The Richmond Flying Squirrels (2-2) earned a split of their four-game series with the New Britain Rock Cats (2-2) with a convincing, 8-2, victory on Sunday afternoon at New Britain Stadium. Giants’ top-prospect Kyle Crick earned the win in his Double-A debut, while the offense racked up 10 more hits.
For the fourth consecutive day, the Flying Squirrels scored first. For the first time in the series, they waited until the second inning. With one out in the second inning, Myles Schroder slapped a single into left field. Ricky Oropesa followed and also went the other way for a single. Brett Krill became the third consecutive Squirrel to push a hit the opposite way when he served an RBI double up the right-field line. Kelby Tomlinson knocked in a second run with a ground out and Tyler Graham capped a three-run inning with a single to right-center field.
Crick make his highly anticipated Double-A debut and worked a scoreless first inning. He walked Brandon Waring to start the second however, and it came back to haunt him. After recording the first out, Crick conceded a single to Mike Kvasnicka to put runners at the corners. Kyle Knudson followed with an opposite-field double to the right-field corner. Waring came home to cut the Richmond lead to, 3-1.
The Squirrels got right back after New Britain starter Matt Summers in the third. They added two runs to take a 5-1 lead. jarrett parker sparked the inning with a one-out single. Summers then walked Mario Lisson and hit Angel Villalona to load the bases. Schroder followed with a run-scoring single and Ricky Oropesa brought home the second run with a sacrifice fly to left field.
The second error of the afternoon charged to New Britain shortstop Aderling Mejia eventually cost the Rock Cats three more runs in the fourth inning. Mejia’s error opened the frame. An out later, Matt Duffy singled and Parker followed with an RBI single. It marked the 10th hit of the series for Parker, who recorded multiple hits in each of the four games in the series. Villalona then made it 8-1 with a two-run single to right-center field. Villalona’s hit was the ninth of the day for Richmond, with all nine sent to the opposite-field.
Summers (0-1) departed to the loss after four tumultuous innings. He surrendered eight runs – five earned – on nine hits. He walked one, hit two and struck out four.
Crick (1-0) settled in to retire the next seven batters after Knudson’s second-inning double. He also allowed just one more hit on his afternoon. The 21-year old earned his first Double-A win over five innings. He allowed the lone run on three hits, walked two and struck out five.
Right-hander Austin Fleet followed Crick and pitched well in relief. He threw three scoreless innings to bridge the game to the ninth inning. Lefty Bryce Bandilla came on for the ninth. He allowed the final run of the day but otherwise closed out the win quietly.
The Squirrels continue their season-opening road trip as they travel to Bowie, MD, to open a three-game series with the Bowie Baysox (Baltimore Orioles). First pitch of the opener is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Prince George’s Stadium on Monday night. Richmond LHP Kelvin Marte (0-0, —) will make his Double-A debut against Bowie LHP Jake Pettit (0-0, —). Pregame coverage will begin at 6:05 p.m. on SportsRadio910.com.