The Richmond Flying Squirrels rolled to a 7-3 win over the Erie SeaWolves on Thursday night at UPMC Park, clinching the second-half Southwest Division title and solidifying their spot in the 2023 Eastern League Playoffs.
Richmond (73-62, 40-26), the Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, has won 12 of its last 14 games, including all three this week against Erie (73-61, 36-30). The Flying Squirrels will face the SeaWolves, the Double-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, in the Southwest Division Series beginning next Tuesday at The Diamond.
Victor Bericoto broke a scoreless tie with a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning against Erie reliever Austin Bergner (Loss, 6-2), his Giants organization-leading 27th homer this year and his 11th with Richmond.
Later in the sixth, Logan Wyatt scored on a wild pitch and Will Wilson knocked an RBI single to left field, extending the Richmond lead to 3-0.
In the top of the eighth inning, Shane Matheny worked a bases-loaded walk to plate a run and Brady Whalen followed with a three-run double, opening a 7-0 lead.
Richmond starter John Michael Bertrand (Win, 2-3) threw six scoreless innings, working around four hits and two walks.
The SeaWolves broke the shutout with an RBI single by Jake Holton in the bottom of the eighth inning. In the ninth, Holton doubled in two runs to close the score to 7-3, but Tyler Myrick (Save, 6) entered out of the bullpen and recorded the final out to end the game.
This week’s series continues on Friday night at UPMC Park at 6:05 p.m. Right-hander Hayden Birdsong (0-2, 4.74) will be on the mound for Richmond.
Game 1 of the Southwest Division Series will be played on Tuesday as the Flying Squirrels host the SeaWolves at The Diamond. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
Tickets for the Flying Squirrels’ home playoff games are available online at SquirrelsBaseball.com/Tickets, by phone at 804-359-FUNN (3866) or in person at the Flying Squirrels ticket office. In the event that any Championship Series games are not played, fans who purchase tickets will receive a credit which can be used for tickets to a Flying Squirrels home game in 2024.