ALTOONA, PA (WWBT) - The Richmond Flying Squirrels (4-17) snapped a franchise-record 15-game slide with a, 5-1, victory over the Altoona Curve (15-7) at Peoples Natural Gas Field on Monday night. The win was the first for the Squrirels since they defeated the Curve at The Diamond on April 15th. It also marked the Richmond's first win of the season on the road (1-8).
Lefties Kelvin Marte and Zack Dodson dueled through the first five innings of the ballgame. Marte blanked the Curve on just two hits. Dodson did him one better, allowing only a single to Daniel Carbonell.
The Squirrels broke through first, plating the game's first run in the sixth inning. Marte sparked his own support with a one-out single to centerfield. Kelby Tomlinson followed and cracked a double that bounced off of third baseman Eric Wood and all the way into the left-field corner. Marte scampered around from first base for a 1-0 lead.
Turnabout was fair play in the bottom of the inning. Gift Ngoepe led off with a double up the third-base line. Carbonell threw wildly to second base on the play, and the error allowed Ngoepe to advance to third. Dodson then drove him in with an RBI single to left field. The game was square, 1-1, through six innings with both pitchers factoring in the scoring.
Richmond grabbed control of the ballgame off of Dodson in the seventh. Mac Williamson opened the inning with a single through the left-side of the inning. Mitch Delfino then reached on an error. Dodson recorded the first out, but Myles Schroder launched a three-run home run to left field. His first of the year put the Squirrels in front, 4-1.
Dodson (1-1) took the loss over seven innings. It was his first loss of the season, and also marked the first runs he had conceded. He was charged with four runs – three earned – on five hits. He hit one batter and struck out four.
Marte (1-0) earned the win for the Squirrels, turning in seven sterling innings. He allowed just the lone run on four hits. He walked none and struck out four. He turned in the longest outing of the season for a Squirrels' starter in his first start of the season.
The Squirrels tacked on a run in the eighth without the benefit of a hit. Right-hander Tyler Sample walked the first two batters of the inning. Eventually, Devin Harris scored when Williamson struck a line-drive back off Sample on the mound.
Right-hander Stephen Johnson had no trouble with the Curve over the final two innings in a non-save situation.
Earlier on Monday, Squirrels' Vice President/COO/General Manager Todd Parnell vowed to wear a Squirrels' uniform and not shower until Richmond snapped its skid. Parney didn't have to wait very long.
Game two of the four-game series is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field. Richmond RHP Chris Stratton (0-3, 5.31) will make the start against Altoona RHP Chad Kuhl (2-0, 1.64).