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Squirrels drop 6-5 rain-shortened game to Baysox

richmond flying squirrelsFor the second consecutive night, the Flying Squirrels (36-34) were denied a nine-inning game, this time dropping a rain-shortened affair 6-5 to the Bowie Baysox (32-39) on Friday at The Diamond. The night was bookended by rain, beginning with a one hour and thirty-three minute delay and ending in a deluge after the final out in the sixth inning. The intense storm disrupted Richmond’s comeback as the team rallied from an early 6-1 deficit. The two clubs will continue the series on Saturday with a scheduled doubleheader beginning at 5:05 p.m. Saturday in Funnville includes Swim Team Night and In-Your-Face Fireworks presented by TowneBank

The Baysox offense remained alert following a one hour and thirty-three-minute rain delay to begin Friday’s contest. Richmond’s starting pitcher Conner Menez walked the leadoff man Ryan McKenna to begin the game after a deep-count battle. Menez then struck out Anthony Santander before Corban Joseph lofted a bloop base hit into no-man’s land in shallow left field. Aderlin Rodriguez put the Baysox ahead on a sacrifice fly to right field and Ryan Mountcastle made it a 2-0 contest with his first triple of the season.

Bowie added a run for a 3-0 advantage in the top of the third. Menez walked Joseph with one out and relinquished a single to Rodriguez. After Menez punched out Mountcastle, Anderson Feliz connected on an RBI single to extend the lead. Menez stranded a pair in the frame but used 74 pitches over the first three innings.

The Squirrels had opportunities to score over on Bowie’s Lucas Long in the first two innings. Aramis Garcia cracked a double that banged off the top of the wall in left in the first inning and Jonah Arenado (base hit) was left at second in the second. Richmond broke through in the third when Luigi Rodriguez homered over the right field fence. The dinger was Luigi’s seventh of the season and the third in the last seven games.

Menez worked into the fourth inning in his Diamond debut. The lefty departed with a pair of runners on in favor of reliver Dylan Rheault. The righty Rheault struck out the first batter he faced but then yielded a two-run single to Corban Joseph. Joseph lined a sharp bae hit to right, moving the Baysox ahead 5-1. Menez tossed 3.2 innings and allowed five runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out five, using 87 pitches in the outing.

Rheault returned for the top of the fifth inning and allowed a run by loading the bases on a pair of scratch singles and a walk. Rheault induced a 3-2-3 double play for the first two outs in the inning and then unleashed a wild pitch scoring the runner from third for a 6-1 contest.

The Squirrels mounted a comeback as the weather worsened late into the night. Richmond rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and another in the sixth to pull to within a run. CJ Hinojosa and Miguel Gomez fired up the Squirrels rally in the fifth with consecutive doubles. Aramis Garcia added a base hit into right field and Caleb Ginld grounded home a run for a 6-3 contest. Dillon Dobson cut the deficit to two runs, shooting a double deep into the gap in right center field. Dobson’s double ended the outing for Long.

Richmond made it a one-run contest on another hit from CJ Hinojosa in the sixth inning. Hinojosa extended his hitting streak to eight games in the contest.

Baysox reliever Tanner Chelborad picked up the win in relief. Chelborad (3-0) worked 1.1 innings and allowed one run on three hits.

The Flying Squirrels homestand continues Saturday with a doubleheader against the Bowie Baysox. Richmond will start the double dip with LHP Garrett Williams (2-5, 5.50) in game one and Connor Overton scheduled to be added to the roster and start for game two. Bowie will counter with LHP Luis Ysla (3-2, 5.12) in game one. The Baysox have not announced a pitcher for the second contest Saturday. Saturday in Funnville is also Swim Team Night with In-Your-Face Fireworks following the game presented by TowneBank. Tickets can be purchased online over the phone by calling 804-359-3866 (FUNN).