Richmond wins series opener with Reading in 10th
The Flying Squirrels plated a run in the top of the 10th inning and managed to strand the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning in a 7-6 win over Reading (22-30) on Friday night at FirstEnergy Stadium. Patrick Ruotolo escaped the jam in the 10th to earn his second save with Richmond (27-23). Luigi Rodriguez and K.C. Hobson both homered in a five-run second inning to lead the Squirrels offense. Game two of the series is set for Saturday at 6:45 p.m. Richmond returns to The Diamond on Friday, June with a Free Shirt Friday and RVA’s Best Happy Hour. Details for the next homestand can be found here.
Aramis Garcia scored the game-winning run for Richmond in the extra frame. Garcia started the 10th inning as the gifted runner at second base – per the new rules in Minor League Baseball. Reading reliever Seth McGarry – who was solid over three innings of work – uncorked a pair of wild pitches, scoring Garcia for a 7-6 Richmond advantage. McGarry (1-2) suffered the loss despite striking out the side in the 10thand allowing just the one unearned run over three innings.
The Squirrels bullpen delivered in the late inning for Richmond. Dillon McNamara blew away all six batters he faced over two innings to earn the win. McNamara (1-1) touched 97 on the radar gun and did not allow a hit in his first win of the year. Ruotolo worked around the gifted runner in the 10th along with a walk and single to save the game.
Richmond grabbed an early lead when they erupted for five runs in the second inning. K.C. Hobson opened up the scoring with a solo home run over the right centerfield fence. Hobson’s homer was the first of the year allowed by Reading starting pitcher Jose Taveras. Tavares’ command slipped in the inning and as he hit Jerry Sands with one out and then walked Dillon Dobson. After Ronnie Jebavy struck out, pitcher Garrett Williams aided his cause with a double over the head of centerfield Jan Hernandez. Williams’ two-bagger scored a pair of runs for a 3-0 lead. Luigi Rodriguez added a two-run homer to complete the five-run frame.
The Squirrels went up 6-1 with another run in the top of the fourth inning. Aramis Garcia led off the inning with a base hit to right field and Jerry Sands rocked a double, moving Garcia to third base.
The Fightin Phils chipped away at the Flying Squirrels lead and tied the game with a run in the second, two runs in the third, two more in the fifth and one in the sixth Former Flying Squirrel Brandon Bednar smacked a base hit into right field for the first Phils run and added a sacrifice fly in the fourth and another RBI hit in the bottom of the fifth inning. Bednar’s single in the fifth pulled Reading to within a run, 6-5.
Flying Squirrels starting pitcher Garrett Williams lasted just 3.2 innings in a no-decision for Richmond. The lefty tossed 76 pitches in his 10th start of the year He allowed three runs on six hits and left the game with a pair of runners on base. Connor Overton entered to relieve Williams in the fourth and stranded both runners.
Overton turned in his longest outing the year – 3.1 innings – to help save the bullpen. Overton allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits. He walked one and struck out a batter. Reading tied the game at six with the final run off of Overton in the sixth inning. Jiandido Tromp worked a walk to start the frame. Zach Green then drilled a double to left field, setting up Darick Hall with an RBI ground out, evening the score, 6-6.
The Flying Squirrels and Reading Fightin Phils will play game two of the series at FirstEnergy Stadium on Saturday at 6:45 p.m. Richmond RHP Chase Johnson (0-1, 3.72) will make the start against Reading LHP Ranger Suarez (2-2, 4.17). Richmond will be back in Funnville on June 9-14. Promotional details and tickets can be found here.