ERIE, PA – The Richmond Flying Squirrels (48-56) claimed a chaotic finale, 10-9, over the Erie SeaWolves on Wednesday afternoon at Jerry Uht Park. The win allowed the Squirrels to avoid a three-game sweep in the first stop of their weeklong road trip.
Richmond had lost the lead for the first time, trailing 9-8 heading to the ninth inning. Erie brought on right-hander Melvin Mercedes. Javier Herrera battled deep into the count before sending a lead-off single to center field. Angel Villalona followed and pushed a single into right field. Adam Duvall laid down a bunt and Mercedes attempted to go to third base with the throw. The ball was dropped by third baseman Wade Gaynor, loading the bases with nobody out. Herrera scored on a wild pitch from Mercedes and Brett Krill knocked in the game-winning run with a sacrifice fly. Krill notched four RBIs for the day. Mercedes (0-1) took the loss for Erie.
The Squirrels got off to a fast start against righty Patrick Cooper in the first inning. Ryan Lollis opened the ballgame and reached on an infield-single. An out later, Herrera sent a double to the left-field corner. Villalona then poked a single into right field to bring in Lollis with the first run of the day. Duvall followed and lofted a sacrifice fly to left field for a 2-0 advantage. Cooper then plunked Jarrett Parker to extend the inning. Krill took advantage as he launched the first pitch from Cooper easily out of the ballpark to left field. Krill’s second home run of the season – a three-run shot – gave the Squirrels a 5-0 lead.
Richmond lefty Jack Snodgrass hurriedly recorded the first two outs in the bottom of the inning. However, Daniel Fields singled with two outs and Snodgrass walked Ramon Cabrera. Tyler Collins then singled to right field to bring in Fields. Collins’ sixth RBI of the series trimmed the Richmond lead to 5-1.
The SeaWolves drew two runs closer in the third inning. Snodgrass issued a lead-off walk to Jamie Johnson and then conceded a single to Eugenio Suarez. An out later, Cabrera knocked in a run with a single. Collins then notched his second RBI single of the day. The seventh run batted in for Collins in the series made it a 5-3 lead for Richmond.
The Squirrels responded with two unearned runs in the top of the fourth inning. With one out in the inning, Krill singled to center field. Cooper then walked Tyler LaTorre. An out later, Lollis sent a soft-liner to second base. Marcus Lemon misplayed the ball, and the error allowed Krill to score. Joe Panik followed and laced an RBI single into right field to give the Squirrels a 7-3 lead.
The SeaWolves got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning. Johnson knocked in Gaynor with a sacrifice fly. In the fifth, Erie made it a one-run game. Fields doubled up the right-field line to start the inning. He then stole third base and scored when LaTorre threw wildly into left field. Collins came up a batter later and drilled a solo-home run to right field.
The two teams traded runs in the sixth inning as the Squirrels clung to their one-run lead. Panik knocked in his second run with his second single in the top of the frame. Fields plated Johnson with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning. The Erie run was scored against right-hander Jose Valdez who relieved Snodgrass after five innings.
Snodgrass was charged with six runs – five earned – on 10 hits. He walked two and did not register a strikeout.
Cooper worked into the sixth inning, calling it a day after 5 2/3 innings. He was tagged for eight runs – six earned – on seven hits. He walked two, hit one and struck out four.
Erie finally caught up to the Squirrels in the bottom of the eighth inning. Left-hander Phil McCormick issued back-to-back one-out walks before departing in favor of righty Cody Hall. Hall walked Cabrera to load the bases and Collins followed with a broken-bat two-run single to center field. Collins fourth hit of the day pulled the SeaWolves in front, 9-8. It also gave Collins 10 RBIs for the series. Despite losing the lead, Hall (2-0) was credited with the win.
Left-hander Josh Osich came on following the Squirrels’ rally to work a perfect ninth inning. He earned his second save as a Squirrel.
The Squirrels continue their seven-game road trip as they travel to Akron, OH, to take on the Akron Aeros (Cleveland Indians) in a four-game series beginning on Thursday night. First pitch of the opener is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Canal Park. Richmond RHP Taylor Rogers (5-6, 5.65) will make the start against Akron LHP Matt Packer (9-2, 2.58). The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmup will begin at 6:35 p.m. on Sports Radio 910, SportsRadio910.com and IHeart Radio.
# SQUIRRELS #