The following comes directly from the Richmond Flying Squirrels:
RVA – The Richmond Flying Squirrels (41-38), and a capacity crowd of 9,560, waited through a rain-delay of two hours and seven minutes before drubbing the Akron RubberDucks, 7-3, on Saturday night at The Diamond. The meeting marked the first of the season between the two clubs. The Squirrels posted their sixth consecutive Independence Day sellout. That encompasses each of their six seasons in existence.
Hunter Cole put the Squirrels on the board quickly, pounding a solo-home run off right-hander Mike Clevinger with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. Cole’s first home run at the Double-A level was sent to left-center field and put Richmond in front, 1-0.
The Squirrels tacked on an unearned run in the second. Ricky Oropesa led off the inning with a single and quickly advanced to second base on a wild-pitch. Mitch Delfino then lifted a fly ball to right field. As Carlos Moncrief made the catch, Oropesa tagged and headed to third. Moncrief’s throw to third was off the mark, and as it bounced away Oropesa sprinted in for a 2-0 lead.
Richmond took an inning off before adding to their lead with a lone run against Clevinger in both the fourth and fifth innings. Cole led off the fourth with a single, and later in the inning scored on a wild-pitch. In the fifth, Myles Schroder singled to start the inning. Like in the fourth, he came in for a 4-0 lead when Clevinger uncorked another wild-pitch.
Clevinger (5-4) took the loss over five innings. He was charged with four runs – three earned – on six hits. He walked one and struck out four.
The Squirrels then broke the game open with three runs against righty Joe Colon in the sixth. With one out, Delfino cranked a solo-home run to left field. His second of the season stretched the lead to 5-0. An out later, Colon walked Jackson Williams. Jesus Galindo then doubled to right-center field. Schroder knocked in both with a two-run single and the Richmond lead stood at 7-0.
Meanwhile, Richmond right-hander Joe Biagini (7-5) was in control. He stymied the RubberDucks over 6 1/3 innings, allowing just five hits. He walked three and struck out three, earning his seventh victory of the season.
Lefty Braulio Lara recorded the final two outs of the seventh before righty Kyle Crick worked a perfect eighth. Right-hander Derek Law conceded three unearned run in the ninth, but righty Stephen Johnson finished the win by recording the final out.
Game two of the three-game series is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. on Sunday night at The Diamond. Richmond LHP Adalberto Mejia (3-0, 1.52) will make the start against Akron RHP Jordan Cooper (0-0, 3.38).