Richmond Flying Squirrels blow late lead, lose in extras

Richmond Flying SquirrelsThe Richmond Flying Squirrels led entering the bottom of the eighth inning, but the New Hampshire Fisher Cats tied the game to force extra innings and eventually won, 5-4, on a walk-off steal of home in the 10th inning on Saturday at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

The loss snapped Richmond’s (22-37) three-game winning streak. The Flying Squirrels are now 5-5 through 10 games of the 11-game road trip.

After Richmond failed to score in the top of the 10th inning, Santiago Espinal began the bottom of the 10th inning as the placed runner at second base for New Hampshire (27-32). Right-hander Melvin Adon (Loss, 1-5) began the inning with back-to-back strikeouts, but then intentionally walked Josh Palacios and walked Kevin Smith on four pitches to load the bases.

Following a pitching change, Espinal successfully stole home ahead of a 2-2 pitch from left-hander Sam Moll to give the Fisher Cats the win.

The Flying Squirrels plated the game’s first run when Zach Houchins reached on an error and later scored on an RBI single from Brandon Van Horn.

Left-hander Caleb Baragar faced the minimum through the first four innings, allowing just two baserunners while striking out four. He held New Hampshire off the board for the first six innings.

Baragar pitched into the seventh inning for the third time in six starts with the Flying Squirrels, recording the first two outs of the seventh on a flyout and a strikeout – his sixth and final strikeout of the game. The Fisher Cats tied the game when Alberto Mineo doubled and scored on a single by Josh Palacious. Next, Kevin Smith walked and Brock Lundquist was hit by a pitch to load the bases, prompting a pitching change.

Right-hander Raffi Vizcaino entered with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh with the game tied at 1-1, but hit Nash Knight with his first pitch to force in a run and give New Hampshire the lead.

The Flying Squirrels rebounded in the eighth inning with three runs to retake the lead. Johneshwy Fargas drew a walk and scored the first run of the inning when he scored from second on a wild pitch after stealing third base.

The stolen base was Fargas’ career-high fourth steal of the game and his 21st of the season. Fargas became just the second player in Flying Squirrels history to steal four or more bases in a game (Kelby Tomlinson – 2014). Richmond stole five total bases in the game to set a new season high.

After Jonah Arenado singled, Houchins drilled a two-run homer to left to give the Flying Squirrels a 4-2 lead. It was the fifth home run of the season for Houchins, all on the current road trip.

Houchins finished the game 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. It was his seventh multi-hit game of the road trip and fifth in his last six games. Across the first 10 games of the road trip, Houchins is batting .395 (15-for-38) with three doubles, five home runs, 15 RBIs and 12 runs scored.

The Fisher Cats tied the game in the bottom of the eighth to eventually force extra innings. After a single from Forrest Wall and a double from Espinal, Vizcaino threw a wild pitch that allowed Forrest Wall to score. Following a walk, Vizcaino exited in favor of right-hander Tyler Cyr, who yielded the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Mineo.

Richmond had a chance to pull back in front in the top of the ninth with runners on first and second and two outs, but right-hander Bryan Baker (Win, 2-3) struck out Jalen Miller to end the threat.

The Flying Squirrels finish their series against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and wrap up the road trip on Sunday at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, when right-hander Brandon Beachy (1-1, 3.46 ERA) is scheduled to face right-hander Nate Pearson (0-1, 3.66 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m., and coverage begins with the Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup at 1:05 on Sports Radio 910 the Fan and 105.1 FM.

Tickets are on sale now for the 2019 Eastern League All-Star Week presented by Genworth. The All-Star Week festivities begin on Sunday, July 7 with Mayor Levar Stoney’s All-Star Week Kickoff on Brown’s Island, followed by the All-Star Country Music Jam on Monday, July 8, headlined by Big & Rich with special guests Cowboy Troy and DJ Sinister at Virginia Credit Union LIVE! at Richmond Raceway. The Celebrity Home Run Derby is Tuesday, July 9 and the festivities wrap up with the 2019 Eastern League All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 10.

For tickets or more information, call 804-359-3866 (FUNN), visit or stop by the Flying Squirrels box office.

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