Right-hander Kyle Crick dominated for six innings and the Richmond Flying Squirrels (21-18) hung on late to defeat the Altoona Curve (15-24), 2-1, on Friday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field. It marked the longest outing of the season for Crick, the San Francisco Giants’ top-prospect in the eyes of Baseball America.
The Squirrels broke on top in the third inning against Altoona right-hander Nick Kingham. Tyler Graham led off with a single to left field and advanced to second when Kingham walked Matt Duffy. Kingham recorded the first out, but Mario Lisson reached on a fielding error to load the bases with one out. Angel Villalona then yanked a two-run single into left field to give Richmond a 2-0 lead.
Kingham (1-4) settled in after Villalona’s single and retired the next nine batters. He lasted through six innings, allowing just the two runs in the third. He conceded four hits, walked four and struck out four. He was saddled with his fourth loss of the season.
Kingham was solid, but Crick (2-1) shined much more brightly in his finest outing of the year. He fired six scoreless innings, facing just one batter over the minimum. He surrendered just two hits, walked one and struck six – including five consecutive outs by way of the strikeout to finish his night. He also retired 13 consecutive batters from the second inning into the sixth as he earned his second win of the season.
The Curve awoke offensively upon Crick’s departure, plating their first run in the seventh against righty Edwin Quirarte. With two outs, Quirarte walked Justin Howard. Keon Broxton followed and cracked a double to the right-field corner. Howard raced around to make it a one-run ballgame, 2-1.
Right-handers Cody Hall and Derek Law made sure Altoona got no closer. Hall worked a dominant inning in the eighth that included two strikeouts. Law had some trouble in the ninth, but Skyler Stromsmoe made a game-saving catch to preserve the win for Richmond with the tying-run at third base for the Curve. Law earned his league-leading 10th save of the season.
Game two of the three-game series is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field. Richmond LHP Ty Blach (3-1, 2.23) will make the start against Altoona RHP A.J. Morris (3-0, 1.80). The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmupbegins at 5:30 p.m. on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com.