A four-run eighth inning that included an inside-the-park home run from Brandon Crawford carried the Flying Squirrels to a, 5-1, victory over the Erie SeaWolves in front of 4,069 on Thursday morning at The Diamond. The win in both the series-finale with Erie and the final game of a seven-game home stand snapped a four-game losing streak for Richmond.
With the game tied in the bottom the eighth inning, the Squirrels rallied with two outs. Erie starter Thad Weber was still in the ballgame as Tyler La Torre sparked Richmond with a one-hop double off the wall in right field. Nick Noonan pinch-ran for him and scored the eventual game-winning run when Juan Ciriaco sent a single to left field. However, the Squirrels would punctuate the victory. Weber walked Darren Ford to put runners at the corners and the SeaWolves went to the bullpen for Zach Simons. Brandon Crawford then lifted a high-fly ball to center field that Wilkin Ramirez didn't see off the bat. When Ramirez couldn't make the play, Crawford raced all the way around with a three-run inside-the-park home run that finished off the SeaWolves.
The Squirrels got out of the gates quickly against Erie right-hander Thad Weber in the first inning. Ford led off the inning with a triple to the alley in right-center field. He scored a batter later when Thomas Neal bounced into a double play to give Richmond an early 1-0 advantage.
Erie drew even with an unearned run against Squirrels' left-hander Craig Clark in the third inning. With one out in the inning, Justin Henry reached and advanced to second base when Ciriaco committed a two-base throwing error. Shawn Roof followed with an RBI single to knot the score, 1-1.
The unearned run was the only blemish on the day for Clark, who worked briskly through 5 2/3 innings. He didn't factor in the decision despite allowing just four hits, walking two and striking out four.
Tony Pena Jr. (3-0) took over for Clark in the sixth and dominated the rest of the way. He fanned seven SeaWolves over 3 1/3 innings, allowing just two singles as he earned his third win of the season.
Weber (2-4) took the loss for Erie, ultimately allowing four earned runs over 7 2/3 innings. He surrendered five hits, walked three and struck out two.
The Squirrels will travel to Reading, PA, to open a three-game series with the R-Phils at FirstEnergy Stadium on Friday night at 7:05. RHP Mike MacDonald (1-2, 2.48) will make the start for Richmond against RHP Vance Worley (2-2, 4.33) for Reading.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.