Home Squirrels steal series opener

Squirrels steal series opener


richmond flying squirrelsFlying Squirrels third baseman Ryder Jones delivered a game-winning base hit in the ninth inning to complete a thrilling 2-1 victory over the Trenton Thunder (54-43) on Friday night.

The Squirrels (35-52) won for the second consecutive night in their last at bat and have won eight of the past 11 contests. Starting pitchers Andrew Suarez and Jose Campos were both phenomenal, but each earned no-decisions in the series opener. Suarez lasted a career-high 7 2/3 innings for Richmond in the outing.

Trailing 1-0, Brandon Bednar ignited Richmond with a double to the right centerfield gap to open the bottom of the ninth. Christian Arroyo followed with an infield single, and Chris shaw tied the game via a sacrifice fly to left field. Bednar scored on the play and Arroyo hustled to second on the tag up. Trenton’s defense then faltered as Hunter Cole rolled a ground ball to second base. Cito Culver bobbled the ball, allowing Cole to reach and Arroyo to move to third base. Jones then stroked a single over the left fielder Mark Payton, sending the Squirrels into celebration.

Squirrels starting pitcher Andrew Suarez found a rhythm early on in his 10th start with Richmond. The lefty faced the minimum the first time through the order and used just 39 pitches over the first three innings. Suarez did not allow a runnerpast second base until the eighth inning.

Trenton starter Vincente Campos was equally as impressive after working around a pair of two-out singles in the first inning. Campos set the side down in order in the second and used a double play to erase an error in the third. The Yankees top 20 prospect was efficient throughout and needed only 56 pitches over the first four innings.

The two hurlers swapped zeroes up until the top of the eighth inning. Suarez retired eight consecutive batters before Cito Culver shot a hard ground ball into the right field corner for a double. It was the first extra-base hit of the night and led to the game’s first run. With Culver on second base, Tyler Wade lined a ball back up the middle to score Culver for a 1-0 Trenton advantage. That single ended the longest outing of Suarez’ career. The lefty hurled 7 2/3 innings and allowed just the one run on five hits on 87 pitches. Matt Reynolds finished off the eighth frame with a strikeout to strand a runner.

Trenton dipped into the bullpen with the 1-0 lead entering the bottom of the eighth. Campos departed with seven scoreless innings and allowed just two hits on 95 pitches but received a difficult no-decision. Cale Coshow (3-6) relieved Campos and retired the side 1-2-3- for a scoreless eighth but allowed the pair of runs in the ninth to take the loss.

Squirrels reliever Jose Casilla (1-0) earned the win for Richmond by pitching a scoreless ninth inning in relief.



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