Senators sweep Squirrels in Wednesday doubleheader

richmond flying squirrelsThe Harrisburg Senators (14-17) completed a three game sweep of Richmond in an extra inning, 2-1, heartbreaking loss on Wednesday afternoon. Tied, 1-1 in the top of the 12th inning, Harrisburg scored the winning run on an infield hit, error, sacrifice bunt and wild pitch. The wild pitch was thrown while Richmond was attempting to intentionally walk Neftali Soto. Starting pitchers Adalberto Mejia and Jaron Long were both stellar in the contest, but each took a no-decision. Richmond (10-22) will attempt to snap their six-game losing streak on Thursday at The Diamond against Altoona.

Adalberto Mejia was fluid in his sixth start of the season for Richmond. The lefty retired the first five batters he faced and did not allow a Harrisburg hit until the fourth inning. Mejia and his counterpart Jaron Long traded zeroes through the first seven innings. .

Richmond opened up the first inning with a pair of base hits from Myles Schroder and Rando Moreno. Long then buckled down and retired the next three hitters he faced to dodge trouble .The Squirrels put two more runners on base in the third inning but were turned aside on an inning-ending double play.

Mejia moved through the Senator lineup and was not in trouble until the seventh inning. With two runners aboard, Brian Jeroloman singled to center and Harrisburg opted to send the runner from second base to the plate. Schroder threw toward home to eliminate the potential run and keep the game scoreless. Mejia worked into the eighthinning and was removed after walking Zach Collier with a pair of outs. Tyler Rogers came on and picked up the final out to end the threat.

Long was removed for a pinch hitter in the top of the eighth and left the game after seven shutout innings. Long scattered seven hits and struck out three in the no-decision. Long was replaced by Nick Lee in the eighth and the Squirrels finally pushed across the game’s first run. Rando Moreno opened the inning with a base hit and moved to third on a poor pickoff move. Hunter Cole then walked, but Lee was able to get the next two hitters and was nearly out of the inning until Tyler Horan laid down a surprise bunt to score Moreno for a 1-0 edge.

Jake Smith entered in the ninth inning but could not close out the game for Richmond. Smith walked the first two hitters and yielded a game-tying base hit to pinch hitter Cutter Dykstra. It was the second run-scoring pinch hit for Dykstra in the three game series.

Both bullpens kept things tied from there on until Harrisburg plated the go-ahead run in the top of the 12th Zach Collier reached on a bunt base hit to open the inning and moved to second on a errant pickoff attempt from reliever Mike Kickham. Harrisburg then bunted Collier to third base, bringing up Neftali Soto. Richmond attempted to walkSoto intentionally to set up a force play, but Kickham unleashed a wild pitch on ball four to score Collier and complete the sweep. Harrisburg reliever Derek Self (1-0) earned the win by pitching the final two innings.

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