The following information was provided to us by the Richmond Flying Squirrels:
Richmond, VA – The Richmond Flying Squirrels (3-10) committed a season-high four errors as they fell for a franchise-record eighth consecutive time, 3-2, to the New Britain Rock Cats (10-6) on Friday night at The Diamond. The Squirrels had previously dropped seven straight twice, in 2010 and 2013 respectively. They are also off to the worst 13-game start in franchise history.
Ricky Oropesa blasted the Squirrels in front in the second as he launched his first home run of the season off of righty Matt Flemer. The solo-shot to right-center field gave the Squirrels a 1-0 lead. It was just the second home run the Squirrels have hit at The Diamond this season.
Richmond right-hander Kyle Crick threw four scoreless innings, but needed 92 pitches to do so. He allowed just two hits, but walked four. He struck out a season-high eight, and did not factor in the decision.
New Britain knotted the ballgame, 1-1, with an oddly plated run in the fifth. Lefty Kelvin Marte issued a two-out walk to Trevor Story to get the Rock Cats started. Mike Tauchman followed with a single through the right side of the infield to put runners at the corners. Marte then picked off Tauchman, but while he was in a rundown, Story pranced across from third with New Britain’s first run.
The Squirrels forged back in front in the fifth, plating a run without the benefit of a hit. Flemer issued a one-out walk to Blake Miller. Jackson Williams then rolled a slow groundball to the shortstop, Story. Williams was thrown out at first, but Miller attempted to take third on the play. The first baseman, Dean Espy, threw errantly to third base, and as the ball kicked away Miller scored for a 2-1 lead. The run was unearned.
Marte recovered and struck out the side in order in the sixth. Lefty Phil McCormick then mowed down the Rock Cats in order in the seventh. Things unraveled for Richmond in the eighth however, as McCormick continued in relief. Tyler Massey opened the inning with an infield-single. Story followed and cranked a triple through the right-center field alley. Story also scored on the play when Kelby Tomlinson’s relay throw got away. The fourth error of the night for Richmond – a season-high – was their eventual undoing. McCormick (0-1) took the loss, his first.
Tomlinson had an eventful night, recording his fourth three-hit game of the season (3-for-4, 2B), and also stole two bases (3, 4). However, he also committed two fielding errors.
Right-hander Gus Schlosser (2-2) earned the win in relief for the Rock Cats. He worked a scoreless seventh inning. Lefty Kraig Sitton handled a scoreless eighth inning, and right-hander Austin House nailed it down with a 1-2-3 ninth. House earned his fourth save of the season.
Game three of the four-game series is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. at The Diamond on Saturday night. Richmond LHP Matt Lujan (0-2, 6.52) will make the start against New Britain RHP Devin Burke (0-0, 0.00).