Squirrels settle for series split
The Flying Squirrels (33-45) settled for a four-game series split on Thursday, dropping the series finale to Trenton at Arm & Hammer Park by a final of 8-2. Jordan Johnson turned in an abbreviated start for Richmond as the Thunder pounced for four runs in the third and three more in the fourth. Justus Sheffield earned the win by tossing 6.1 innings. Myles Schroder connected on three hits, including his first home run of the season in the defeat. Richmond continues the current eight-game trip in Reading on Friday at 7:05 p.m
Right-hander Jordan Johnson took the ball for Richmond in his 12th start of the season. Johnson worked through the first two innings with ease, but encountered difficulty in the third and again in the fourth. Trenton opened up a 4-0 lead with five consecutive hits in the third. Trenton scored all four runs with two-outs, beginning with a walk to Jorge Mateo. Mateo stole second and scored on a triple into the corner. Thairo Estrada added an RBI single and then Mike Ford knocked a controversial two-run home run inside the foul pole in left field. Squirrels manager Kyle Haines argued the call was foul and was thrown out of the game. Initial video evidence suggested Haines’ grievance was validated.
The Thunder poured on three more runs in the fourth, cutting Johnsons start short. Jorge Saez singled to begin the rally. Saez advanced to third base when Vince Conde drilled a double off the left field wall. Mateo then brought home a run on an infield base hit and a sacrifice fly and wild pitch provided another pair of runs to go ahead 7-0.
Johnson (5-5) finished the fourth and was replaced by Ryan Halstead to begin the fifth. The right-hander allowed seven run on seven hits on the loss. He walked two and struck out three on 76 pitches.
The offensive barrage was more than enough for Eastern League All-Star Justus Sheffield. Sheffield, making his second start of the year against Richmond, allowed just one run over 6.1 innings. The righty walked tree and struck out six on 83 pitches to earn the win.
Ryan Halstead hurled a pair of innings in relief for Richmond He allowed one run in his first multi inning outing of the year. Yordy Cabrera and Carlos Alvarado each turned in a scoreless inning.