Squirrels win Series on soggy Sunday in Reading
The Flying Squirrels (16-12) snuck away from a soggy FirstEnergy Stadium with a 4-2 rain-shortened, five-inning win over Reading (10-16) on Sunday afternoon. Richmond plated all four runs in the third inning, giving starting pitcher Jordan Johnson enough offense to earn his third win of the year. The Squirrels won two out of three in the series and return home to The Diamond for a seven game homestand beginning Monday at 6:35 p.m.
At the outset, pitching in a light rain to begin the game did not suit Squirrels starter Johnson. Malquin Canelo led off the first inning for Reading by reaching on a soft ground ball to third (ruled a hit initially, then changed to an error). Johnson struggled to find his footing in the damp conditions and walked the next hitter Zach Coppola. Damek Tomscha then struck out, but Cornelius Randolph worked a walk, loading the bases. Johnson buckled down and struck out Zach Green for the second out. Former Flying Squirrels infielder Brandon Bednar followed with a line drive a base hit into left, plating a pair. Bednar’s single ended the inning when Randolph was thrown out heading from second to third on the play.
Johnson (3-3) tossed 35 pitches in the first inning and was on the verge of being removed by way of reaching his single-inning pitch limit. The righty managed to record the last out of the inning and carried on through five innings in the win. Johnson struck out four and walked four in a gritty effort.
Richmond showed a penchant for the big inning throughout the weekend in Reading, including a four-run third on Sunday. Reading LHP Elniery Garcia walked the first batter Ali Castillo on four pitches and then tossed a sacrifice bunt attempt into right field, pitting runners on second and third. Flying Squirrels shortstop Ryan Howard then tied the contest by lining a two-run single into right field. Howard was caught stealing but with two outs, Jerry Sands continued the attacked by ripping a double into left field. Richmond took a 3-2 lead on a bloop base hit from Dylan Davis and plated the fourth run of the inning on a single into centerfield off the bat of John Riley.
The game was halted due to rain after Johnson recorded the final out of the fifth inning. Johnson picked up his first 1-2-3 inning with the rain still falling. The Tarp was placed on the field t 4:01 p.m. and the game was called shortly thereafter.