RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With a 12-0 drubbing of the Harrisburg Senators, the Richmond Flying Squirrels won their fourth-straight game and continued to inch toward a .500 record despite a 15-game losing streak earlier this season.
The first four and a half innings of Wednesday’s contest were scoreless. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Richmond exploded for eight runs and followed that up with a four-run sixth inning.
Joe Biagini pitched solidly for Richmond in the win.
Here is more information directly from the Richmond Flying Squirrels:
RVA – The Richmond Flying Squirrels (20-23) erupted for eight runs in the fifth inning and buried the Harrisburg Senators (20-25), 12-0, on Wednesday night at The Diamond. The Squirrels’ fourth consecutive win netted Richmond the three-game series victory as well. The Squirrels have now claimed six of their last seven series, and pulled ahead of the Senators into third place in the Western Division.
Harrisburg lefty Richard Bleier and Richmond right-hander Joe Biagini dueled through the first four innings. Biagini allowed just two singles and faced two over the minimum. Bleier was even better, confronting the minimum, while conceding just a game-opening single to Kelby Tomlinson.
Biagini put up another zero in the fifth, and the floodgates opened for Richmond in the bottom of the frame. Devin Harris bounced a single through the left-side of the infield to open the inning. An out later, Mitch Delfino reached on an infield-single. Bleier then committed a balk that moved the runners to second and third. Daniel Carbonell brought the game’s first run home with a sacrifice-fly to center field. Bleier walked Jackson Williams to extend the inning, and Biagini aided his own cause with his first professional hit. He lined a single into center field to bring in Delfino. Tomlinson followed with a single into left field that brought Williams around for a 3-0 lead. Rando Moreno then reached on an infield-single to load the bases. Mac Williamson followed and made it 5-0 as he rifled a two-run single into right-center field that scored Biagini and Tomlinson. The rout was on as Harris collected his second hit of the inning, blasting a two-run double through the right-center field alley that put Richmond in front, 7-0. Bleier was lifted in favor of right-hander Sam Runion, but the bleeding didn’t stop immediately. Runion walked Ricky Oropesa and Delfino capped the inning with an RBI single to right field. The Squirrels exited the inning carrying an 8-0 lead.
The eight runs that the Squirrels scored in the fifth inning marked a new season-high. The eight runs were one shy of the franchise-record for runs in an inning, which stands at nine. Richmond scored nine runs in the first inning on May 26th, 2013 at Altoona. However, the eight hits the Squirrels collected in the inning did establish a new franchise-record. The previous high was seven, which had been accomplished twice, most recently in the fifth inning on July 9th, 2012 against Reading.
Bleier (3-1) absorbed all of the damage in the fifth inning and took the loss, his first. He was charged with eight earned runs on nine hits. He walked one and struck out two.
Biagini (3-3) held off the Senators through six innings to earn the win, his third. He blanked Harrisburg on three hits. He walked a season-high four, and struck out five.
The Squirrels added insult to injury against Runion in the sixth inning. They tallied four more runs on five additional hits to cap the scoring for the evening. Harris knocked in the first run of the inning with his third hit of the night – a single. Oropesa then provided the exclamation point when he drilled a three-run double to right-center field. Runion was charged with four runs over 1 1/3 innings.
Left-hander Phil McCormick worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings to take the game within an out of completion. Right-hander Joan Gregorio handled the final out to secure the victory.
The finale of the three-game series is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at The Diamond on Thursday night. Richmond LHP Kelvin Marte (4-0, 3.31) will make the start against Harrisburg RHP Joe Ross (2-2, 3.05).