RVA - Pinch-runner Darin Sandford stole second base and scored on a single to left field in the ninth inning, propelling the Harrisburg Senators (36-53) to an 8-6 win over the Richmond Flying Squirrels (36-52) on Thursday night at The Diamond. Richmond roared back from an early five-run deficit and tied the game on a solo home run from K.C. Hobson in the eighth. Hobson has homered in the last three contests and four of his ten games overall with Richmond. Harrisburg's Corban Joseph brought home the winning-run off of reliever Cody Hall who suffered the loss. Game two of the series is on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. A pre-game concert from Three Sheets to the Wind will begin at 6 p.m.
Hobson drilled a no-doubt solo home run over the right field wall in the eighth inning to tie the game for Richmond, 6-6. Harrisburg rebounded with a pair of runs off of Hall to take game one. Hall entered to pitch the ninth and allowed a one-out single to pinch-hitter Jose Marmolejos. Sandford replaced Marmolejos at first base and scored on Joseph's base hit to left field. The next batter, Dan Gamache, singled to right and scored Joseph when Daniel Carbonell misplayed the ball. Hall (2-1) allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits in taking the loss.
Senators right-hander Brady Dragmire closed out the game to earn his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning.
It didn't take long for Harrisburg to get on the board after the three-day All-Star break. The Senators struck for three hits and a pair of runs off of Slania in the first inning. Zach Collier led off the game with a base hit and was nearly erased on a ground ball to second base. Richmond was unable to turn a double play, allowing Drew Ward to double in the games' first run. Ward came around to score when Richmond-native Alec Keller singled into right field.
Yadiel Hernandez made it a 3-0 Harrisburg lead with his sixth home run of the season. Hernandez lined the first pitch of the second inning over the left field wall. Slania picked dup a pair of groundouts and worked around a two-out single to finish the inning. The righty used 38 pitches over the first two frames
The Squirrels created a run to get on the board in the bottom of the second. Brandon Bednar singled to open the frame and advanced to second on a passed ball. After Dylan Davis pushed Bednar to third base on a fly out, Daniel Carbonell brought him home with a sacrifice fly for a 3-1 score.
Harrisburg's Taylor Hill managed to keep Richmond off balance through the middle innings. Hill worked around a base hit in the fourth and retired the side in order in the fifth. The righty needed only 61 pitches over the first five innings in the contest.
The Senators pulled away in the sixth, scoring two more runs on three hits. Alec Keller started the rally with a one-out single to left field and Hernandez followed with an RBI double off the right field wall. Osvaldo Abreu added another run-scoring double, sneaking a bouncing ball inside the third base bag for a 6-1 advantage
Slania lasted six innings in his 5th start of the year with Richmond. The burly right-hander allowed six runs (five earned) on a season-high ten hits. Slania struck out four and did not walk a batter in the no-decision.
Vic Black entered for Richmond to toss the seventh inning and retired all three batters he faced. Hill nearly survived through seven innings, recording the first two outs in the seventh, but unable to get the last one. Dylan Davis singled and Daniel Carbonell lashed a triple to make it a 6-2 contest. Carlos Garcia then trimmed the deficit to 6-3 with a well-struck single into center field. With Garcia at first base, Hill tossed an errant pickoff throw, allowing Garcia to motor to third base. Following the error, Hill was replaced by Derek Eitel. A wild pitch brought home Garcia for a 6-4 game.
Jarret Martin whiffed a batter in a scoreless eighth inning prior to Hall's appearance.
The Flying Squirrels continue a four-game homestand on Friday. RHP Tyler Herb will make the start for Richmond against Harrisburg LHP Mathew Crownover. 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.