Richmond Flying Squirrels take opener from Harrisburg, 6-4

richmond-squirrelsThe Richmond Flying Squirrels (48-34) outlasted the Harrisbur Senators (32-49) in 12 innings, 6-4, at Metro Bank Park on Monday night.  The Senators committed three errors in the ballgame and walked seven throughout the night to help the Squirrels take the opener.

With the game having been tied, 4-4, since the sixth inning, Tyler Graham drew a one-out walk from righty Derek Self in the top of the 12th inning.  He then advanced to second on a botched pickoff attempt and stole third base.  Kelby Tomlinson knocked a single past a drawn-in infield to put the Squirrels in front, 5-4.  Self then walked the next three batters to force in a second run and cap the scoring.  Self (0-2) was saddled with the loss for the Senators.

The Senators opened the scoring against lefty Jack Snodgrass in the top of the second inning.  Matt Skole led off the inning and slapped a double into the left-field corner.  Snodgrass got the first out, but Drew Vettleson singled back through the middle to plate Skole for a 1-0 lead.  Ricky Hague followed and yanked a double up the left-field line.  Vettleson scored and Harrisburg held a 2-0 advantage.

The Squirrels squared the game in the top of the third inning, with the help of some sloppy defense from the Harrisburg infield.  Eliezer Zambrano started the inning with a single to left field.  Skyler Stromsmoe followed and reached on a fielding error charged to second baseman Cutter Dykstra.  The runners were bunted to third by Snodgrass before Graham sent a ground ball to shortstop Ricky Hague.  His throw to first base was poor, sailing into the Harrisburg dugout.  Both runners scored to tie the game, 2-2.  Both runs were unearned against starting right-hander Brian Dupra.

Harrisburg worked back in front in the fourth inning.  Dykstra led off with a single back through the middle.  An out later, Kevin Keyes singled to put two aboard.  Vettleson followed and pulled a single into right field.  Dykstra came around to score for a 3-2 lead.

Michael Taylor made it 4-2 in the fifth when he lined a solo-home run to right field off Snodgrass.  The 18th of the season for Taylor pulled him even with Bowie’s Christian Walker for the league-lead.  It was the first home run of the season allowed by Snodgrass.

Richmond pulled back even with a pair of runs in the sixth inning.  Dupra recorded the first two outs, but conceded an infield-single to Mario Lisson.  Ricky Oropesa then drew a walk and Dupra was lifted from the ballgame in favor of right-hander Neil Holland.  Devin Harris greeted him with a two-run double blasted to the wall in center field.  The runs were charged to Dupra as Richmond leveled the ledger, 4-4.

Dupra didn’t factor in the decision, charged with four runs – two earned – across 5 2/3 innings.  He permitted just two hits, walked two and struck out three.

Snodgrass got stronger as the game wore on, ultimately working eight innings.  He also didn’t factor in the decision, permitting four earned runs on eight hits.  He walked none and struck out five.  It marked the second longest outing of the year for the lefty.

Right-hander Jose Casilla worked two scoreless innings of relief behind Snodgrass.  Lefty Phil McCormick (2-3) worked a scoreless 11th and earned the win, his second.  Left-hander Steven Okert then slammed the door, facing the minimum in the 12th to earn his second save with the Squirrels and 21st of the year.

Game two of the four-game series is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday night at Metro Bank Park.  Richmond RHP Kyle Crick (5-3, 3.52) will make the start against Harrisburg RHP Paolo Espino (3-3, 4.83).  The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmupbegins at 6:30 p.m. on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com.


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