(PR) (Richmond, VA) – Tyler Austin grounded out to shortstop with the tying and winning runs in scoring position to end the game and a late comeback attempt by the Trenton Thunder in a 5-4 loss to the Richmond Flying Squirrels Wednseday night at The Diamond. Richmond led 5-1 after seven innings and held on to win for the first time in three games during the series despite stranding 14 runners on base in the three hour, 30 minute marathon.
Kyle Roller’s opposite-field three-run home run against reliever Tom Vessella brought the Thunder to within one run with one out in the eighth inning. It was his team-leading sixth of the season and third hit of the night. Lefty specialist Phil McCormick then came in and retired the final two batters in the eighth.
Ali Castillo led off the ninth against McCormick by reaching on a fielding error by third baseman Adam Duvall. After Kevin Mahoney fly out, Jose Pirela worked a walk to put runners on first and second. Walter Ibarra then grounded out to third but advanced Castillo to third and Pirela to second base, prompting Richmond to call upon righty Edwin Quirarte.
The side-arm righty Quirarte, pitching for the third straight night in the series, got Austin to ground his first pitch easily to shortstop Ehire Adrianza for a 6-3 putout that ended the game. Quirarte picked up his third save of the season.
Trenton starter Jose Ramirez (0-2) lasted on 1.2 innings and struggled with command, walking five and throwing three wild pitches. Brett Krill’s two-run double in the second put Richmond ahead 2-1 against Ramirez.
Jeremy Bleich entered in relief and allowed three more runs in his 3.1 innings of work. Duvall’s two-run triple to right center in the fourth extended Richmond’s lead to 4-1, while Krill’s second RBI double of the game plated the fifth Squirrels run in the fifth.
Richmond collected 20 baserunners in eight innings on the night – 12 hits, seven walks and a hit batter – in a game in which neither team recorded a 1-2-3 inning. Taylor Rogers (2-2) worked 1.1 scoreless innings in relief of Squirrels starter Fabio Castillo to earn the win.
The finale of the four-game series is scheduled to be played Thursday night beginning at 6:35 pm. Left-hander Nik Turley (4-2, 4.46) expected to start for the Thunder while the Flying Squirrels counter with lefty Chris Gloor (2-1, 4.95). Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR), 1490 AM (WBCB) and also streaming online begins at 6:20 pm.