Home Richmond wins home opener, 2-1

Richmond wins home opener, 2-1


richmond flying squirrelsWith NFL Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, the Richmond Flying Squirrels rallied late to win the 2016 home opener, 2-1 at The Diamond.

Hunter Cole pleased the sellout crowd of 9,560 by driving in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning. Cole’s single to left field plated Myles Schroder for the lead. Ray Black then entered and closed out the gamewith a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his second save in as many opportunities for Richmond. Richmond have now sold out all seven Opening Nights in franchise history. The Squirrels (3-5) will host Altoona (2-5) for game two of the series on Friday night at 7:05 PM.

Squirrels starter Adalberto Mejia took the ball to start the game for his second outing this year. Mejia maintained control through the first fewinnings after pitching around a pair of runners on in the first. The lefty pitched without incident until the start of the fifth inning when Chris Diaz reached on an infield single. Diaz was then antagonizing Mejia on the first base bag and forced a balk. Harold Martinez brought home Diaz with a double out to left field. Mejia retired the next batter on a ground out but was pulled with two in the fifth after reaching his pitch limit. The southpaw allowed one run on three hits with three walks and five strikeouts in a no decision. Tyler Rogers finished the inning in relief.

Richmond retaliated with a run in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game, 1-1. Altoona starting pitcher Clay Holmes yielded a one-out double toRando Moreno. Myles Schroder followed suite with a double to right field, tying the game. Holmes was finished after six innings and allowed just the one run on four hits in the no-decision.

Jose Casilla hurled a pair of scoreless innings in relief for Richmond to bridge the game to the later innings. Casilla gave way to RHP Dan Slania for the eighth in a 1-2-3 frame.

The Squirrels rallied in the bottom of the eighth to make Slania the winning pitcher. Myles Schroder led off the eighth with a base hit to center field and advanced to second base on an poor pick off throw from reliever Josh Smith. Schroder motored to third when Christian Arroyo reached on an infield base hit and scored with a two-out singled off the bat of Hunter Cole for a 2-1 advantage. Slania (2-0) earned the win as the Squirrels bullpen hurled 4/13scoreless innings in the contest. Ray Black struck out a pair in the ninth to shut the door.

The Flying Squirrels 2016 home schedule continues on Friday, April 15th at 7:05 PM with a Free Shirt Friday and Happy Hour. RHP Chase Johnson (0-1, 6.75) is scheduled to stat against Altoona RHP Tyler Eppler (1-0, 3.00). Season tickets, mini plans, and group packages are currently available by contacting the box office at 804-359-FUNN or online at www.squirrelsbaseball.com.



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