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Squirrels erupt early for sixth consecutive win

Richmond scores 11 runs in first three innings, cruise to 13-7 win over Akron
September 8, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Flying Squirrels stormed to an early lead and rolled to a 13-7 win over the Akron RubberDucks on Friday night at The Diamond.

RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Flying Squirrels stormed to an early lead and rolled to a 13-7 win over the Akron RubberDucks on Friday night at The Diamond.

The Flying Squirrels (69-61, 36-25) picked up their sixth consecutive win, tying their longest winning streak this season, including all four games so far this week against the RubberDucks (62-68, 27-34).

Richmond scored four runs in the first inning to jump ahead against Akron starter Hunter Stanley (Loss, 3-11). Shane Matheny doubled in two runs to take a 2-0 lead.

Later in the first, Brady Whalen and Victor Bericoto each singled in runs to open a 4-0 lead.

Matheny hit a two-run homer, his 11th this year with Richmond, in the bottom of the second inning to extend the lead to 6-0.

The RubberDucks closed the gap to 6-2 in the top of third. Connor Kokx scored on an error and Micael Ramirez brought home a run with a sacrifice fly.

In the bottom of the third, Andy Thomas scored on an interference call to extend the lead to 7-2.

Yoshi Tsutsugo capped a five-run third inning with a grand slam, his third Richmond homer, to open an 11-2 lead.

Akron scored four runs in the top of the fourth inning to close the score to 11-6, including a three-run double by Aaron Bracho. Richmond starter John Michael Bertrand surrendered a career-high six runs over 3.2 innings and tied high career high with four walks.

Matheny scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth inning to push the lead to 12-6.

Bracho hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth inning, but Whalen scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the seventh to move the score to 13-7.

Richmond reliever Sam Delaplane (Win, 3-2) allowed one run over 2.1 innings with two strikeouts. Hunter Dula pitched two scoreless innings and Evan Gates threw a scoreless ninth.

Matheny finished the game 2-for-4 with a homer, a double, a walk three RBIs and two runs scored. Tsutsugo went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, all on his grand slam, a walk and scored three times. Whalen also had three hits and scored twice.

The final home series of the 2023 regular season continues on Saturday night at The Diamond. Right-hander Hayden Birdsong (0-2, 5.40) will start for Richmond, opposed by Akron right-hander Juan Zapata, who will make his Double-A debut. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.

Saturday is the ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation Night presented by Anthem, and the Flying Squirrels will be wearing custom jerseys designed by ASK kids. The jerseys will be auctioned to benefit ASK at ASK2023.givesmart.com. The game will be followed by End-of-Season Summer Sizzlin’ Fireworks.

Tickets are available online at SquirrelsBaseball.com/Tickets, by phone at 804-359-3866 or in person at the Flying Squirrels ticket office.