Mason fete continues at Diamond, but Squirrels lose 5-3

The following comes directly from the Richmond Flying Squirrels:

RVA – The Flying Squirrels (17-23) outhit the Harrisburg Senators 11-7 on Saturday night, but dropped the middle game of the series 5-3 in front of 9,074 fans at The Diamond. The Senators (17-23) pulled ahead with a three-run home run from Jose Marmolejos in the third inning and managed to hang on to even the series. The series will conclude on Sunday afternoon at 12:05 p.m. with Brunch and Baseball
 Richmond starting pitcher Matt Gage set a positive tone in the first inning by striking out the side. Gage punched out Alec Keller, Mario Lisson and Marmolejos – all swinging-  on 19 pitches to begin his 7th start of the season.
 
The Squirrels gave Gage an early 1-0 lead with a run in the bottom of the first inning.  Facing Harrisburg starting pitcher John Simms, Leadoff man Myles Schroder looped a single into center field. Schroder took second base an errant pick off move and came around to score when Chris Shaw lined a base hit back up the middle. Shaw’s single occurred on an 0-2 pitch, producing the 1-0 advantage.
 
Harrisburg pulled ahead in the third inning by utilizing the old fashioned three-run homer. Khayyan Norfork opened the inning with a base hit and advanced to second via a sacrifice bunt. After Gage walked Richmond-native Alec Keller, Marmolejos delivered a line drive homer over the right center field wall to give the Senators a 3-0 lead. Gage settled the inning with his fourth strikeout of the night.
 
Gage worked an uneventful fourth inning, but found his pitch count rising to 81 at the end of it. Harrisburg applied some more pressure on Gage in the fifth and forced him from the contest with another pair of runs. The lefty walked the first batter John Simms in the fifth and AlecKeller followed with a single. After Mario Lisson’s groundout, Jose Marmolejos hit a ball to the third baseman Ali Castillo. Castillo threw home to nab the runner Simms at the plate for the second out of the inning. Neftali Soto then stepped to the plate and drilled a double off the right field wall to score a run and get Gage out of the game. Christian Jones entered and unleashed a wild pitch, allowing Marmolejos to score the fifth run of the game for Harrisburg.
 
Gage totaled 4.2 innings in the start and allowed five runs on six hits. He walked a pair and struck out six in the defeat.
 
Simms meanwhile cruised through the middle innings and retired nine consecutive batters into the sixth. The righty allowed his second and final run in the sixth on an infield base hit prior finishing off the outing. Simms lasted six innings and allowed a pair of runs on eight hits. He struck out two and did not walk a batter to earn the win.
 
Reliever Ryan Brinley took over for Harrisburg and allowed a scratch run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Schroder created a base hit with a bunt up the first base line. Schroder motored around the bases on a throwing error to pull Richmond to within two, 5-3.
 
Brinley tossed a pair of innings to earn the hold and Wander Suero authored a scoreless ninth to pick up the save.
 
The Flying Squirrels continue the homestand at The Diamond on Sunday with Brunch and Baseball at 12:05 p.m. RHP Jordan Johnson (2-2, 2.62) is scheduled to start for the Squirrels against Harrisburg RHP Jaron Long (3-4, 3.02).