Richmond loses: But Squirrels welcome 4 millionth fan
The Flying Squirrels welcomed 6,802 fans to The Diamond, including the 4 millionth fan in franchise history. The fan, Bill Golden, was honored during the middle of the seventh inning and received season tickets to the 2020 season, a full-season parking pass, a 10th season swag bag and a customized No. 4 “Millionth Fan” jersey.
The loss snapped Richmond’s (27-48, 2-2) four-game winning streak.
Altoona (38-34, 3-2) scored first, plating a run on a leadoff triple by Robbie Glendinning and a sacrifice fly by Bligh Madris to take a 1-0 lead against starter Ryan Halstead in the second.
The Flying Squirrels took the lead in bottom of the second. After Jonah Arenado walked, Brett Austin clobbered an RBI double to deep center field to tie the game. Next, Brandon Van Horn laced a single to right field to put Richmond up, 2-1. The double was Austin’s first hit as a member of the Flying Squirrels.
Halstead, who made the first start of his career in place of the injured Brandon Lawson, tossed a career-high four innings, allowing one run on two hits while striking out two and walking none.
Altoona pulled even in the fifth against Carlos Navas. With two outs, Brett Pope doubled and later scored on a single by pinch-hitter Bralin Jackson.
The Curve scored three runs in the seventh against Frank Rubio (0-1) to take the lead. After loading the bases with nobody out, reliever Beau Sulser (Win, 6-0) grounded into a fielder’s choice to plate the go-ahead run. An RBI single from Mitchell Tolman and an RBI fielder’s choice from Chris Shape put Altoona in front, 5-2.
Sulser fired three scoreless innings before Angel German and Matt Eckelman (Save, 11) tossed back-to-back scoreless innings to end the game.
The Flying Squirrels continue their series with the Altoona Curve on Tuesday when left-hander Caleb Baragar (2-0, 2.49 ERA) is slated to start opposite right-hander James Marvel (7-5, 3.36 ERA). First pitch is slated for 6:35 p.m., and coverage begins with the Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup presented by Air Force Reserve at 6:05 on Sports Radio 910 the Fan and 105.1 FM.
As part of the 10 memorable past players series, the first 1,500 fans 15 & older to arrive at The Diamond will receive a Hunter Strickland Patriotic T-shirt commemorating the former Flying Squirrel closer’s memorable appearance on July 4, 2014 (adult sizes S-3XL, while supplies last) presented by Pepsi. Gates open at 5:30 PM.
Virginia Athletics’ 2019 Summer Trophy Tour will make a stop at The Diamond as part of UVA Night. Fans will have an opportunity to see and take photos with the 2019 NCAA men’s basketball and men’s lacrosse national championship trophies as well as the 2019 Commonwealth Clash trophy. In addition to taking photos with the trophies, fans in attendance can pick up free giveaway items, including 2019 football posters and schedule cards, as well as 2019 national championship posters.
Tickets are on sale now for the 2019 Eastern League All-Star Week presented by Genworth. The All-Star Week festivities begin on Sunday, July 7 with Mayor Levar Stoney’s All-Star Week Kickoff on Brown’s Island, followed by the All-Star Country Music Jam on Monday, July 8, headlined by Big & Rich with special guests Cowboy Troy and DJ Sinister at Virginia Credit Union LIVE! at Richmond Raceway. The Celebrity Home Run Derby is Tuesday, July 9 and the festivities wrap up with the 2019 Eastern League All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 10.
For tickets or more information, call 804-359-3866 (FUNN), visit SquirrelsBaseball.com/Tickets or stop by the Flying Squirrels box office.