Squirrels squander another late lead in Erie
The Flying Squirrels dropped the series finale in Erie by a final of 8-6 on Wednesday afternoon at UPMC Park. Richmond (39-55) overcame an early 5-0 deficit, but could not hang on to a 6-5 lead in the eighth inning. Erie’s Steven Moya delivered the go-ahead hit, a two-run triple to right field. The SeaWolves (49-45) won the series, taking the final two games in dramatic fashion. Richmond will continue the current seven-game road trip with the first of a four game series in Akron on Thursday.
For the second consecutive night, Erie rallied to overtake the Squirrels in the eighth inning. Moya drilled a two-run triple to right center field, plating two runs for a 7-6 lead. A.J. Simcox brought home Moya on a base hit to right, giving closer Paul Voelker a two-run cushion. Voelker pitched the ninth and struck out a pair of batters to earn the save.
Squirrels left-hander Jarret Martin (2-2) suffered the loss in a patchwork relief effort. Martin helped Richmond escape trouble in the seventh inning, but allowed a walk and a bunt base hit to start the eighth. Seth Rosin replaced Martin and struck out pinch-hitter Christin Steward before the next pinch-hitter, Moya delivered the go-ahead runs.
Trailing 5-4 entering the seventh, Myles Schorder blasted a two-run homer, providing the Squirrels with their first lead of the game. Schroder’s blast – the third of the game for Richmond – put the Squirrels ahead 6-5. Richmond scored six unanswered runs to erase an early 5-0 hole.
A tight strike zone early in the game contributed to a dubious start for Dan Slania. Logan Watkins opened the first inning with a base hit and Slania walked two out of the next three hitters to bring Zack Cox to the plate with the bases loaded. Cox lofted a grand slam off the wall in left field, giving Erie a 4-0 lead. Slania battled through the innings, but used 29 pitches to do so.
Erie added another run in the second for a 5-0 advantage. Shortstop Simcox roped a one-out base hit to right and Harold Castro doubled him home.
The Squirrels chipped away at the deficit with a pair of runs in the third and another in the fourth. Jeff Arnold ignited the rally in the third inning with ha base hit and Slade Heathcott added a double off the left field wall. C.J. Hinojosa brought home the first Richmond run on a ground out and Schroder followed with an RBI single. Caleb Gindl led off the fourth inning with a line drive home run over the left field wall. It was the first homer fior Gindl in just his third game with Richmond.
Slania regained his composure after the tricky beginning and was in line for the win. Slania tossed six innings and allowed five runs on seven hits.
SeaWolves starting pitcher A.J. Ladwig was lifted after five innings with the lead. Ladwig allowed three runs on seven hits and used 77 pitches in the contest. He walked one and struck out two in the no-decision.
Erie reliever Adam Ravenelle took over to start the sixth and his first pitch was deposited deep over the right field wall. K.C. Hobson smashed the long ball – his fifth since joining the Squirrels – to make it a one-run contest.