Richmond, VA (WWBT)- The Richmond Flying Squirrels are contending for the Eastern League's Western Division title and a big reason for that has been the left arm of Eric Surkamp. The southpaw has asserted himself as the ace of Richmond's pitching staff and one of the league's top pitchers.
Surkamp leads the Eastern League with a 1.78 ERA in 16 games (15 starts) and is second in strikeouts with 114 on the season. He'll take the field in the league's all-star game this Wednesday in Manchester, New Hampshire. Surkamp is 7-3 on the year and received a no-decision in the Squirrels' 4-3 win over Harrisburg on Sunday, but he did retire a franchise-record 12 batters.
This marks the left-hander's third full year in the minor leagues and he's advanced up one level in each of those three years. Last season he earned his first minor league all-star appearance with San Jose, the Giants' high Class A squad. Surkamp says he's been mixing up pitches better this season and doing a better job of keeping hitters off-balanced.
Surkamp and the Flying Squirrels held a record of 47-40 after Sunday's win over Harrisburg and are 4.5 games out of first place.