Richmond Flying Squirrels complete sweep of Erie
The Richmond Flying Squirrels (31-24) walked off with a, 5-4, win over the Erie SeaWolves (31-24) on Jarrett Parker’s solo-home run to right-center field on Sunday afternoon at The Diamond. The Squirrels recorded the series sweep of the SeaWolves to pull into a tie for first place in the Western Division. 6,873 were on hand to watch the dramatic extra-innings victory. The Squirrels welcomed 25,993 fans to The Diamond during the course of the weekend series, the second largest attendance total for a three-game series in franchise history.
Parker’s heroic moment was set up by Ricky Oropesa. The Squirrels trailed the SeaWolves, 4-3, to the bottom of the 10thinning. Erie right-hander Justin Souza came on in relief and got the first out of the inning. However, Oropesa drilled a solo-home run to right field to knot the game back up, 4-4. An out later, it was Parker’s turn. Parker’s 11th of the year triggered a mob scene at the plate as the Squirrels celebrated the walk-off win. Souza (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season. Erie limped out of Richmond having dropped six consecutive ballgames.
The SeaWolves jumped on top in the top of the first inning, plating a run against left-hander Chris Gloor. Eugenio Suarez opened the ballgame with a single and stole second base. He moved to third on a passed ball and scored for a 1-0 lead when Tyler Collins doubled into the left-center field alley. It marked the first time in the series that the SeaWolves had held a lead.
The lead didn’t last long as Joe Panik took Erie left-hander Kyle Lobstein deep to right field with one out in the first inning. Panik’s first home run in the Eastern League was a massive drive to right field and tied the game, 1-1.
Erie reclaimed the lead with a run off Gloor in the second. Wade Gaynor started the inning with a double up the third-base line. Gloor struck out the next two batters, but Zach Maggerd flared a soft-single into center field to bring in Gaynor for a 2-1 advantage.
Gloor conceded an unearned run in the third as Erie’s lead grew to 3-1. Tyler Collins scored when Gloor misplayed a soft-comebacker from Gayner. Gloor fumbled the ball, and then compounded the error by throwing it past Oropesa at first base.
Lobstein settled in and coasted into the sixth inning. However, the Squirrels struck in the sixth to knot the ballgame. Javier Herrera led off and cracked a double off the wall in left field. Mark Minicozzi followed and blasted a two-run home run well over the wall in left field. Minicozzi’s seventh of the season tied the game, 3-3.
Neither starter factored in the decision despite strong showings from both. Lobstein worked six innings and allowed three earned runs on eight hits. Gloor finished seven innings, permitting three runs – two earned. Gloor conceded eight hits, walked one and struck out a career-high nine.
The ballgame remained tied into the 10th inning. The SeaWolves were able to scratch across an unearned run due in large part to a costly throwing error from left-hander Phil McCormick. However, the bullpen rebounded to strand the bases loaded. Right-hander Daryl Maday (1-1) recorded the final out of the inning and earned the win, his first of his season.
The Squirrels will enjoy an off day on Monday before opening a three-game series with the New Britain Rock Cats (Minnesota Twins) at The Diamond on Tuesday night. Tim & Tickle from the “Moonshiners” will appear at the ballpark on Tuesday night. Tickets are available and can be purchased by visiting SquirrelsBaseball.com or calling (804) 359-FUNN (3866).