TRENTON, NJ -
Leading for the majority of the ballgame, the Richmond Flying Squirrels (4-5) lost their lead in the seventh inning and the ballgame in the eighth when rain shortened game two of a four-game series at ARM & HAMMER Park. The Trenton Thunder (5-3) claimed a, 5-3, win when heavy rains brought an early stoppage and sent Richmond to their fourth straight defeat.
The Squirrels jumped on top with a pair of runs off Trenton lefty Francisco Rondon in the second inning. Adam Duvall led off the inning and extended his hit-streak to seven games with a double into the left-center field alley. Rondon then walked Mark Minicozzi. An out later, Andrew Susac lofted a double to right-center field that brought in Duvall for a 1-0 lead. Brett Krill contributed a sacrifice fly and the Squirrels enjoyed a 2-0 lead.
Richmond righty Justin Fitzgerald turned in two scoreless innings, but the Thunder broke through for a run in the third. Jose Pirela started the uprising with a one-out double to right-center field. With Pirela breaking for third, Tyler Austin chopped a single to left field that would have been played by Duvall, the Richmond third baseman, had he not been over to cover. Pirela scored on the single to cut the Richmond lead to a lone run.
Rondon worked four innings, before leaving due to pitch count. He limited the Squirrels to the two runs despite walking four. He permitted two hits and struck out five, not factoring the decision.
Fitzgerald departed with the lead after 4 2/3 innings, having conceded just the lone run. He was ineligible for the decision, coming up one out short of five innings. He conceded seven hits, walked none and struck out five.
The Squirrels tacked a run on in the sixth inning off of Trenton lefty Jeremy Bleich. The run scored on an odd play where Thunder left fielder Casey Stevenson was charged with two errors.
With Richmond leading 3-1, things fell apart in the seventh inning. Ramon Flores started the inning with a single off Richmond lefty Tom Vessella. Vessella recorded the first out of the inning before right-hander Jose Valdez was summoned to relieve him. Valdez started with a walk to Austin to put two aboard. J.R. Murphy then drilled a 3-2 pitch into the left-field corner with the runners moving. The double brought in both runners to tie the ballgame, 3-3. An RBI double from Rob Segedin then gave the Thunder the lead and Neil Medchill made it a two-run advantage with a single to left field.
When the game was halted, Trenton left-hander Josh Romanski (1-0) was declared the winner. He worked an inning-and-a-third of scoreless relief. Valdez (1-1) endured his first loss of the year for the Squirrels.
Game three of the four-game series is scheduled for 7:05 PM at ARM & HAMMER Park on Saturday evening. The Squirrels will send LHP Ryan Bradley (0-0, 22.50) against Trenton LHP Matt Tracy (0-1, 135.00). Pregame coverage begins on SportsRadio 910 and SportsRadio910.com at 4:35 p.m.