Richmond drops doubleheader in Altoona
The Flying Squirrels were unable to utilize solid outings from starting pitchers Chase Johnson and Joan Gregorio in a pair of losses on Saturday in Altoona. Richmond (10-18) dropped the first game 3-1, and were defeated 2-1 in the nightcap.
Johnson allowed just three hits over five innings in the first contest and Gregoriolimited the Curve to a pair of hits in game two, however, both starters were saddled with losses. Richmond shortstop Christian Arroyo provided three hits, including a pair of doubles on the night. The Squirrels will attempt to avoid the series sweep on Sunday at 1:00 PM.
Chase Johnson (1-3) took the ball in game one for Richmond and was sharp through the first three innings in his fifth start of the season. Johnson, making his first start in ten days, retired the first nine batters he faced. Richmond provided Johnson a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning as former Curve catcher Steve Lerud smacked his first home run of the season. Lerud was a member of the Curve in 2008 and 2009 and quickly made a mark in his return. Christian Arroyo continued the inning with a two-out base hit and Tyler Horan worked a walk but Altoona’s Tyler Eppler was able to work out of the jam to keep it a 1-0 contest.
The Curve manufactured a pair of runs off Johnson to push ahead, 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning. Johnson inadvertently hit Harold Ramirez on an 0-2 pitch to start the inning. ErichWeiss then walked on four pitches and Austin Meadows advanced runners on a sacrifice bunt. Johnson followed with a wild pitch that went to the backstop, allowing Ramirez to score from third base to tie the game. Jose Osuna then stepped to the plate and pushed a ball through the drawn in infield for a 2-1 edge.
Eppler then managed to cruise with the lead, setting down eight consecutive batters from the third to the sixth inning. Tyler Horan broke up that stretch with a base hit but was stranded on second base to end the sixth inning. Altoona tacked on a run for a 3-1 lead in thefifth, Johnson’s final inning. Johnson allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits with three walks in the loss. Jake Smith relived Johnson in the sixth and worked around a pair of base runners in a scoreless innings.
Eppler (2-2) earned the win and went the distance in the victory. The righty allowed just one run on four hits with two strikeouts and one walk.
The Squirrels fell behind first in game two despite a solid start to the contest from RHP Joan Gregorio. Gregorio (0-2)retired the first six batters to open the outing but walked Stetson Allie to start the third inning. Altoona managed to bunt Allie to second base and bring him home on an Anderson Feliz base hit. It was the first of only two hits allowed by Gregorio in the contest.
Richmond quickly tied things up with a run off Altoona RHP Cody Dickson in the top of the fourth. Christian Arroyo smacked his seventh double of the season to right center field ot lead things off Hunter Cole brought in Arroyo with a base hit to left field to tie the game, 1-1.
The Squirrels applied more pressure against Dickson in the fifth. Eliezer Zambrano singled to left and moved to second with two outs when Ali Castillo worked a walk. However, Dickson was able to elude trouble by striking out Arroyo to end the inning.
Gregorio was in control for most of the night for the Squirrels but was bested by Johnathan Schwind in the fifth inning. With two out, Schwind launched a solo home run to left to give the Cure a 2-1 lead. The home run was only the second hit allowed by Gregorio in the loss. Gregorio worked five innings and allowed the two ruins and two hits with one walk on 65 pitches in the defeat.
The Schwind homer made Dickson the winning pitcher. Dickson allowed only one run on four hits with three walks and sixstrikeouts. Relievers Jhondaniel Median and Montana DuRapau finished the game to preserve the win. DuRapau earned his sixth save of the season by pitching the seventh and last inning.
Richmond will conclude a brief three game road trip in Altoona at 1:00 PM on Sunday afternoon. Squirrels LHP Matt Gage (0-3, 5.49) is scheduled to face Altoona RHP Frank Duncan (2-1, 1.20)The Squirrels will return home on Monday, May 9th with Bark in the Park at 6:35 PM. 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.