Squirrels pen pieces together solid win

Five Flying Squirrels pitchers combined to hold the Trenton Thunder to one run on Wednesday, completing a 5-1 win at Arm & Hammer Park. Matt Gage made the start and allowed one run in 4.2 innings prior to handing off the game to the bullpen. Relievers Cody Hall, Carlos Alvarado, Collin Balester and Jarret Martin took the contest the rest of the way for the victory. The Flying Squirrels (33-44) improved to 4-2 against Trenton (49-28) on the season and will attempt to win the series in the finale on Thursday at 7 p.m.

richmond flying squirrelsRichmond opened up a 2-0 lead off of Trenton’s lefty Josh Rogers in the second inning. Brandon Bednar reached on an error to begin the frame and advanced to second on a Daniell Carbonell base hit. Ryan Lollis then lofted a soft fly down the right field line for a hit, but Bednar ran through the stop sign at third and was thrown out at home on the play. Rogers then struck out Jeff Arnold for the second out of the inning before Carlos Garcia lined a double into the right field corner, giving Richmond a 2-0 advantage.

Gage, coming of his complete game shutout performance, stretched his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 22 during the first three innings on Wednesday. Trenton was finally able to snap Gage’s streak with a run in the fourth. Billy McKinney lashed a triple off the right center field wall and Zack Zener grounded out to shortstop to produce the run. Gage fell two outs shy of matching the Squirrels scoreless innings record set by Tyler Rogers last year.

Trenton was able to escalate the pitch count of Gage, forcing from the game in the bottom of the fifth. Gage walked Zehner to load the bases with two outs and end his outing. Cody Hall, recently signed out of the Atlantic League, relieved Gage and stranded all three runners in his first game back with Richmond. Hall (1-0) worked the sixth inning as well, striking out two earning the win.

Gage lasted 4.2 innings and allowed just one run in the no-decision. The lefty walked three and struck out five by using 104 pitches. Trenton’s Rogers (4-@) went 5.0 innings and allowed a pair of runs on four hits in the defeat.

Carlos Alvarado worked the seventh inning and Collin Balester tossed an uneventful eighth. Left-hander Jarret Matin entered from the pen to pitch the ninth.

The Squirrels provided the bullpen some additional wiggle room with three runs in the eighth. Facing reliever Dillion McNamara, Richmond loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a base hit. Ryan Lollis followed with a base hit to center, stretching the Richmond lead to 4-1. McNamara unleashed a wild pitch that allowed Daniel Carbonell to score for a 5-1 edge.

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