Richmond completes sweep of Altoona
The Richmond Flying Squirrels (27-24) completed a three-game sweep of the Altoona Curve (20-33) through a steady mist on Thursday night at The Diamond. They claimed the completion of a suspended middle game, 5-4, before Ricky Oropesa crushed a walk-off pinch-hit three-run home run to deliver the finale, 6-3.
Prior to Wednesday’s suspension
Altoona broke on top quickly in the top of the first inning against lefty Kelvin Marte. Gift Ngoepe opened the ballgame with a double shot to right field. Alen Hanson followed with a single back through the middle to put runners at the corners with nobody out. Mel Rojas Jr. bounced into a double-play, but Ngoepe came in for a 1-0 lead.
Curve left-hander Zack Dodson worked through three scoreless innings, but Devin Harris tied the ballgame in the fourth. Batting with two outs, Harris crunched his third home run of the season. The solo-shot to right-center field knotted the contest, 1-1.
Both starting pitchers were still in the ballgame upon its suspension. Each was charged with a lone run. Dodson did not factor in the decision.
Upon Resumption on Thursday (1:55 Delay)
The Squirrels were handed an opportunity by Altoona right-hander Tyler Sample. jarrett parker pinch-hit for Marte to start the bottom of the fifth inning and walked. Sample also walked the following batter, Tyler Graham. Kelby Tomlinson then attempted to lay down a sacrifice-bunt. Sample missed his defensive assignment however, and it turned into a bunt-single to load the bases. Matt Duffy followed and muscled a two-run single into right-center field to give the Squirrels a 3-1 lead. Sample then walked Angel Villalona and was lifted in favor of lefty Brandon Mann. Mann plunked Harris to force in a run and an additional run scored when Myles Schroder lofted a sacrifice-fly to left field.
Sample (3-3) was charged with all four runs in the fifth inning and took the loss without recording an out. He allowed two hits and walked three batters.
The fifth-inning uprising from the Squirrels turned Marte (3-2) into the winner. He worked five innings to earn the victory, allowing a lone run on five hits. He walked two and struck out five, earning wins in back-to-back starts for the first time on the season.
Richmond used four right-handed relievers to finish the ballgame. Andrew Carignan made his Squirrels’ debut and worked a scoreless sixth inning. Jose Casilla then handled the seventh inning and handed it off to right-hander Hunter Strickland. He was impressive in his Richmond debut, mowing down the side in order in the eighth.
Cody Hall had some difficulty in the ninth inning, including allowing a three-run home run to Rojas Jr. that made it a one-run game. However, he ultimately struck out the side, slamming the door.
The Squirrels jumped on top quickly in game two against lefty Joely Rodriguez. Tomlinson sparked the inning when he drew a one-out walk in the first inning. Duffy followed with a triple to right field that plated Tomlinson for a 1-0 lead. Mario Lisson followed and made it 2-0 with a single through the middle.
Richmond lefty Ty Blach held off the Curve through the first three innings, but they broke through in the fourth to take the lead, 3-2. Keon Broxton started the inning with a triple to right-center field. Blach then walked Stetson Allie before Jarek Cunningham homered over the right-field wall. The three-run drive gave Altoona their first advantage of the night.
Blach finished the fourth, but called it a night at that point. He was charged with three earned runs on three hits. He walked two, hit another and struck out five. He didn’t factor in the decision.
Rodriguez steadied himself and worked without further incident into the sixth inning. He ran out of gas there however, and the Squirrels caught up. Duffy cracked a single – his third hit against Rodriguez – to start the inning. Rodriguez followed with a walk issued to Lisson. Rodriguez struck out Angel Villalona, but jarrett parker singled on the infield to load the bases. Harris then maneuvered a 10-pitch walk to force in the tying run.
Right-hander Derek Law stretched the game into the bottom of the eighth inning by firing two scoreless innings. Law (2-0) struck out four as he earned his second win of the season.
Law set the stage for Richmond as Altoona brought on lefty Jhonathan Ramos. Parker greeted him with a double off the left-field wall. An out later, Tyler LaTorre walked to put two aboard. Oropesa was then selected to pinch-hit. He worked the count to 2-1 before launching a massive three-run home run to right-center field. His second home run of the year gave the Squirrels their first series sweep of the season. Ramos (1-3) absorbed the loss for the Curve.
The Squirrels hit the road for a weekend series in Bowie, MD, against the Bowie Baysox (Baltimore Orioles). The three-game series begins with the opener, scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Prince George’s Stadium. Richmond LHP Jack Snodgrass (4-0, 1.74) will make the start against Bowie RHP Tyler Wilson (5-4, 4.45). The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup begins at 6:05 p.m. on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com.
UVA Basketball Fans!
Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”
Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”
Feedback from buyers: “Got the Book in the Mail Saturday, and could not put it down! Great read and great photography as well! Love all of the books I’ve received, but hands down, this is my favorite!” – Russell