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Richmond, New Britain split Saturday baseball doubleheader

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richmond-squirrelsThe Richmond Flying Squirrels (12-9) split a doubleheader with the New Britain Rock Cats (6-14) in front of 7,844 at The Diamond on Saturday night.  New Britain claimed the opener, 5-4, but the Squirrels rebounded to take the nightcap, 5-2.

The Rock Cats broke on top in game one with a pair of runs in the third inning off of Richmond left-hander Adalberto Mejia.  New Britain then broke the game open an inning later when Reynaldo Rodriguez launched a two-run home run to left field for a 4-0 lead.

Mejia (1-1) was charged with his first Double-A loss.  He surrendered the four earned runs over six innings.  He allowed seven hits, walked one and struck out six.

Meanwhile, New Britain lefty Sean Gilmartin strolled through his first five innings on the hill, allowing the Squirrels just two infield-singles.  However, the Squirrels scratched across their first run in the sixth inning when jarrett parker grounded out to plate Tyler Graham.

The Rock Cats padded their lead with a run off lefty Josh Osich in the sixth inning.  The seemingly harmless run would wind up being the difference in game one as the Squirrels rallied against Gilmartin in the seventh inning.  After Mario Lisson singled and Kelby Tomlinson walked, Graham decked a three-run home to left field to make it a one-run game, 5-4.  Gilmartin was lifted and after some brief trouble, right-hander Lester Oliveros was able to close the door to earn the save.

Gilmartin (2-2) earned the win over 6 2/3 innings.  He was charged with four runs on six hits, walked one and struck out seven.

Richmond game two starter Kyle Crick was lifted from the ballgame in just the second inning due to an elevated pitch count.  He left after walking the bases loaded and gave way to Austin Fleet.  Fleet (2-0) was able to escape the jam and keep the ballgame scoreless.  He also bridged the ballgame to the sixth inning and earned his second win of the season.

In the meantime, the Squirrels built a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning against left-hander Pat Dean.  The inning was keyed by a critical error charged to New Britain shortstop A.J. Pettersen on a potential double play ball from Lisson.  That allowed the first run to score for the Squirrels.  Graham followed and swatted a two-run single into left field.  His fourth hit of the night put Richmond in front, 3-0.  Graham knocked in five runs on the evening.

The lead remained unthreatened until the sixth inning when Kennys Vargas crunched a two-run home run to center field off Fleet to draw the Rock Cats within a run, 3-2.  New Britain got no closer as Lisson crunched an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth inning and another Richmond run scored on a wild pitch to cap the scoring.

Richmond right-handers Cody Hall and Derek Law combined to finish the win.  Hall cleaned up the sixth inning for Fleet, while Law earned his fourth save of the year with a scoreless seventh inning.

Dean (2-1) was saddled with the loss, charged with all five runs for Richmond, just one of which was earned.

The series finale of the three-game series is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. on Sunday afternoon at The Diamond.  Pregame coverage will begin on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com at 1:05 p.m.

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