in front, 3-1.  Kevin Nolan followed and also went deep to left field.  The back-to-back home runs gave the Fisher Cats a 4-1 advantage.

Westcott (4-11) departed to the loss following the disastrous sixth inning.  He was charged with four earned runs on five hits.  He walked two and struck out six, enduring a loss for the 11th time.  Westcott tied for the league-lead in losses while the Squirrels fell to 4-18 in his 22 starts.

Richmond-native Deck McGuire relieved Drabek and was sharp through his first two innings.  He struck out the first batter of the seventh inning, his fifth strikeout, but ran into trouble thereafter.  Two walks set the table, and Jarrett Parker took advantage with a two-out single to score Adam Duvall.  The New Hampshire lead stood at 4-2 through seven innings.

McGuire (5-10) stabilized and earned the win over four innings.  The run in the seventh inning was the only blemish, as he conceded three hits, walked two and struck out five.

New Hampshire capped the scoring with a run in the eighth inning charged to righty Omar Javier.  Lance Zawadski knocked in the run with an RBI single.

Game two of the three-game weekend series is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. at The Diamond on Saturday night.  Richmond LHP Edwin Escobar (2-2, 3.00) will make the start against New Hampshire RHP Marcus Walden (6-11, 3.59).  The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup will begin at 6:35 p.m. on Sports Radio 910, and IHeart Radio.

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