Squirrels complete series win
Sporting special pink and black Mother’s Day jerseys, the Richmond Flying Squirrels (19-18) jumped out to an early lead and then held off the Bowie Baysox, 5-4, in front of 6,813 on Sunday afternoon at The Diamond.
The win netted the Squirrels the four-game series and moves them above the .500 mark for the first time since April 15th when the team was 6-5.
The Squirrels got right after Bowie right-hander Tim Bascom in the bottom of the first inning. Gary Brown got Richmond started with a single, the first of three consecutive hits. Ryan Cavan followed with an infield-single chopped down off the plate. Daniel Mayora followed, and with the runners breaking on a 3-2 pitch, rifled a two-run double through the alley in right-center field. Mayora quickly swiped third base and scored for a 3-0 Richmond lead when Nick Liles bounced a fielder’s choice out to second baseman Jonathan Schoop.
After a perfect first inning including a pair of strikeouts, Squirrels’ right-hander Justin Fitzgerald found trouble in the second inning. Brandon Waring led off with a single and Manny Machado brought him around from first base with a double ripped to left-center field. Fitzgerald recovered for the first two outs of the inning, but Robbie Widlansky and Travis Adair each contributed two-out RBI singles to even the ballgame, 3-3.
Richmond reclaimed the lead in the third with two more runs off Bascom in the third inning. Mayora sparked the Squirrels with a one-out bunt-single up the third-base line. A batter later, Johnny Monell cranked a double off the top of the fence in right field. Mayora came around to score for a 4-3 advantage. Nick Liles followed and dumped a bloop-single into right field, plating Monell for a 5-3 lead.
Fitzgerald righted the ship after the Bowie uprising in the second and retired 11 of the next 12 batters. The lone man to reach was L.J. Hoes on an error charged to Chris Dominguez. Fitzgerald had retired 10 straight into the sixth inning when he hung a breaking-ball to Waring. Waring belted his sixth home run of the season to left field, pulling the Baysox to within a lone run, 5-4. Fitzgerald then conceded a single to Machado and called it a day, departing the ballgame.
Fitzgerald (3-1) was charged with four earned runs over 5 1/3 innings. He permitted six Bowie hits, walked none and struck out four. Left-hander Chris Gloor came on and cleaned up the sixth, allowing Fitzgerald to leave with the lead and earn his third win of the season.
Gloor worked two scoreless innings of relief before turning it over to right-hander Daryl Maday with one out in the ninth. Maday retired all five batters he faced – including three strikeouts – and earned his sixth save of the season.
Bascom (2-2) didn’t return for the sixth inning, taking the loss over five frames. He was tagged for five runs on seven hits, walked two and struck out one. Left-hander Chris Petrini worked three scoreless innings of relief in the loss.
The Squirrels will enjoy a day off on Monday before opening a three-game series with the Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals) on Tuesday night at The Diamond. First pitch of the opener is scheduled at 6:35 PM. Richmond RHP Craig Westcott (3-2, 4.15) will oppose Harrisburg RHP Paul Demny (2-2, 5.58). Tickets are available and can be purchased at SquirrelsBaseball.com. Pregame coverage will begin at 6:05 PM on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com.