Squirrels settle for doubleheader split

richmond flying squirrelsThe Richmond Flying Squirrels (46-48) and Erie SeaWolves (45-50) split a pair of games in a doubleheader matinee Wednesday at The Diamond in front of 7,519 fans. Richmond took the first game 7-3 but dropped the sequel 4-3 to end the series. The Squirrels used five doubles and gathered seven hits in the game one win. In game two, the Squirrels rallied from a 4-0 deficit with three runs in the sixth inning but fell short, stranding the tying run at third to end the game. Richmond now embarks on a seven-game road trip to Akron, Ohio and Erie, PA starting Thursday at Canal Park. The Squirrels return to Funnville on Thursday, July 26 for an In-Your-Face Fireworks celebration and Virginia Tech Night.

Game One

The somewhat stagnant Richmond offense erupted for seven runs on seven hits – including five doubles to take down the Erie SeaWolves 7-3 in game one of Wednesday’s double dip. Richmond RHP Jake McCasland lasted 5.1 innings and allowed three runs on four hits to earn the win. McCasland (3-2) walked two and struck out four, using 74 pitches in the victory.

Richmond grabbed their first lead of the series with a four-run second inning. Dylan Davis and Aramis Garcia awakened the dormant Richmond offense with base hits to start the inning. After Jonah Arenado grounded into a double play, John Polonius worked a walk and Jeff Arnold smashed a double up the left field line. Arnold’s double scored a pair, tying the game 2-2. Erie’s lefty Liarvis Breto then lost his control, walking the next two batters to load the bases for Ali Castillo. Castillo lined a two-run extra base h it into left center field, pushing Richmond ahead, 4-2. Breto tossed 31 pitches in the inning.

The SeaWolves got on the board first inning facing McCasland. Josh Lester started the inning with a solo blast deep over the right centerfield wall for a 1-0 lead. Two batters later by Jake Rogers lifted his tenth home run on the year, a solo blast to left center. McCasland quickly recalibrated and retired the next two batters to end the frame.

Earie plated another run in the fourth and had Jake McCasalnd on the ropes in the inning. Daz Cameron led off the top of the fourth with a triple – his fifth of the season. McCasland then struggled to find the zone, walking the next two to load the bases with nobody out. Erie’s Jake Rogers then rolled a broken bat fielder’s choice on the infield, scoring Cameron to make it a 4-3 contest. McCasland escaped with the lead however, striking out Chad Sedio and Kody Eaves to end the inning.

The Squirrels pulled away with a pair runs in the fifth inning and one more in the sixth. CJ Hinojosa and Ali Castillo gathered consecutive doubles in the fifth for a 5-3 advantage. Castillo then stole home with Dylan Davis drawing the attention and a throw to second base in an attempted steal. Hinojosa smacked another double in the sixth inning, plating john Polonius.

McCasland was allowed to pitch to one batter in the sixth and was replaced by Garrett Williams with the bases empty. Williams punched out both batters he faced, earning a hold. Patrick Ruotolo tossed a scoreless seventh to close out the game.

Game Two

In the night cap the Flying Squirrels rally form a 4-0 deficit fell just shy in the seventh inning. Richmond plated three runs in the sixth inning, taking advantage of a pair of walks issued by starting pitcher AJ Ladwig. After Caleb Gindl lofted a fly ball for the first out, Kurt Spomer was summoned from the ‘pen. CJ Hinojosa then lined a two-run single into center, trimming the lead to 4-2. Spomer then induced Ryan Howard into what should have been a double play, but second baseman Will Maddox booted the ball. That allowed Dylan Davis to pull the Squirrels to within a run on a single into shallow centerfield. Spomer was replaced by former MLB pitcher Caleb Thielbar, who snuffed out the rally.

Erie close John Schrieber closed out the game with a scoreless seventh. Schrieber allowed a leadoff double but stranded the tying run at third to earn his 12th save of the year.

Erie jumped on Flying Squirrels starting pitcher Taylor Hill for four runs on six hits over the first four innings of game two on Wednesday. Hill retired the first two batters of the contest prior to clipping the jersey of Daz Cameron. Cameron swiped second base and came around to score the first run of the contest on a flare base hit to right field off the bat of Josh Lester.

The ‘Wolves tacked on a run in the second and two more in the fourth. With two outs, Cam Gibson drew a walk to extend the inning. A.J. Simcox followed with an RBI triple up the right field line for a 3-0 Erie lead. Simcox scored

Hill (0-4) lasted four innings and suffered the defeat. The veteran allowed the four runs on six hits on 75 pitches. He walked one, hit a batter and struck out a pair.

Left-hander Carlos Diaz replaced Hill and tossed a pair of scoreless innings. Dylan McNamara punched out two in his one inning of work (seventh).

Richmond now embarks on a seven-game road trip to Akron, Ohio and Erie, PA. The Squirrels will start the sojourn with game one against the RubberDucks on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Chase Johnson 0-2, 3.90 is scheduled to make the start for the Squirrels against Akron LHP Sean Brady (5-5, 4.10). The Squirrels return to Funnville on Thursday, July 26 for an In-Your-Face Fireworks celebration and Virginia Tech Night. Tickets and information can be found at www.squirrelsbaseball.com or by calling 804-359-FUNN (3884)

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