Altoona Curve rally with three runs late, win opener at Richmond, 6-4

Altoona Curve rally with three runs late, win opener at Richmond, 6-4

richmond flying squirrelsThe Richmond Flying Squirrels allowed three unanswered runs late in a 6-4 loss to the Altoona Curve Tuesday night at The Diamond.

The Flying Squirrels (22-29), the Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, scored two of their four total runs with two outs but struck out 12 times against the Curve (28-22), the Double-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Flying Squirrels propelled to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning against Altoona starter Kyle Nicolas. After a leadoff walk to Vaun Brown, Marco Luciano blasted an RBI double to score Brown from first base. Andy Thomas plated Luciano later in the inning off a sacrifice fly and gave Richmond a two-run advantage.

With two outs and a runner at second base in the third inning, Hayden Cantrelle lined an RBI single to push the Flying Squirrels to a 3-0 lead.

Altoona struck back with a three-run top of the sixth inning to even the score, 3-3. After back-to-back singles to start the inning, Matt Gorski drove in a pair with a triple to cut the deficit to one run. Gorski later scored off a double play to tie the game.

After a leadoff walk to Carter Williams and a single by Brett Auerbach in the seventh, Curve reliever Cameron Junker posted two outs to hold runners at first and second. Thomas punched a single to left field to score Williams from second base and jumped the Flying Squirrels to a 4-3 lead. Thomas notched one hit, a stolen base, one run and two RBIs in the game.

Gorski hit a one-out double in the top of the eighth and tied the game, 4-4, off a pair of Richmond throwing errors.

With two outs and a runner at second in the top of the ninth, Dylan Shockley drove an RBI single to right field, giving the Curve a one-run lead. Liover Peguero brought home Shockley off an RBI double against Evan Gates (Loss, 1-5) and pushed Altoona to a 6-4 lead.

Oliver Garcia (Save, 3) set down the Flying Squirrels in order in the bottom of the ninth with a strikeout, lineout and a popout.

The Curve used four relivers and combined for one run. Travis MacGregor worked three hitless innings with five strikeouts and Tyler Samaniego (Win, 2-1) worked a pair of punchouts in a scoreless eighth inning.

Richmond starter Landen Roupp worked a season-high four innings and held the Curve scoreless, allowing one hit and two walks with three strikeouts.

The Flying Squirrels will take on the Curve on Wednesday with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Left-handed pitcher Carson Whisenhunt will be making his Double-A debut opposed by Altoona right-hander Brad Case (3-1, 5.16)

On Wednesday, the first 1,000 fans ages 21 and older can receive a custom Nutzy Wine Topper to keep any bottle of wine fresh presented by New Kent Winery. It is also Wine and K-9s where fans can enjoy five-dollar glasses of wine and six-dollar wine slushies from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Plus, dogs are admitted free to every Wednesday home game at The Diamond.

Tickets are available online at, by phone at 804-359-FUNN (3866) or in person at the Flying Squirrels ticket office.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page,