Squirrels stumble in series opener vs. Sea Dogs

Richmond Flying SquirrelsThe Richmond Flying Squirrels could not overcome a five-run second inning from the Portland Sea Dogs, falling, 9-3, on Tuesday at The Diamond.

Portland (45-61, 18-21) struck together three straight hits to start the second inning against Brandon Lawson (Loss, 4-6) to crack the scoreboard. Following a sacrifice bunt by Brett Netzer to move runners to second and third, Jarren Duran slashed a two-run single to center field to put the Sea Dogs up, 3-0. Bobby Dalbec capped the five-run frame with a two-run triple to deep right-center field.

Richmond (39-66, 16-22) fought back against Bryan Mata (Win, 2-3) in the fourth. After Mata held the Flying Squirrels without a hit through the first three innings, Peter Maris drove a double to right-center field to start the inning. Two batter later, Jacob Heyward crushed a two-run homer to left-center field to cut the deficit to three.

It was Heyward’s ninth home run of the season and his first since the 2019 Eastern League All-Star Game.

The Flying Squirrels chipped away with another run in the sixth. After Heyward walked and moved to third on a single by Gio Brusa, he scored on sacrifice fly by Jalen Miller.

Lawson retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced to end his six-inning outing before Caleb Simpson fired two perfect innings of relief.

Tyler Cyr began the ninth with a strikeout, but ultimately allowed four runs (one earned) on three hits and two errors. Jhon Nunez started the scoring in the ninth for the Sea Dogs with an infield single that brought home Jeremy Rivera. After a sacrifice fly from Durran, Dalbac laced a two-run single to right to finish off a four-run inning that extended the Sea Dogs’ lead to 9-3.

Dedgar Jimenez (Save, 2) tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen for Portland to secure the win.

The Flying Squirrels continue their series with the Portland Sea Dogs on Wednesday when left-hander Caleb Baragar (3-3, 3.73 ERA) is slated to face left-hander Daniel McGrath (2-0, 1.46 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m., and coverage begins with the Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup at 6:05 p.m. on Sports Radio 910 the Fan and 105.1 FM.

As part of the 10 memorable past players series, the first 1,500 fans 21 & older receive a Matt Duffy “Duffman” tank top, the ultimate tribute to the former Flying Squirrels infielder who went straight from the Boulevard to the big leagues, presented by Bud Light. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

Expect a few food specials and unique entertainment as the Flying Squirrels bring their version of the Greek Festival to Funnville on Wednesday, presented By Retail Merchants Association.

Fans 21 and older can enjoy $5 glasses of wine and $6 wine slushies from 5:30-7:30 p.m. (available at the wine cart located in the Funnville Fan Zone on the main concourse).

For tickets or more information, call 804-359-3866 (FUNN), visit SquirrelsBaseball.com/Tickets or stop by the Flying Squirrels box office.

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