Richmond Flying Squirrels complete Mother’s Day sweep of Erie
The Richmond Flying Squirrels (20-15) swept a doubleheader from the Erie SeaWolves (14-20) on Sunday afternoon at The Diamond. Richmond grabbed the opener, 5-3, and claimed the series when they took the second game, 6-3.
The SeaWolves had a brief two-out uprising against lefty Ty Blach in the first inning of game one to take a 1-0 lead. Eugenio Suarez lined a double into right-center field and was quickly plated when Wade Gaynor followed with a double knocked off the wall in left-center field.
Erie added a run to their lead in the third when Jason Krizan laced a one-out double into left-center field. An out later, Suarez made it 2-0 with a single into center field.
Erie right-hander Warwick Saupold held the Squirrels off through the first five innings, but an error charged to Dean Green with one out in the sixth inning opened the floodgates for Richmond. Jarrett Parker reached on the error and Mario Lisson followed it with a single. An out later, Ricky Oropesa got the Squirrels on the board with an RBI single into center field. Saupold then walked Devin Harris to load the bases for Ryan Lollis. He launched a grand slam to right field, his first home run of the season giving Richmond a 5-2 lead. It marked the first grand slam of the season for the Squirrels.
Blach (3-1) conceded a solo-home run to Green to open the seventh inning. However, he had no trouble after that, finishing a complete-game win by retiring the next three batters in order. Blach was charged with three earned runs on six hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out three as he won for the third time.
All five runs charged to Saupold (2-4) were unearned, however he was doomed to the loss, his fourth of the year. He allowed five total runs on seven hits, walked two and fanned two.
The Squirrels struck first in the second game as Tyler Graham led off the first inning with a single. He moved around on a ground out from Matt Duffy and a single from Parker. Lisson then lifted a sacrifice-fly to right field as Richmond brought in Graham for their first run against lefty Kyle Ryan.
Erie responded in the second against left-hander Jack Snodgrass to tie the game, 1-1. Steven Moya led off with a single that Green followed with a double into the right-field corner. Francisco Martinez then singled on the infield to score Moya.
The SeaWolves grabbed the lead in the third, when Suarez bunted for a hit to start the inning. He swiped second base and took both third and the plate on ground outs for a 2-1 lead.
The lead was short-lived as Matt Duffy led off the third inning with his first home run of the season. The solo-shot to left off of Ryan evened the score, 2-2.
Richmond grabbed control of the contest with four runs in the fourth inning. Oropesa sparked the inning with a lead-off single. He was forced by Lollis, who took his place on the bases. Eliezer Zambrano then singled to put two aboard. Kelby Tomlinson then lined a single into right field to bring in Lollis for a 3-2 lead. Graham followed with a single to left field to load the bases before Duffy cleared them with a double down the left-field line. Duffy had knocked in four runs for the ballgame as the Squirrels took a 6-2 advantage.
The SeaWolves were gifted a run in the bottom of the fifth inning, the final tally Erie would notch against Snodgrass. With two outs, Gaynor doubled off the wall in left field. Moya followed and popped a ball high in the air in front of the mound. Nobody claimed it for the Squirrels, and it fell for a double. Gaynor scored to cut the Richmond lead to three runs, 6-3.
Ryan (2-5) called it a day after four innings. He was saddled with the loss after allowing six earned runs on nine hits. He walked one and struck out four.
Snodgrass (3-0) lasted the requisite five innings for the win. He was charged with three earned runs on nine scattered hits. He walked one, struck out two and claimed his third win of the year.
Left-hander Bryce Bandilla handled the sixth inning for the Squirrels and righty Derek Law struck out the side in the seventh to earn his league-leading ninth save of the season.
The Squirrels enjoy a league-wide off day on Monday. They continue their current homestand on Tuesday as they open a four-game series against the Bowie Baysox (Baltimore Orioles). First pitch of the opener is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.