Home Richmond holds off Altoona, 7-5

Richmond holds off Altoona, 7-5

richmond-squirrelsThe Richmond Flying Squirrels (25-24) lost a four-run lead, but bounced back to down the Altoona Curve (20-31), 7-5, on Tuesday night at The Diamond.  The Squirrels improved to 8-3 on the season against the Curve as the two teams meet in a series for the fourth time.

Altoona right-hander A.J. Morris plunked jarrett parker to open the second inning.  It opened the floodgates for the Squirrels as Ricky Oropesa followed and reached on a fielder’s choice.  Devin Harris then lined an RBI single into right-center field.  Morris rebounded to strike out the next two batters, but Tyler Graham reached on an infield-single to load the bases.  Kelby Tomlinson then cranked a bases-clearing triple through the alley in left-center field.  Richmond exited the second inning with a 4-0 lead.

Richmond left-hander Adalberto Mejia held the Curve at bay through the first four innings, allowing Altoona just one hit.  However, Elias Diaz led off the fifth inning with a solo-home run to left-center field.  Diaz’s third of the season put Altoona on the board, trailing 4-1.  An out later, Willy Garcia rekindled the inning with a double to left-center field.  Mejia then walked Jarek Cunningham.  Morris then aided his own cause with a double punched up the right-field line.  Garcia scored on the Morris double.  Gift Ngoepe followed the same path into the right-field corner when he followed with a bases-clearing triple to tie the game, 4-4.  Alen Hanson then lifted a sacrifice-fly to center field to give Altoona the lead, 5-4.

The Squirrels snatched the lead back with a pair of runs off Morris in the bottom of the fifth inning.  Tomlinson got it started with a single and Morris followed with a walk to Matt Duffy.  Mario Lisson then singled.  Parker struck out, but Ricky Oropesa tied the game with a ground out.  Harris then pushed the Squirrels back in front with a ground-rule double to right-center field.

Morris (5-1) departed the ballgame after five innings.  He was charged with six total runs – two earned – on eight hits.  He walked two, hit another and struck out six.  He suffered his first loss of the season.

Mejia (2-4) bounced back from his troublesome fifth inning with a smooth sixth and then called it a night.  He conceded five earned runs on five hits, walked two and struck out four.  He was credited with his second win of the year.

Richmond tacked on a run against right-hander Joan Montero in the bottom of the sixth inning.  Tomlinson was again the catalyst, singling to start the frame.  Duffy was walked and Lisson knocked in Tomlinson with a single to right field.  Tomlinson (3-for-5) compiled a three-hit night.

Right-hander Edwin Quirarte worked two scoreless innings of relief and handed it off to Cody Hall in the ninth inning.  Hall earned his third save of the season, retiring the side in order.

Game two of the three-game series is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at The Diamond on Wednesday night. Richmond LHP Kelvin Marte (2-2, 6.23) will make the start against Altoona LHP Joely Rodriguez (2-4, 4.11).  The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmupbegins at 6:05 p.m. on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com.



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