RVA - Flying Squirrels left-handed pitcher Nate Reed struck out a career-high 11 batters, picking apart the Altoona Curve (71-64) over 6.2 innings in a 6-1 Richmond (60-75) win at The Diamond. Reed was nearly untouchable, winning his second consecutive start. Jerry Sands homered as one of the 11 hits produced by Richmond in the rout. The Squirrels will seek the series win on Thursday at 6:35 p.m., with In-Your-Face Fireworks presented by Steak 'n Shake following the game.
Reed dominated throughout the contest, punching out nine over the first six innings of work. With 101 pitches thrown through six, Reed returned to get the first two outs of the seventh. Reed whiffed Tomas Morales and Michael Suchy, before reaching his pitch limit of 109. The lefty tossed 6.2 innings and allowed just one run on five hits in the win. Reed (3-2) walked three to go along with the 11 strikeouts.
The Flying Squirrels offense finally emerged from a three game slumber in the second inning on Wednesday. Jerry Sands and Hunter Cole each singled to begin the inning, with Cole advancing to second on an error from the center fielder. K.C. Hobson then followed and ripped a base hit into right field, scoring both runners for a 2-0 advantage. After Brandon Bednar also singled, Nate Reed dropped a sacrifice bunt down the third base line. Hobson charged home from third base on the play and slid under the catcher's tag. Reed picked up an RBI on the play, moving Richmond ahead 3-0.
The early lead was more than enough for Reed to work with.}The lefty punched out a pair of batters in the first and issued a double play ball in the second. Reed worked around a base hit in the third and commanded the strike zone early.
Meanwhile, Richmond continued the attack Brubaker, who lasted just three inning. Aramis Garcia opened the third with his 11th double since joining the team at the start of the month. Jerry Sands followed with a walk and Brandon Bednar lased a single to right field. Both runners scored on the play due to an error to make it 5-0.
Brubaker suffered the defeat and allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits. He struck out one and walked one on 63 pitches.
Reed carried the shutout, as well as a scoreless streak of 13 consecutive innings into the sixth inning. The Curve pushed a run across with two outs when Jerrick Suiter doubled on a misplayed ball and came around to score via a Wyatt Mathisen base hit to right. Reed punched out Johnathan Schwind to end the inning, collecting his ninth strikeout of the night.
Jarret Martin (1.1IP, K) and Tyler Cyr (1.0IP, 2K) finished off the contest in relief.
Richmond continues the last homestand of the season at The Diamond on Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. RHP Dan Slania is scheduled to make the start for Richmond against Altoona LHP Brandon Waddell. A full rundown of the season's final promotions can be found here. Tickets and additional details can be found at www.squirrelsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.