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Sea Dogs avoid Richmond Flying Squirrels sweep

richmond flying squirrelsThe Portland Sea Dogs (23-41) avoided a three-game sweep, stranding the tying Richmond runners on base in the ninth inning to defeat the Flying Squirrels (33-30) 4-2 on Thursday at The Diamond. The Sea Dogs staved off a ninth inning Richmond rally, ignited by a two-run double from Jerry Sands. The Flying Squirrels finished the seven-game homestand with a 3-4 record and will head to Harrisburg to begin a three-game series against the Senators this weekend. The Flying Squirrels will return to Funnville on Tuesday, June 19 with Scott’s Addition Night. The first 1,000 fans (15+) will receive a free Scott’s Addition limited cap, presented by Morton.

The Sea Dogs jumped into an early 2-0 lead with a three-hit first inning. Squirrels starter Shaun Anderson was harmed by some soft contact resulting in a few singles. Portland leadoff man Jeremy Rivera fisted a two-strike Texas leaguer into shallow left field and took second when Danny Mars rolled a single into left. Chad De La Guerra then worked a walk, loading the bases for Josh Ockimey. Anderson dealt a pair of strikes to Ockimey before Ockimey muscled a pitch into shallow right field, plating a pair of runs for a 2-0 lead. What could have been a disastrous inning quickly turned in favor of Anderson from there on. Anderson struck out Tate Matheny for the first out of the inning and induced a 1-6-3 double play to end the frame on his 20th pitch.

Anderson’s quickly gained control of his outing after the run-scoring first. The former Red Sox farmhand kept the Sea Dogs off the board by working around a double in the second inning (Austin Rei), a single in the third (Ockimey) and a base hit in the fourth (Jhon Nunez).

The Richmond offense could not dig out of the 2-0 hole against Sea Dogs starter Mike Shawaryn. Shawaryn limited Richmond to five hits in six innings pitched to earn the win. Shawaryn (3-5) tossed a season-high 101 pitches in the winning effort. For the third consecutive start, Anderson lasted six innings for Richmond. The righty allowed the two runs on six hits, walking two and striking out five. He tossed a season-high 98 pitches in the defeat.

Both bullpens managed to keep the game in place at 2-0 heading into the ninth inning. Dan Slania worked 1.1 scoreless innings of relief and Carlos Diaz followed and recorded a pair of outs.

Reliever Caleb Simpson entered for the ninth inning and scuffled with his command. Simpson allowed a base hit and a pair of walks, loading the bases with one out. Chad De La Guerra also drew a walk, making it a 3-0 Sea Dogs lead. A wild pitch plated another runner before Simpson finished off the inning on his 34th pitch of the frame.

The Squirrels once again avoided their first offensive shutout of the year with a pair of runs in the ninth inning. Calen Gindl punched a single into left field to start the inning and pinch hitter Dillon Dobson worked a walk. Miguel Gomez also came on to pinch hit and connected on a broken bat single into center. Jerry Sands then eliminated the shutout, launching his 14th double of the year onto the track in right center field. Richmond had a pair of attempts to tie the game with two runners on but came up short as reliever Trevor Kelley stuck out Jonah Arenado and grounded out John Polonius to end it.

The Flying Squirrels travel to Harrisburg over the weekend for a brief three-game series against the Senators. RHP Jordan Johnson (5-5, 3.98) will face off against Harrisburg’s RHP Luis Reyes (4-6, 5.71) in game one of the series. The Flying Squirrels will return to Funnville on Tuesday, June 19 with Scott’s Addition Night. The first 1,000 fans (15+) will receive a free Scott’s Addition limited cap, presented by Morton. Tickets can be purchased online or over the phone by contacting the box office at 804-359-FUNN.