BINGHAMTON, NY – The Richmond Flying Squirrels (44-53) claimed a tightly fought victory over the Binghamton Mets (59-36), 6-5, on Wednesday afternoon at NYSEG Stadium. The victory earned the Squirrels the series win and also represented the first time in more than a month (6/8) that Richmond had won back-to-back ballgames.
Ryan Lollis led off the ballgame with a bang, sending a solo-home run to right field off highly-heralded right-hander Noah Syndergaard. The fourth home run of the season for Lollis gave Richmond a quick, 1-0, lead.
Richmond righty Craig Westcott issued walks to two of the first three hitters in the bottom of the first inning. The second came with two outs to Cesar Puello. Puello swiped second base and Rhyne Hughes knocked him in with a single to tie the game, 1-1.
Syndergaard struggled with his command in the second inning and issued walks to both Jarrett Parker and Skyler Stromsmoe. Westcott had the opportunity to aid his own cause and took full advantage. Westcott cracked a first-pitch fastball off the wall in right field. He settled for an RBI single as Parker came in for a 2-1 lead.
Binghamton again answered quickly in the bottom of the inning. Xorge Carrillo sparked the B-Mets with a one-out single. An out later, Westcott issued his third walk of the day, putting aboard Syndegaard. Darrell Ceciliani bounced a two-out single back through the middle, plating Carrillo to again knot the ballgame, 2-2.
The Squirrels had an uprising started in the third inning with the first two men aboard. However, with the runners moving, Mark Minicozzi lined a ball to the shortstop, Wilfredo Tovar. It was turned into an inning-ending triple play. It marked the second triple play the Squirrels have been a part of this season, having turned one themselves against the Trenton Thunder.
The B-Mets grabbed the lead for the first time in the third. Puello led off against Westcott and lifted a high drive to right field. It snuck over the fence for a solo-home run. Puello’s 16th of the season gave the B-Mets a 3-2 advantage.
Richmond drew even in the fifth inning, the last of the day for Syndergaard. With one out, Adam Duvall drilled a solo-home run to center field. The blast to the deepest part of the ballpark tied the ballgame, 3-3.
Syndergaard did not factor in the decision, working five innings. He was touched up for three earned runs on seven hits. He walked three and struck out three.
The Squirrels pulled ahead again in the sixth inning. Lefty Jim Fuller came on in relief and couldn’t find the plate. He promptly walked the bases loaded on 13 pitches. He then hit Westcott to force in the go-ahead run for Richmond. Fuller was lifted in favor of Adam Kolarek. Two fielder’s choice bouncers capped the inning for the Squirrels. They scored three times without the benefit of a hit for a 6-3 lead.
Westcott continued into the seventh inning and allowed a lead-off single to Joe Bonfe. He got the first out of the inning, but handed it over to right-hander Edwin Quirarte. Quirarte conceded a double to Josh Turner and then a sacrifice fly to Puello. Hughes then made it a one-run game again with an RBI single to right field.
Westcott (4-9) surrendered four earned runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out two, earning his first victory in nine starts and fourth overall on the year. Fuller (2-1) took the loss for the B-Mets.
Right-hander Cody Hall was sensational in recording the final six outs of the ballgame to preserve the victory. He struck out two of the better hitters in the Eastern League to end the ballgame, fanning Puello and Allan Dykstra. Hall earned his third save of the season.
The Squirrels return to The Diamond to open a five-game, four-day series with the Bowie Baysox (Baltimore Orioles) on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. Richmond LHP Edwin Escobar (0-1, 9.00) will make the start in the opener against Bowie LHP Eduardo Rodgriguez (0-1, 4.91). The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup will begin at 6:35 p.m. on Sports Radio 910, SportsRadio910.com and IHeart Radio.
# SQUIRRELS #