RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Richmond Flying Squirrels (79-63) rolled over the Binghamton Mets (83-59), 12-4, in their final regular season game on Monday afternoon at The Diamond. The Squirrels completed a four-game sweep and finished the regular season with a franchise-record 79 wins. The Squirrels also cemented both the overall and average Eastern League attendance titles. They finished with an overall attendance of 418,147 fans over 66 dates, averaging 6,336 fans per opening.
The rout was on quickly against right-hander Tim Peterson, as the Squirrels plated five runs in the first inning. Skyler Stromsmoe got things started with a lead-off double. Elliott Blair followed and quickly made it 1-0 with his own double. Peterson then hit Mario Lisson and walked Devin Harris to load the bases. Angel Villalona then notched an RBI single for a 2-0 lead. Another run scored on an error and Myles Schroder capped the inning with a two-run single.
Schroder's single also chased Peterson (0-1) from the ballgame. He recorded just one out, and endured the defeat. He was charged with five runs on four hits. He walked one and hit another.
Richmond doubled their lead in the third off of lefty Adam Kolarek. Villalona walked to start the frame. Ricky Oropesa and Tyler LaTorre then provided back-to-back singles to load the bases. Clayton Blackburn followed and aided his own cause with a three-run double to left-center field. Stromsmoe and Blair followed with additional doubles, and Richmond exited the inning with a 10-0 lead.
Villalona made it 11-0 when he led off the fourth inning with a massive solo-home run to left field off of righty Randy Fontanez. It marked Villalona's 10th of the year.
Meanwhile, Blackburn had no trouble with the B-Mets through the first five innings. In the sixth inning, they finally broke through due to some shaky defense behind Blackburn. Jayce Boyd highlighted the inning with an RBI single.
Blackburn (5-6) earned the win over six quality innings. He allowed the two runs on just three hits. He did not issue a walk and struck out six in his final regular season start.
Right-hander Paul Sewald walked Oropesa to force in the final run of the ballgame for Richmond in the seventh inning. Binghamton tacked on a run against right-hander Cody Hall in the eighth. Hall returned from the disabled list to make his first appearance since August 2nd. Righty Kyle Crick had returned from disabled list an inning prior. He worked a scoreless seventh inning in his first outing since August 17th. Lefty Phil McCormick conceded the final run to the B-Mets in the ninth inning. Righty Dan Slania recorded the final out of the ballgame.
The Squirrels will travel to Akron, OH, where they will enjoy an off day on Tuesday to prepare for the Western Division Championship Series. They will take on the Akron RubberDucks in the best-of-five series, which begins at Canal Park on Wednesday night at 6:35 p.m.