RICHMOND, VA - The Harrisburg Senators (77-65) claimed the Western Division title with a, 1-0, win over the Richmond Flying Squirrels (70-72) in front of 6,362 at The Diamond on Monday afternoon. The Squirrels finished the season averaging 6,688 fans per opening. That was 367 more than the next closest Eastern League club, the Reading Fightin Phils. The average eclipses the previous franchise record, which was 6,679, established in 2011. The Squirrels last led the league in attendance during their inaugural season in 2010. Reading had led the circuit each of the last two years.
Neither starting pitcher factored in the decision. Richmond lefty Ryan Bradley turned in five scoreless innings, allowing just five hits. He walked two and struck out five. Harrisburg right-hander Rob Gilliam didn't allow a run over 4 2/3 innings. He conceded just two hits, walked four and struck out six.
The Senators broke through first against lefty Tom Vessella in the sixth inning. Carlos Rivero cracked a two-out double into the alley in right-center field. Jeff Howell and lined a single to right field to plate Rivero for a 1-0 lead. Vessella (3-3) was doomed to the loss.
Harrisburg strung together 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to complete the shutout victory. Right-hander Richie Mirowski (2-0) followed Gilliam and earned the win with 1 2/3 innings. Lefty Pat McCoy retired all four batters he faced and right-hander Neil Holland handled two. Right-hander Tyler Herron came on to work a perfect ninth inning, earning his fifth save of the year.
Prior to the ballgame, the Flying Squirrels awarded their team awards including Pitcher of the Year and Most Valuable Player. Left-hander Jack Snodgrass was named Pitcher of the Year, while left fielder Javier Herrera was recognized as team MVP. Past winners include; RHP Chris Heston (2012 - POY), LHP Eric Surkamp (2011 - POY), RHP Eric Mixon (2010 - POY), OF Juan Perez (2012 - MVP), OF Roger Kieschnick (2011 - MVP), OF Thomas Neal (2010 - MVP). Surkamp, Perez, Kieschnick and Neal have all gone on to make their Major League debuts.
Season tickets for the 2014 season of Flying Squirrels baseball are currently available and can be purchased by calling (804) 359-3866 or visiting the Flying Squirrels ticket office at The Diamond.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.