RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Flying Squirrels trailed 2-0 after three innings, but that early in the evening no one could have predicted how long or crazy Opening Night would be.
Eleven innings later around 11:30 PM, Kelby Tomlinson successfully laid down a squeeze bunt, giving the Flying Squirrels a 3-2 victory in the 14th inning.
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Richmond, VA – The Richmond Flying Squirrels (1-0) prevailed, 3-2, over the Bowie Baysox (0-1) in the longest season-opener in franchise history on Thursday night at The Diamond. Richmond finished the win in front of a fraction of the capacity crowd of 9,560 that originally packed The Diamond. The sellout extended the Squirrels’ streak of home-opening sellouts to six.
After a lengthy stalemate, the Squirrels finally ended the affair in the bottom of the 14th inning. Bowie right-hander Andrew Triggs walked the lead-off batter, Rando Moreno, to spark the game-winning uprising for the Squirrels. Jackson Williams moved Moreno to second with a groundout and Daniel Carbonell made it runners on the corners with a single to center field. Kelby Tomlinson then won it for the Squirrels with a push-bunt single to the right side of the infield. It marked Tomlinson’s third hit of the night (3-for-5). Triggs (0-1) was saddled with the loss for the Baysox.
Bowie struck first in the ballgame, working off a lead-off double from Mike McDade in the top of the second inning. The Baysox pushed McDade across for a 1-0 lead on consecutive groundouts.
The Baysox got back after Richmond right-hander Chris Stratton in the third. Stratton started his own problems when he issued a one-out walk to Mike Yastrzemski. Glynn Davis followed and drilled an RBI double off the left-field wall on one hop. Later in the inning, Stratton escaped a bases-loaded jam, minimizing the damage to the lone run. However, Bowie enjoyed a 2-0 lead.
Bowie starter Tim Berry worked four scoreless innings, but left due to a pitch count and was ineligible for a decision. He conceded three hits – two of them doubles to Mac Williamson – walked two and struck out three.
Stratton went an inning further, turning in five innings in his season debut. He allowed two earned runs on five hits, walked two and struck out three. He did not register a decision.
The Squirrels cracked the scoreboard for the first time in the sixth inning. Right-hander Bobby Bundy hit Williamson with a pitch to start the inning and his own issue. Javier Herrera followed with his second infield-single of the night. Devin Harris grounded into a double-play, but Angel Villalona brought home the Squirrels first run with an infield-single chopped over the mound.
Richmond drew even in the seventh. Lefty Ashur Tolliver walked the lead-off man, Williams. Tolliver followed with a strikeout of Daniel Carbonell, but was then lifted for right-hander Mychel Givens. Tomlinson greeted him with a triple punched into the right-field corner. Williams scored easily to square the game, 2-2.
Right-hander Pedro Rodriguez (1-0) earned the win for the Squirrels, working two scoreless innings of relief.
Game two of the four-game series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at The Diamond on Friday night. Richmond LHP Jack Snodgrass (0-0, —) will make the start against Bowie RHP Elih Villanueva (0-0, –).