Richmond Flying Squirrels drop opener to Phils

richmond flying squirrelsThe Richmond Flying Squirrels led entering the eighth inning, but could not hold on, falling to the Reading Fightin Phils, 2-1, on Monday night at The Diamond.

With the loss, the Flying Squirrels (7-8) have now dropped five of the last six games and are under .500 for the first time this season.

In the top of the eighth, Reading’s Darick Hall hit a solo homer off of Kieran Lovegrove (Loss, 1-1) to knot the score at 1-1. Later in the inning, Luke Williams stroked a pinch-hit single through the left side to put the Fightin Phils (7-7) on top, 2-1.

Reading closer Kyle Dohy (Save, 3) dominated the final two innings, facing the minimum in his two innings with five strikeouts.

The Flying Squirrels lone run came in the bottom of the fourth. With the bases empty and one out, Jacob Heyward took the first pitch he saw from right-hander Adonis Medina and drilled it over the center field fence for a solo home run. The long ball is Heyward’s first career Double-A home run.

The homer by Heyward snapped span of 18 2/3 innings without a run scored by the Flying Squirrels.

Richmond had chances to add to its 1-0 lead, but went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 total runners on base. Meanwhile, Reading was 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left 12 runners on base.

Flying Squirrels starter Alfred Gutierrez worked through 3.2 innings before departing in the fourth after an apparent injury. Reliever Connor Overton took over with the bases loaded and worked out of the jam with a strikeout to keep the game scoreless.

Overton tossed 2.1 scoreless innings and allowed two hits with two strikeouts. Tyler Cyr stranded a hit and a walk in a scoreless seventh inning.

The Flying Squirrels’ series against the Fightin Phils continues on Tuesday at The Diamond, when Richmond right-hander Logan Webb (1-1, 2.81 ERA) faces Reading left-hander David Parkinson (1-1, 4.50 ERA)—a Richmond-area native. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m., and coverage begins on Sports Radio 910 the Fan with the Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup presented by Air Force Reserve at 6:05 p.m.

The first 1,500 fans 15 and older to arrive at The Diamond on Tuesday will receive a custom-designed T-shirt celebrating Richmond’s car racing tradition (adult sizes S-3XL, while supplies last). Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

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

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