Sloppy Squirrels succumb to SeaWolves

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Flying Squirrels committed four errors, and ruined a great start from Ryan Verdugo to lose 6-3 to the Erie SeaWolves on Monday night.  

The Squirrels put together an abbreviated two-out rally against Erie left-hander Casey Crosby in the first inning to take the first lead.  Crosby walked Nick Noonan to spark the rally.  With Noonan running from first, Juan Perez laced a single into right-center field.  Noonan scampered all the way around for a 1-0 Richmond lead.


Squirrels' left-hander Ryan Verdugo was strong through the first three innings, but sloppy defense cost Richmond the lead in the fourth inning.  Bryan Pounds got the SeaWolves started with a leadoff single.  A batter later, Verdugo walked Michael Bertram to put two aboard.  Verdugo then rolled what looked to be an inning-ending ground ball to second base from Audy Ciriaco.  However, Skyler Stromsmoe misplayed the ball, and the error allowed Pounds to score to tie the game, 1-1.  Adam Calderone followed with an RBI single through the right-side of the infield to give Erie the lead, 2-1.  Both runs scored were unearned.


Crosby (2-2) settled in, and kept the Squirrels at bay through the sixth inning.  He departed to his second win of the season after the sixth, having conceded just a lone run.  The lefty allowed seven hits, walked three and struck out five.


More defensive problems hampered the Squirrels in the seventh, as Erie added to their lead.  Ciriaco started the inning with a double off of Verdugo, and a batter later Justin Henry took a walk to put two aboard.  Verdugo departed following the walk in favor of Alex Hinshaw.  With runners on the corners, Henry took off for second on a pitch from Hinshaw.  Johnny Monell sailed the throw to second base into center field, allowing Ciriaco to score.  Henry bolted for third base, and Perez overthrew third base into the stands to score Henry.  After a pair of Hinshaw walks, a wild-pitch plated a third run in the inning for Erie and the SeaWolves led, 5-1.


Verdugo (2-1) endured a hard-luck loss, lasting 6 1/3 innings.  He was charged with four runs, but just two were earned.  He allowed five hits, walked two and struck out a franchise-record tying 10 in his first loss at the Double-A level.  It marked just the second loss in his professional career.


Noonan pulled Richmond back into the ballgame in the bottom of the seventh inning, clubbing his third home run of the season.  The two-run shot to right field came with Justin Christian aboard off of reliever Jared Gayhart.  However, the SeaWolves tacked on a final run against lefty Wilmin Rodriguez in the eighth to cap the scoring, 6-3.


Right-hander Rob Waite worked a scoreless ninth to preserve the victory for Erie and earn his first save of the season.  The SeaWolves tallied five stolen bases in the ballgame.

Game two of the series is scheduled for 7:05 PM on Tuesday night at The Diamond.  LHP Eric Surkamp (2-2, 1.76) will make the start for Richmond against RHP L.J. Gagnier (3-2, 4.05) for the SeaWolves.
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