Manchester, NH - The Flying Squirrels (49-63) settled for a doubleheader split with New Hampshire (46-67) on Sunday, closing out a six-game road trip with three wins and three losses. Richmond snagged the first contest 5-0, but dropped the night cap, 5-3. Jerry Sands launched a pair of home runs and drove in four during the day. The Squirrels will be off on Monday and return to The Diamond for an action-packed six-day, seven-game homestand on Tuesday. A full rundown off all the Squirrels upcoming promotions can be found here.
Sands provided an early 2-0 lead for the Squirrels in the first inning of game one. Fisher Cats newly-acquired left-hander Thomas Pannone punched out the first two hitters of the game prior to walking Aramis Garcia on a close 3-2 pitch. Sands then swatted the first offering from Pannone over the right field wall for a 2-0 Richmond lead.
Working with the early lead, Squirrels lefty Matt Lujan pitched to contact and cruised through five innings. Lujan induced nine ground ball outs and allowed just two hits in earning the win. Lujan (3-3) has now tossed ten scoreless frames since retuning from the Disabled List last week.
The Squirrels used the long-ball again in the fourth inning to forge ahead, 5-0. Sands doubled to begin the inning and Brandon Bednar worked a two-out walk. Daniel Carbonell then launched a wind-aided home run over the right center field fence.
Pannone lasted just 4.1 innings, allowing the five runs on six hits in the loss. Pannone (6-2) left the game with a pair of runners on base in the fifth inning. Reliever Jose Fernandez entered to strand the Squirrels on first and second.
The Flying Squirrels turned to Sam Coonrod out of the bullpen in the sixth inning and Seth Rosin in the seventh. Coonrod rebounded from the loss in his first bullpen appearance on Tuesday and tossed a 1-2-3 frame. Rosin followed suite in the ninth inning to secure the Squirrels sixth shutout of the year.
Sands was at it again in the first inning of game two when he sent a solo home run over the right field wall for an early 1-0 lead. New Hampshire quickly tied the contest with a run off of starting pitcher Dan Slania in the bottom of the inning. Tim Lopes opened the inning with a base hit, took third on a single to right an scored via a ground ball out.
New Hampshire put up a pair of runs in the second inning on four consecutive hits for take a 3-1 lead The Squirrels quickly countered to tie the game in the top of the third. T.J. Bennett began the attack with a double and advanced home on a base hit from Caleb Gindl. Bennett was initially out at home plat on the play, however obstruction was called on third baseman Tim Lopes, allowing Bennett to score. Sands then knocked home Gindl with a base hit.
Slania (3-2) scuffled during the outing by allowing 12 hits in the loss. The righty lasted 4.2 innings and allowed five runs on the dozen hits.
Richmond will return to The Diamond on Tuesday, August 8 for a Tip of the Cap Tuesday. A full rundown of the seven games in six-days including Virginia Tech Night, In-Your-Face Fireworks and more can be found here. Individual tickets, mini plans and group packages for the season are available by contacting the Flying Squirrels box office at 804-359-3866 or online at www.squirrelsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.