Surkamp returns to lead Squirrels

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Squirrels' ace returned off the disabled list and he didn't miss a beat.  Left-hander Eric Surkamp fired six scoreless innings as the Richmond Flying Squirrels routed the Erie SeaWolves, 8-0, in the opener of a three-game series on Friday night.

Surkamp (5-3) was sensational in his return from the Disabled List.  Pitching for the first time since June 9th, the lefty tossed six scoreless innings for the win.  He conceded just three hits – all singles – while walking one and striking out seven.  In solid command throughout the outing, Surkamp threw 75 pitches, 52 of which were strikes.

After two scoreless innings, the Squirrels struck first against Erie left-hander Ramon Garcia in the bottom of the third inning.  Sharlon Schoop led off the inning and cracked a double into the left-field corner.  Two batters later, Roger Kieschnick supplied a two-out RBI single to plate Schoop for a 1-0 lead.

Richmond got right back after Garcia in the fourth, expanding their lead with a pair of runs.  Wes Hodges opened the frame with a double to left field.  Justin Christian followed with an RBI double to left-center field, bringing in Hodges for a 2-0 advantage.  A batter later, Johnny Monell singled back through the middle to bring Christian home and the Squirrels held a 3-0 lead.

The Squirrels put the opener away and chased Garcia in the bottom of the sixth inning.  Chris Dominguez opened the inning with a single and Garcia followed with a walk issued to Hodges.  Garcia departed following the walk in favor of right-hander Jared Gayhart.  Christian bunted the runners up, and Juan Perez cemented the line for Garcia with a two-run triple just fair inside the third-base line.  Monell knocked in Perez with a sacrifice-fly to left field to cap the scoring in the inning with Richmond in front, 6-0.

Garcia (2-3) was saddled with the loss over five-plus innings, having conceded five earned runs on eight hits.  He walked one and struck out four as he endured his third loss of the season.

Dominguez added insult to injury in the seventh inning when he unloaded on a fastball from Gayhart with Charlie Culberson aboard.  The two-run shot to left-center field was the first home run at the Double-A level for Dominguez and completed the scoring in the ballgame.

Right-hander Edwin Quirarte and left-hander David Quinowski finished the sixth shutout of the season for the Squirrels.  Quirarte posted two scoreless innings, and Quinowski polished off Erie in the ninth.

Game two of the three-game series is scheduled for 6:35 PM at The Diamond on Saturday night.  LHP Clayton Tanner (2-7, 4.65) will make the start for the Squirrels against RHP Jacob Turner (2-1, 2.94) for the SeaWolves.

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