Sands, Squirrels smash Goats

richmond flying squirrelsThe Flying Squirrels registered season-highs for runs and hits in a 9-4 thrashing of Hartford on Saturday Night at The Diamond. In front of 7,781 fans, Richmond collected 13 hits, including a three-run homer from Jerry Sands in the bottom of the fifth inning. Richmond (13-8) snapped Hartford’s seven-game winning streak and their own three-game skid. The series finale’ is set for Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m.

The Flying Squirrels opened an early, three-run lead off Hartford’s Parker French in the bottom of the first. French walked Luigi Rodriguez on four pitches to begin the inning. Ryan Howard then reached on a bunt base hit and Miguel Gomez brought both runners around on a double into right centerfield. Gomez crossed the plate to finish the inning on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Dillon Dobson.

The Yard Goats threatened to score by loading the bases with one out in the second against Cory Taylor. Taylor walked a pair of batters and allowed a base hit to Omar Carrizales before he struck out both Chris Radago and Parker French to end the inning. Taylor evaded trouble, but tossed 30 pitches in the inning.

Richmond was unable to dodge the Goats charge in the third as the Yard Goats tied the game with one swing of the bat. Brendon Rodgers and Sam Hilliard both connected on two-out base hits, setting up a game-tying three-run homer from Brian Mundell. The longball was Mundell’s second of the season.

The Squirrels quickly countered to retake the lead in the home half of the third inning. Luigi Rodriguez drilled a solo home run over the left field wall for a 4-3 advantage. With two outs in the inning, Dillon Dobson worked a walk and advanced to second on a base hit. Dylan Davis knocked an RBI base hit to right centerfield to move ahead, 5-3.

Jerry Sands ripped open the game in the bottom of the fifth on a three-run homer that sailed over the left field wall. Sands pinch-hit for the pitcher Taylor with a pair of runners on, facing relief pitcher Craig Schlitter. Richmond forced Parker French from the game with one out in the fifth and Schlitter struck out the first batter he faced prior to Sands launching a three-run shot to give the Flying Squirrels an 8-3 lead.

French (0-3) suffered the loss in his fourth start of the season. The righty lasted just 4.1 innings and allowed six runs on nine hits. He waked two and struck out three on 77 pitches.

Taylor (3-1) earned the win as he maneuvered through five innings. He struck out four and allowed three runs on four hits before giving way to Ryan Halstead. Halstead authored two innings (3H, R) and Mike Connolly tossed a scoreless eighth (2H, BB, K). Caleb Simpson worked the ninth and finished the game.

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