Squirrels smack Senators in series opener
The Flying Squirrels (17-22) took care of the Harrisburg Senators (16-23) with 15 hits in a 10-7 victory on Friday night at The Diamond. Miguel Gomez collected four hits for Richmond and Chris Shaw blasted his fifth home run to power the offense. The win kicked off a seven-game homestand that continues on Saturday night with In-Your-Face-Fireworks presented by Markel
Right-hander Cory Taylor squared off against Harrisburg’s righty Austen Williams in the series opener. Taylor had his command early on and punched out three hitters over the first two innings. Williams was also effective to start, using a double play to get out of the first inning.
Richmond struck first and opened up a 1-0 lead over the Senators with a run in the bottom of the second inning. Brandon Bednar lined a one-out double to left field and Myles Schroder was then hit-by-a pitch. That set up catcher Eliezer Zambrano who grounded a hot shot to shortstop. The ball bounced off the shortstop’s glove and rolled into center field to score Bednar for the first run of the contest.
The Squirrels erupted for six runs on seven hits in the third inning to grab a commanding 7-0 lead. Miguel Gomez began the rally with double into center field. Gomez scored on a Chris Shaw base hit and Richmond managed to load the bases against the scuffling Williams. Myles Schroder then ripped a triple into right center field to plate all three runners. Eliezer Zambrano followed with an RBI single and C.J. Hinojosa capped the scoring by dribbling a ball up the third base line to score Zambrano.
Taylor hit a short rough patch in the fourth inning to allow Harrisburg on the board. Jose Marmalejos doubled to left field and Neftali Soto drilled a two-bagger to bring him home. Soto came around to score via a sacrifice fly to pull Harrisburg to within five runs, 7-2.
Williams would not be long for the game, lasting just three innings in the loss. The righty allowed 10 hits and seven runs in his seventh start of the year. Taylor meanwhile cruised through the middle innings after allowing the runs in the fourth. Taylor departed after six solid innings of work to earn the win. He struck out seven and walked two while allowing just five hits.
Richmond racked up another pair of runs off the Senators bullpen and reliever Kyle Schepel. Gomez blasted a stand-up triple into deep right center field and Chris Shaw added a two-run homer for a 9-2 advantage. It was the fifth homer of the year for Shaw.
The senators made it a contest with five runs over the last three innings. The Squirrels bullpen trio of Christian Jones, Rodolfo Martinez and Reyes Moronta managed to hold on to secure the win.
The Flying Squirrels continue the to The Diamond on Saturday with In-Your-Face Fireworks presented by Markel. LHP Matt Gage (1-3, 3.48) is scheduled to start for the Squirrels against Harrisburg RHP John Simms (1-2, 3.58). Flying Squirrels individual tickets, mini plans and group packages are on sale by contacting the Richmond box office at 804-359-FUNN or online at www.squirrelsbaseball.com