ERIE, PA – After waiting through a lengthy rain delay, the Richmond Flying Squirrels (47-55) dropped the opener of a three-game series to the Erie SeaWolves, 5-1, at Jerry Uht Park on Monday night. The ballgame was delayed by rain for an hour and 49 minutes.
Once started, the bats were slow to go for both clubs. However, Richmond right-hander Craig Westcott was forced from the festivities early. He was struck in the leg by a comebacker from Brandon Douglas in the second inning. He stayed in the game to finish the second inning, but was forced to depart after he recorded the first out in the third. He worked 2 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits. He walked one and struck out two, not factoring in the decision.
Erie right-hander Drew VerHagen worked five innings before departing a scoreless ballgame. Right-hander David Kopp came on for him and the Squirrels hurriedly took their first lead of the night. With two outs, Angel Villalona homered to left-center field. The solo-shot was Villalona’s fourth, and gave Richmond a 1-0 lead.
Righty Omar Javier was forced into the ballgame following Westcott’s departure. He was impressive, firing 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Left-hander Phil McCormick came on for the sixth inning and Erie answered the Villalona home run. McCormick quickly recorded the first two outs, but walked Tyler Collins. He then conceded a single to James McCann to put two aboard. Richmond went back to the bullpen for right-hander Drew Bowlin – brought in to face the right-handed batting Douglas. Douglas lined Bowlin’s first pitch into center field to bring in Collins and tie the ballgame, 1-1.
Things unraveled for the Squirrels in the bottom of the seventh inning. Bowlin remained in the game for Richmond and he was able to pick up the first two outs of the inning. However, he issued a two-out walk to Eugenio Suarez. Daniel Fields followed with a single, and Bowlin was removed for lefty Josh Osich. Ramon Cabrera greeted him with a single to center field. Suarez scored for a 2-1 lead. Tyler Collins followed and laced a three-run home run to right field. Collins’ 15th of the season stretched the Erie lead to 5-1 and gave the SeaWolves control of the game.
Bowlin (1-1) was charged the loss for the Squirrels. He was saddled with two of the four runs that the SeaWolves scored in the seventh inning. Osich was tagged with the other two.
Kopp (2-2) earned the win in relief for the SeaWolves. He surrendered just the lone run over three innings. Lefty Ryan Robowski came in to finish the win in the ninth inning.
Game two of the three-game series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday night at Jerry Uht Park. Richmond LHP Edwin Escobar (1-1, 4.22) will make the start against Erie RHP Warwick Saupold (4-3, 2.93). The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup will begin at 6:35 p.m. on Sports Radio 910, SportsRadio910.com and IHeart Radio.
# SQUIRRELS #