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Squirrels can’t overcome early deficit, lose to Phils, 9-2

Richmond Flying SquirrelsAfter allowing seven runs in the first four innings, the Richmond Flying Squirrels fell, 9-2, to the Reading Fightin Phils Thursday night at The Diamond.

The Flying Squirrels (40-41) committed a season-high five errors in the loss and struck out 14 times against Fightin Phils (32-49) pitching.

Reading took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning after Josh Stephen and Colby Fitch scored on two errors in a single play.

The Fightin Phils added on to their advantage in the third inning off an RBI single from Stephen and an RBI single from Luke Miller to make it 4-0. Richmond accumulated three errors in the inning.

With the bases loaded in the fourth inning, Stephen punched a two-RBI single into center field that put Reading ahead by six runs. A wild pitch by Luis Amaya plated Madison Stokes from third base and increased the deficit to 7-0.

Bryson Stott rocketed an RBI triple to right field that scored Arquimedes Gamboa from first base in the fifth inning and put Reading up 8-0.

The Fightins had runners at second and third in the seventh when Stott bounced into a fielder’s choice that scored Gamboa from third, putting Reading ahead at 9-0. Stott finished the night with a 3-for-5 performance and was a home run away from hitting for the cycle.

After Will Wilson led off the seventh with a base hit, Shane Matheny launched an RBI triple to center field that broke the shutout. Matheny later scored off a wild pitch to make it 9-2. It was the first triple for Matheny on the season and the first time the Flying Squirrels have hit multiple triples in a game.

Aaron Blair (Loss, 0-1) pitched 3.0 innings, allowing four hits, four unearned runs and two walks with one strikeout in his third start for Richmond.

Reading starter James McArthur held the Flying Squirrels scoreless with four hits allowed over 4.1 innings and struck out eight. Austin Ross (Win, 7-2) followed up with a scoreless 1.2 innings without allowing a hit.

Game four of the series is Friday night with a first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Left-hander Michael Plassmeyer (1-5, 4.25) will make the start for Richmond opposed by right-hander Hans Crouse (3-2, 3.35) in his season-debut for Reading.

On Friday, the first 1,000 fans 14 and younger can receive a green lucha libre wrestling cape presented by KidMed, featuring the Flying Squirrels’ Copa identity, Las Ardillas Voladoras. It is also Boy Scout Night where participants earn a special Ardillas Voladoras Scout Night badge. Friday Happy Hour kicks off from 5:30-7:30 with two-dollar 12-ounce domestic beers at all concession stands as well as two-dollar fountain sodas at the Pepsi Fountain.

Tickets are available online at, by phone at 804-359-3866 or in person at the Flying Squirrels offices.

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