RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - After losing their shortstop to a promotion, the Squirrels lost their third straight game in New Britain. Richmond lost a four-run lead and the opener of a three-game series, 11-6, to the Rock Cats. It marked the third consecutive defeat for Richmond, dropping their record away from home to 16-28.
Earlier in the day, Nick Noonan was called up to AAA Fresno. Noonan was hitting just .216 for Richmond, but it was better than the .161 that Ryan Lormand was hitting for the Grizzlies. Lormand was recalled back to the Squirrels.
On Monday night, the Rock Cats used a one-out infield-single from Brian Dozier to take a quick lead against Squirrels' ace Eric Surkamp. With Dozier running, Nate Hanson followed with a single into left-center field. Dozier took third base on the hit, and left fielder Wendell Fairley threw in that direction. Sharlon Schoop cut off the throw, but threw wildly toward second base into center field. Dozier scored on the play for a 1-0 lead.
The Squirrels put runners on the corners with nobody out in the second inning against New Britain right-hander Matt Schuld, but did not score. They made up for it in a big way in the third. Schuld walked Juan Perez to start the inning, and Perez stole second base. Schuld recorded the first two outs of the inning with Perez still at second base, but Roger Kieschnick opened the flood-gates with a two-out single to right field that tied the game, 1-1. Chris Dominguez followed with an RBI double to center field, bringing Kieschnick around from first base. Wes Hodges walked to put two aboard, and Johnny Monell cracked a two-run double off the wall in left-center field to stretch Richmond's lead to 4-1. Schoop capped the scoring in the inning as he lined a single into left to plate Schoop for a 5-1 advantage. Schoop was thrown out at second base on the play, ending the inning.
New Britain came right back in the bottom of the inning, getting two runs back against Surkamp. With one out in the inning, Hanson reached on a two-base error on Francisco Peguero in right field. Chris Parmalee followed with an RBI double. Evan Bigley singled and Michael Hollimon doubled up the third-base line to plate Parmalee to bring the Rock Cats back within two runs.
The Rock Cats overtook the Squirrels and chased Surkamp in the fifth inning. Parmalee led off with his second double of the night. He remained at second base as Surkamp recorded the first two outs of the inning. However, with two outs, he hit Jair Fernandez and was lifted in favor of right-hander Hector Correa. Deibinson Romero rifled Correa's first pitch into left-center field to score Parmalee. Mark Dolenc followed and cracked a two-run double off the wall in left-center field to give the Rock Cats the lead back, 6-5.
Surkamp was charged with five runs – four earned – but didn't factor in the decision. He permitted seven hits, walked two and struck out four. Schuld recovered to work through the fifth inning, also departing to a no-decision. He was charged with five runs on nine hits, walked three and struck out two.
The Squirrels drew back even with a run against left-hander Tyler Robertson in the seventh inning. Schoop drove in Hodges with a sacrifice fly to right field.
The wheels fell of the wagon for the Squirrels in the bottom of the seventh inning, as New Britain took control for good. Nine men came to the plate, and five scored as the Rock Cats took an 11-6 lead. Correa allowed a pair of singles and a walk before being lifted in favor of Jason Stoffel. Stoffel intentionally walked Joe Benson to load the bases before unintentionally walking Dozier to force in a run. Hanson added an RBI single and Parmalee capped the inning with a sacrifice fly.
Correa (2-1) took his first loss as a Squirrel, allowing a season-high four earned runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out two. Robertson (6-3) found a groove following the seventh inning, not allowing another Squirrel to reach base as he earned his sixth victory of the season over four innings.
Parmalee finished the ballgame with three doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored. Fernandez and Romero also each scored twice for New Britain.