Hartford (18-4) added a win to the best record in baseball with a 5-1 victory over the Squirrels on Saturday night at The Diamond. Richmond (8-15) was unable to take advantage of a stellar outing from starting pitcher Matt Gage in the loss. Gage hurled six innings and allowed just one run with four strikeouts in the defeat. Richmond scored their lone run in the ninth when Myles Schroder drove home Ricky Oropesa with a double to right field. Eliezer Zambrano added a pair of hits in the effort. The Squirrels wore special jerseys in support of ASK Foundation Night during the game. Richmond will attempt to avoid the series sweep on Sunday at 12:05 PM.
Matt Gage made the start for the Flying Squirrels and was sturdy through most of the night. Gage worked around an error in the first inning and a two-out double in the second. Hartford then managed to break through in the third frame with a run for a 1-0 edge. Yard Goats shortstop Zach Osborne led off with a single to open the inning. Osborne then scored when the next batter, Raimel Tapia, cracked a double to left center field. Hartford applied further pressure in the inning but Gage punched out Rosell Herrera with two runners on base. The run was the only one allowed by Gage in his fourth start of the year.
Pitching with a 1-0 lead, Hartford starting pitcher Zach Jemiola kept the Squirrels off balance through five innings of work. The Yard Goats righty yielded a two-out single to Christian Arroyo in the first and a base hit toright off the bat of Ricky Oropesa in the second. He went on to retire seven straight batters and 11 of his last 13. Jemiola departed with the 1-0 lead and handed the ball to Konner Wade to start the sixth.
Gage (0-3) was equally impressive and lasted six innings in the loss, retiring the final six batters he faced before reliever Tyler Mizenko came on to begin the seventh. Mizenko hurled a scoreless frame in his first game back form the disabled list. He was replaced by righty Jake Smith in the eighth and the Yard Goats added three runs in the inning. Smith walked the leadoff man David Dahl and then Pat Valaika added a single. Richmond then opted to intentionally walk Hererra with one out and pinch hitter Jan Vasquez delivered, clearing the bases with a hit to right. The Hartford bullpen of Wade and Shane Broyles combined to pitch the final four innings in relief of Jemiola. Jemiola (3-1) earned the win with five scoreless innings of work.
David Dahl cracked his eighth homer of the year for a 5-0 lead in the eighth. Richmond tallied their run with two outs in the ninth. Ricky Oropesa walked and Myles Schroder brought him in with a double into the gap in right center field.
The Flying Squirrels homestand continues with Brunch & Baseball on Sunday at 12:05 at The Diamond. RHP Kyle Crick (1-2, 4.70) is scheduled to start against Hartford RHP German Marquez (2-1, 1.71) Season tickets, mini plans, and group packages are currently available by contacting the box office at 804-359-FUNN or online atwww.squirrelsbaseball.com.