Surging Squirrels secure fourth straight win
The surging Flying Squirrels (46-60) capped off an eight-game homestand with four consecutive wins, taking the finale over Erie (54-52) 3-2 on Sunday afternoon. Starting pitcher Dan Slania was in control through 7.2 innings in the win, needing only 84 pitches in the outing. Jarret Martin earned his first save of the year by recording the final four outs of the game. The Squirrels are off on Monday and will travel to Portland, Maine to begin a six-game trip beginning Tuesday at Hadlock Field.
Slania quickly shook off a run in the first inning to turn in a near-career outing. Slania (3-1) lasted 7.2 innings – one out shy of his longest career mark – while needing only 84 pitches in the outing. The righty allowed just a pair of runs on four hits to earn the win. He struck out three and walked two in the effort.
Lefty reliever Jarret Martin recorded the final four outs to earn the save. Martin replaced Slania with a runner on in the eighth and struck out Gabriel Quintana to keep the 3-2 lead intact. Martin closed out the ninth for his first save of the season.
With the game tied, 2-2 in the sixth, Squirrels outfielder Caleb Gindl smacked the go-ahead home run over the right field fence. Gindl’s second home run of the year with Richmond occurred off of Erie LHP Matt Crouse, who suffered the defeat.
Erie grabbed the quick 1-0 in the first inning, but Richmond countered with a run in the bottom of the stanza to tie the game. With two outs, Myles Schroder reached on a bunt base hit to extend the inning. K.C. Hobson then delivered a booming RBI double to right center field, scoring Schroder.
The Squirrels pulled ahead 2-1 in bottom of the third. Hunter Cole smashed a one-out double into centerfield and Schroder lined a single into right field to take the lead. Crouse was able to keep it a one-run inning, retiring the next two hitters to end the frame. The lefty used 52 pitches over the first three innings.
Meanwhile, Slania picked up steam as the contest carried on. The Notre Dame product retired the side in order in the second, third and again in the fourth, needing only 40 pitches through the first four frames.
Slania’s stretch of 11 consecutive batters was disrupted due to a walk to start the fifth. Zach Cox worked a walk and Grayson Greiner followed with a double into right center field. Greiner’s double escaped the dive of Cole in right, allowing A.J. Simcox to tie the game on a sacrifice fly.
Richmond regained the lead off of Crouse in the bottom of the sixth inning on Gindl’s blast that sailed deep over the right field wall.
Crouse (6-4) ) returned to start the seventh inning and recorded the first two outs before Heathcott ended his day on a base hit to left center. Reliever Zac Reininger entered to finish off the inning and close out the line on Crouse (6.2IP, 8H, 3R, 0BB, 5K).