Richmond, VA (WWBT)- The Richmond Flying Squirrels plated two runs in the first inning and didn't look back, rolling to a 5-1 victory over the Harrisburg Senators in game one of a schedule day-night doubleheader at The Diamond on Saturday afternoon. Game two would be postponed due to inclement weather and rescheduled as part of a double-header on Sunday evening.
Wendell Fairley got the Squirrels started with an inning-opening single in the first against Harrisburg right-hander Erik Arnesen. Charlie Culberson followed and sent a potential double-play ball to the second baseman Adam Fox. However, Fox flipped high to the second base bag, and both runners were safe for the Squirrels. Arnesen then issued a walk to Roger Kieschnick to load the bases with nobody out. Chris Dominguez sent a sacrifice-fly to center field to put Richmond in front 1-0. As Fairley scored, Culberson also tagged from second and advanced to third base. He scored from there on a groundout from Wes Hodges for a 2-0 advantage. Both runs charged to Arnesen were unearned due to the error on Fox.
Making his debut with the Squirrels, left-hander Chuck Lofgren kept the Senators at bay through the first two innings of the ballgame. However, they were able to get to him for the first time in the third as Chris Rahl singled on the infield with one out. He promptly swiped second base and scored a batter later when Derek Norris sprayed chalk with a double up the left-field line.
Richmond responded immediately, stretching their lead with a pair of runs against Arnesen in the bottom of the third inning. Fairley again sparked the uprising, starting the inning with a double just fair inside the first base bag. Culberson followed with a flare-single into right field to move Fairley to third. Kieschnick then scorched a single through the right-side of the infield to plate Fairley for a 3-1 lead. Culberson was thrown out attempting to go first to third on the play. Arnesen recorded the second out of the inning but hit Hodges to put two aboard. Juan Perez capped the inning with an RBI single into center field to bring in Kieschnick for a 4-1 advantage.
The Squirrels tacked on an additional run in the fourth, the final inning in the ballgame for Arnesen. Again it was Fairley as the catalyst, drawing a lead-off walk. Culberson followed and drilled a hanging 0-2 breaking ball to right field for a double. Fairley scampered around from first base for a 5-1 lead.
Arnesen was tagged with the loss over four innings, conceding five runs - three earned - on six hits. He walked two and struck out three as he lost for the first time in three appearances against the Squirrels.
After his brief trouble in the third, Lofgren breezed into the sixth inning. He didn't allow another hit, ultimately earning the victory over 5.2 innings. He earned his first Eastern League victory since 2009 while allowing just a lone run on three hits. He walked one, hit one and struck out three.
Right-hander Mitch Lively relieved Lofgren and took it the rest of the way. He Pitched the final 1.1 innings, allowing a pair of hits while striking out two.
Sunday's double-header will begin at 5:05 pm and feature two seven-inning games.