Ponies pop Squirrels for sixth straight loss
Binghamton completed a four-game sweep over Richmond on Thursday night, taking the final game of the series by a final of 6-3 at The Diamond. The Rumble Ponies (26-15) handed the Squirrels (17-28) their sixth consecutive loss, aided by four Binghamton stolen bases in the contest. Slade Heathcott smacked his fifth home run of the season in the defeat for Richmond. The Squirrels will begin a seven game road trip on Friday in Harrisburg at 7:00 p.m.
Richmond turned to right-hander Cory Taylor to try and prevent the losing streak from reaching six games on Thursday. Taylor looked sharp to start, retiring the side in the first inning on just five pitches.
The Squirrels provided a lead for Taylor with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Facing Rumble Ponies righty Corey Oswalt, leadoff man Myles Schroder lined a single into center field to start the bottom of the first. Schroder advanced to third base on a flare base hit to right and scored on Brandon Bednar’s sacrifice fly to right field for a 1-0 start. Oswalt used 15 pitches in the inning.
Binghamton quickly tied the game up with a run in the top of the second inning. With two outs, LJ Mazilli worked a walk and stole second base to reach scoring position. First baseman Matt Oberste then delivered a base hit into center field to tie the game, 1-1.
Taylor shrugged off the second inning run andcontinued to pound the zone with fastballs. He induced a pair of ground balls in the third inning but was touched up for a run in the third. Again with two outs, the Ponies rallied for a run to take the 2-1 lead. Kevin Kaczmarski singled to put the wheels in motion and stole second. Oberste then delivered his second run-producing hit of the game, a base hit to center field. The ball just eked past the dive of Myles Schroder’s glove to reach center and provide the run.
Slade Heathcott quickly erased the one-run deficit with a sharp line drive home run out over the right center field wall. Heathcott’s fifth homer of the season tied the game, 2-2.
The Ponies moved back ahead with a pair of runs in the fifth inning. Patrick Biondi worked a one-out walk and took off around the bases – stealing second and then third on consecutive pitches. Luis Guillorme gave the Ponies the lead with a single and Tomas Nido drilled a double to make it a 4-2 contest.
Binghamton added another pair of runs in the fifth to pull ahead for good. Taylor walked LJ Mazzilli to start the inning to set up Oberste once again. The Binghamton first baseman drilled a double – his third RBI hit of the game – for a 5-2 advantage. Taylor walked the next batter, making it his last faced in the outing. Christian Jones entered and allowed the inherited runner to score, ending the line on Taylor (2-4). The righty suffered the loss and allowed six runs on six hits. He walked five and struck out two on 97 pitches.
Oswalt navigated through 6.2 innings and departed after an unearned run was pushed across in the seventh. Oswalt (4-3) allowed three runs (two earned) on nine hits. He walked none and struck out five toearn the win.
Jones and Collin Balester each tossed two scoreless innings in relief for Richmond to finish the game. Balester was in control,striking out a pair and retiring all six batters faced.
The Flying Squirrels begin a seven-game road trip on Friday, starting with the first of four games in Harrisburg, PA. LHP Matt age (1-4, 4.23) is scheduled to start against Harrisburg RHP John Simms (2-2, 3.50) in the opener. Flying Squirrels individual tickets, mini plans and group packages are on sale by contacting the Richmond box office at 804-359-FUNN or online at www.squirrelsbaseball.com