Funnville - The Flying Squirrels carried over the positive vibes from Opening Night on Friday into Saturday evening in a 5-4 come-from-behind win over Reading (3-6). In front of 7,831 fans, Richmond (6-3) plated three runs in the seventh, including a game-tying RBI double from Ryan Howard and a go-ahead base from Luigi Rodriguez. Tyler Cyr locked down the win with a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his first save of the season.
Trailing 4-2 in the seventh, the Flying Squirrels utilized a botched double play to score three runs and retake the lead. With one out in the inning, Reading reliver Seranthony Dominguez walked Ronnie Jebavy. Ali Castillo then hit a potential double play ball to short that was misplayed by Malquin Canelo, allowing Jebavy to advance to third and Castillo to reach. A wild pitch brought home Jebavy to pull Richmond to within a run and Ryan Howard tied the game on a double to left center. With two outs, Luigi Rodriguez floated a bloop hit into shallow center for a 5-4 lead.
Mike Connolly (1-0) authored two scoreless innings in relief in his Diamond debut. Connolly solid effort came on the heels of a solid outing from Matt Gage. Connolly allowed a pair of hits and a walk in the win. Dominguez (1-2) suffered the loss. He worked two innings in the contest.
The Flying Squirrels opened up an early lead by generating a pair of runs in the first inning against Reading's Jacob Waguespack. Ronnie Jebavy, Ali Castillo and Ryan Howard all singled to produce the first run. With two on, Howard lined a base hit into right field for a 1-0 lead. Sands brought home Castillo with a crisp base hit into left to go ahead 2-0. The Squirrels then loaded the bases before Waguespack avoided the big inning by striking out Ronnie Freeman.
Reading capitalized on a pair of Flying Squirrels miscued to overcome the early 2-0 deficit. With two outs in the second, Jan Hernandez dribbled a ball to the third base side of the mound. Gage was able to field the ball but threw wildly to first. Catcher Drew Grullon capitalized in the mistake with an RBI double. The Fightin Phils took the lead with a pair of runs in the third, set up by a throwing error to tie the game. Jiandido Tromp then laced a double to left centerfield for a 3-2 advantage.
Tromp stuck again in the sixth, driving a solo shot over the left field wall. It was the first home run of the season for Tromp.
Waguespack navigated troubled waters early and hung on to last five innings. The righty tossed 99 pitches and allowed two runs on five hits. He stuck out six and walked four in the no-decision.
Gage was felled by three unearned runs in the outing. The reliable lefty went six innings and allowed four runs overall and also received a no-decision. Gage struck out seven and did not walk a batter.
Matt Lipka entered the game leading the Eastern League in walks (7)
Matt Gage made his 45th Flying Squirrels start. He is four away from tying Clayton Tanner for 5th all-time.
A 5-3 start through eight games is the best in Franchise history.
Waguespack needed 32 pitches to finish the first inning. Reading had action in the bullpen during the inning.
Gage has thrown 11 innings this year and has yet to walk a batter. He has 11K's to 0BB
Richmond turned a 3-6-3 double play in the seventh inning. It was just the third twin killing for the defense this year.
Ryan Howard extended his hitting streak to six games and collected his fifth multi-hit contest.
The three-game set against Reading concludes on Sunday afternoon at The Diamond. Lefty Garrett Williams (1-0, 3.60) gets the start against RHP Franklyn Kilome (0-0,4.50). The homestand rolls through the weekend and ends on Thursday afternoon. Ticket are available by contacting the box office at 804-359-3866 or online at squirrelsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.