The Richmond Flying Squirrels (36-26) grinded out a, 7-4, win over the trenton thunder (33-32) at ARM & HAMMER Park on Tuesday night. The win is the third in a row over the Thunder for the Squirrels and guarantees them a winning record on their current road trip as they have won four of the first five. The victory also returns the Squirrels to a high-water mark of 10 games above .500.
The Squirrels jumped in front against right-hander Bryan Mitchell in the top of the first inning. With one out, Matt Duffy banked a single off of Mitchell and into center field. He advanced two bases on consecutive wild-pitches from Mitchell and scored for a 1-0 lead when Angel Villalona lined a single into right field.
The Thunder drew even against lefty Ty Blach in the third inning. Ben Gamel got Trenton started with a double drilled into the left-center field alley. An out later, Gary Sanchez lined a single to left-center to bring in Gamel and tie the ballgame, 1-1.
Richmond rushed back to the lead in the top of the fourth. Jarrett Parker got the Squirrels started with a one-out single. An out later, Tyler LaTorre drew a walk from Mitchell to put two aboard. Devin Harris followed and launched a three-run home run to right-center field. Harris’ fifth of the season gave the Squirrels a 4-1 lead.
Mitchell returned in the fifth inning, but was lifted after walking Mario Lisson with one out. Lefty James Pazos entered and conceded a single to Villalona. Parker then drew a walk to load the bases. Ricky Oropesa made it 5-1 Squirrels with an RBI single to right field. LaTorre followed and lofted a sacrifice-fly to left field for a 6-1 advantage.
Mitchell (1-4) was charged with five earned runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings. He walked three, struck out four and endured his fourth defeat of the season.
Blach (4-3) worked five innings for his fourth win of the season. He surrendered just the lone run on five hits, walked two and struck out four.
Peter O’Brien got a run back for the Thunder in the sixth when he lined a solo-home run to left field. The shot, off of lefty Phil McCormick, was O’Brien’s 22nd overall home run of the season and cut the Richmond lead to 6-2.
The Thunder inched another run closer in the seventh when Ali Castillo banged a lead-off triple against McCormick off of the left-field wall. Mason Williams then brought him in with an infield-single.
The Squirrels responded against lefty Fred Lewis with a two-out rally in the eighth to stem the tide. Matt Duffy knocked a double to left-center – his fourth hit of the night – to get things started. Lisson then laced a single into left field to plate Duffy and cap Richmond’s scoring for the evening.
Right-hander Cody Hall retired all four batters that he faced out of the Squirrels’ bullpen. He handed it off to right-hander Hunter Strickland, who finished the job despite conceding the final run of the night to the Thunder.
Game two of the three-game series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday night at ARM & HAMMER Park. Richmond LHPJack Snodgrass (6-0, 2.25) will make the start against Trenton LHP Jeremy Bleich (4-5, 4.37). The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup begins at 6:35 p.m. on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com.