Mario Lisson clubbed two home runs and knocked in four runs as the Richmond Flying Squirrels (16-12) defeated the trenton thunder (19-11), 5-3, at ARM & HAMMER Park on Sunday afternoon. The win allowed the Squirrels to salvage one of the three games in the series.
The Squirrels grabbed their first lead of the series with a pair of runs off of lefty Manny Banuelos in the top of the first inning. Banuelos recorded the first two outs of the inning, but plunked jarrett parker with an errant breaking-ball. Lisson followed and clubbed a two-run home run off the scoreboard in left-center field. Lisson’s third of the season gave Richmond a 2-0 lead.
Trenton leveled the ledger with a pair of runs plated against lefty Ty Blach in the bottom of the second inning. Rob Refsnyder started the inning with a double off the base-of-the-wall in right-center field. He advanced to third on a ground out and scored the first Thunder run on a bounce out from Yeral Sanchez. With two outs, Ali Castillo sparked the Thunder again with an opposite-field double. He scored to tie the game when Matt Duffy committed a throwing error on a ground ball from Taylor Dugas. The second run was unearned against Blach.
On a rehab appearance, Banuelos worked just three innings plus one batter, and didn’t factor in the decision. He was charged with two runs earned on two hits. He walked one, hit one and struck out three.
The Squirrels snatched the lead back with a pair of runs against right-hander Cole Kimball in the fifth. Skyler Stromsmoe got Richmond started with a one-out infield-single. Duffy followed and zipped a single into right field. Parker then drew a walk to load the bases and Lisson lifted a sacrifice-fly into right field to bring in Stromsmoe. Angel Villalona capped the inning when he singled in Duffy for a 4-2 advantage. Kimball (0-2) was saddled with the loss.
After his trouble in the second inning, Blach breezed through the next three frames, facing just one over the minimum. He also quickly recorded the first out in the sixth inning. However, Gary Sanchez interrupted his stroll when he belted his second home run of the series over the batter’s eye in center field. The solo-shot made it one-run game, 4-3, favoring the Squirrels.
Blach (2-1) called it a day after six innings, departing to his second win. He was charged with three runs – two earned – on four hits. He walked one and struck out two.
Lisson was at it again in the seventh, answering he solo-home run for Sanchez with his second home run of the day. The massive drive was again to left-center field, this time off Manny Barreda to give the Squirrels a 5-3 lead.
Right-handers Edwin Quirarte and Derek Law took it the rest of the way for the Squirrels. Quirarte used two double plays to face the minimum through the seventh and eighth innings. Law came on to earn his league-leading eighth save of the season in the ninth.
The Squirrels’ six-game road trip continues as they travel to Harrisburg, PA, to open a three-game series with the Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals) on Monday night. First pitch of the opener is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Metro Bank Park. Richmond LHP Jack Snodgrass (1-0, 0.93) will make the start against Harrisburg RHP Rob Gilliam (0-0, 5.09). Pregame coverage will begin on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com at 6:00 p.m.