Three homers power Flying Squirrels to Fourth of July win

Richmond Flying SquirrelsThree home runs launched the Richmond Flying Squirrels to a 12-4 win over the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in front of an Independence Day sellout crowd on Sunday night at The Diamond.

The Flying Squirrels (29-25) picked up their third straight win and earned a series split with the Rumble Ponies (18-34).

After a leadoff double from Sean Hjelle and a walk to Simon Whiteman in the third, Heliot Ramos blasted a three-run homer to right field that vaulted Richmond to a 3-0 lead. It was Ramos’ first home run since June 11.

Richmond scored four times in the fourth inning to open a 7-0 lead. Whiteman hit an RBI single to bring in Bryan Torres. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Frankie Tostado hit a bases-clearing, three-run double.

Jacob Heyward kept the momentum going with a solo home run in the fifth inning, extending the Flying Squirrels’ advantage to 8-0. Heyward went 3-for-4 with three extra-base hits and homered for the second straight day.

Phil Pfeifer (Win, 1-2) worked a scoreless fifth inning with two strikeouts.

Binghamton broke the shutout in the sixth with a two-RBI double from Mark Vientos to make it 8-2 off reliever Frank Rubio.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Richmond extended its advantage to 9-2 off an RBI double from David Villar that scored Ramos.

Torres added another run for the Flying Squirrels with a sacrifice fly in the seventh to open a 10-2 lead.

In the eighth, Binghamton cut the deficit to 10-4 with a two-run homer by Vientos, who finished the game with four RBIs.

In the bottom of the eighth, Brandon Martorano hit a two-run homer, his first Double-A home run, to open a 12-4 lead.

Richmond starter Sean Hjelle threw 4.0 scoreless innings in his first start since returning from the injured list, allowing two hits with four strikeouts.

Rumble Ponies starter Luc Rennie (Loss, 1-4) allowed seven runs off seven hits over 3.2 innings.

The game drew a sellout crowd of 9,560 fans for the second consecutive night.

The Flying Squirrels are off Monday before hitting the road for a six-game series against the Bowie Baysox. Game one of the series is Tuesday with right-hander Trenton Toplikar (1-4, 4.60) expected to start for Richmond. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. from Prince George’s Stadium.

After next week’s road trip, the Flying Squirrels return home for a six-game series against the Somerset Patriots, Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, from July 13-18. Tickets are available online at, by phone at 804-359-3866 or in person at the Flying Squirrels offices.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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