Squirrels lose Sunday finale, RubberDucks finish sweep
The Richmond Flying Squirrels brought the potential tying run to the plate in the ninth but stranded the bases loaded to fall to the Akron RubberDucks, 5-1, on Sunday afternoon in the series finale at Canal Park.
The Flying Squirrels (48-83, 25-39) were swept in the four-game set against the RubberDucks (60-72, 26-37).
Down 5-1 in the top of the ninth, Bryce Johnson, Johneshwy Fargas and Zach Houchins collected three straight singles to load the bases with one out. Akron brought in left-hander Anthony Gose (Save, 1), who struck out Gio Brusa and Jacob Heyward to end the game, leaving the potential tying run at the plate.
Akron took a 2-0 lead in the first inning with back-to-back, two-out RBI hits by Trenton Brooks and Alexis Pantoja.
The Flying Squirrels got a run back in the top of the second. With two outs, Fargas doubled to left-center and scored on a double by Houchins.
The RubberDucks extended the lead to 3-1 in the third inning with an RBI double by Ernie Clement.
In the bottom of the fourth, Alex Call added an RBI single for Akron. After Call was thrown out trying to steal second, Richmond starter Brandon Lawson (Loss, 5-9) walked the next four batters to bring in a run and end his day. Carlos Navas entered out of the bullpen and stranded the bases loaded.
Lawson issued a career-high five walks and allowed five runs and six hits with two strikeouts over 3.2 innings.
Navas faced another bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the sixth, but he worked a 1-2-3 double play from Mitch Longo to escape without allowing a run. He finished his day with 2.1 scoreless innings worked.
Akron starter Tanner Tully (Win, 8-11) worked 6.0 innings and allowed one run on five hits.
In the bottom of the seventh, Oscar Gonzalez hit a single to center field, but Richmond center fielder Heliot Ramos threw out Brooks attempting to score from second base with a one-bounce throw to catcher Jin-De Jhang.
Richmond relievers Rodolfo Martinez and Tyler Cyr each pitched a scoreless inning with one strikeout.
Fargas and Houchins each had two hits in the game.
The Flying Squirrels continue the eight-game road trip with the first of four games in Erie on Monday night. Right-hander Sean Hjelle (0-2, 8.22) will pitch for Richmond. The SeaWolves have not announced a starting pitcher for the game. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at UPMC Park.
Following an eight-game road trip, the Flying Squirrels return to The Diamond on Friday, August 30, to begin the final homestand of the season, featuring four games against the Bowie Baysox. For tickets or more information, call 804-359-3866 (FUNN), visit SquirrelsBaseball.com/Tickets or stop by the Flying Squirrels box office.