Richmond Flying Squirrels walk off, top New Hampshire, 3-2
Richmond shortstop Rando Moreno connected on the game-winning hit in the bottom of the ninth inning on Wednesday night to finish a thrilling 3-2 win over New Hampshire (55-52). Moreno lined a ball to deep right field with the game tied 2-2 and the bases loaded to give Richmond (57-52) their third consecutive win and the series victory. The win moved Richmond into a tie with Altoona for second place in the Western Division. Edwin Quirarte gets the start for Richmond in the series finale on Thursday night at The Diamond.
Tied 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Squirrels first baseman Juan Ciriaco singled off ‘Cats closer Blake McFarland. Eliezer Zambrano then executed a hit and run by pushing a ball into left field to move Ciraco to third. New Hampshire would intentionally walk Engel Beltre to create a bases loaded, one out situation, before Moreno delivered the game-winner. Squirrels reliever Braulio Lara (1-0) earned the win by collecting the final five outs.
New Hampshire quickly snapped the Squirrels streak of 21 consecutive innings without allowing a run in the first inning against starting pitcher Matt Gage. With two outs, Kevin Nolan yanked a double inside the third base bag and scored on a similar extra base hit down the first base line from Ryan Schimpf. The Squirrels Hunter Cole soon thereafter tied the game 1-1 with a home run in the second, a solo shot to left field. Cole hammered the offering from Bibens-Dirkx to open the inning for his third homer with the Squirrels.
Gage was stout once again and finished the first five innings on 69 pitches. He encountered some adversity in the sixth and was pulled with two outs and two runners aboard. Gage walked Ryan Schimpf and yielded a base hit to Emilio Guerrero to end his outing. Reliever Jose Casilla entered and allowed a single to right off the bat of Derrick Chung for a 2-1 New Hampshire lead. The ‘Cats had an opportunity for more but ran themselves out of the inning with runners on the corners and Matt Newman at the plate. The runner Chung broke for second after a pitch to draw a throw from catcher Zambrano. The runner at third then attempted to score and was thrown out at home by shortstop Rando Moreno.
Gage allowed three runs on four hits over five and two third innings of work in his fourth Double-A start. He tossed 89 pitches overall with a pair of strikeouts and just one walk. Casilla allowed the one hit in relief and recorded five outs in the outing.
Richmond eventually tied the contest, 2-2, with a run in the sixth inning. Hunter Cole ignited the offense when he lined a double to right field, forcing Austin Bibens-Dirkx from the game. Ricky Oropesa then ambushed reliever John Anderson with a sharp base hit to right to score Cole and even the game. Anderson worked through the remainder of the inning without further damage to keep the game locked. Bibens-Dirkx also received a no-decision over five plus innings. The righty allowed a pair of runs on four hits with five strikeouts on 96 pitches
The Squirrels conclude the homestand Thursday at The Diamond against New Hampshire. Richmond RHP Edwin Quirarte 0-2, 3.61) will start for the Squirrels against New Hampshire RHP Casey Lawrence (10-10, 4.63). First pitch is set for 7:05 PM with the Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup starting at 6:30 PM on Fox Sports 910 and FoxSportsRichmond.com.
Source: Richmond Flying Squirrels