SENS SIX-RUN FIFTH FUELS BIG WIN
Harrisburg (Nats AA Affiliate) sent 11 men to bat in the fifth inning and were able to push across six runs en route to a 7-6 victory over the Richmond Flying Squirrels (SF Giants AA Affiliate) Thursday night in front of 5,590 fans at Metro Bank Park. The victory helped the Sens avoid the sweep.
After the top of the first two innings, the Flying Squirrels were able to score four runs off Harrisburg starter Matthew Spann. Spann went three innings allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits. He walked two and struck out three before exiting the game. The Senators were able to get a run back in the bottom of the second in a two out rally. With two out and none on, Pedro Severino reached first base on a throwing error by Richmond second baseman Myles Schroder. Christopher Bostick drove Severino in with an RBI double to left field, making it a 4-1 game. It was Bostick’s first RBI as a Senator.
Bryan Harper entered the game for the Senators in the fourth and fifth inning to begin a streak of five straight scoreless innings by the Sens bullpen. Harper allowed just one hit in two innings with one strikeout and ended up with the win (1-1). Paul Demny followed with two perfect innings and Gilberto Mendez pitched a perfect eight inning.
“We had a good feeling about our bullpen, even when we couldn’t put teams away the last few games. Richmond scored four runs but it could’ve been worse but our pitching and defense came through when needed to keep this game in striking range. Harper and Demny continued to do what they’ve been doing. They’ve done a great job, Mendez has done a great job and we’re now in a situation where we can give these arms one inning at a time to keep them fresh. It was a big win for us,” Harrisburg manager Brian Daubach said following the win.
The bottom of the fifth proved to be the difference for the Senators. With one out, Cutter Dykstra got to first on a walk. Jose Lozada, pinch hitting for Harper, singled to move Dykstra to third. With Wilmer Difo batting, Lozada stole second, and Difo responded with an RBI single to score Dykstra. Trea Turner followed with a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Lozada and Difo used his speed to advance to second base and beat the throw to second. Brian Goodwin walked and Richmond changed pitchers. Matt Skole came up and singled to centerfield to score Difo to tie the game at 4. A Drew Vettleson single and a throwing error by right fielder Mac Williamson sent Goodwin and Skole across the plate to give Harrisburg their first lead of the game, 6-4. The error also sent Vettleson to second base. After Severino walked, Bostick reached first base on a throwing error by Schroder, his second error of the game. Vettleson scored and it was a 7-4 game.
“We put some good at-bats together and fed off each other. Once one guy got a hit, it kind of opened up the gates for everyone else. We put together five or six good at-bats in a row and really put the pressure on them and we got some big hits tonight,” said Matt Skole.
Things got shaky in the top of the ninth inning as Harrisburg was trying to close out the game. An error started off the inning and an RBI triple followed two batters later off Senators reliever Sam Runion. Runion kept it a 7-5 game by striking out the next batter, but a dropped popup allowed Richmond to bring the game to within one run. However, Runion induced a flyout to end the game.
HERO: Wilmer Difo, Matt Skole, and Drew Vettleson each contributing RBI singles in the big fifth inning for Harrisburg.
GOAT: Richmond starting pitcher Tyler Beede, second baseman Myles Schroder and right field Mac Williamson. Entering the fifth inning with a 4-1 lead and only giving up one run and one hit, Beede struggled to retire the Senators as he gave up 4 runs (4 earned), two hits and two walks in the inning. Two errors by Schroder resulted in two runs and Williamson’s error throw to third base in the fifth inning gave the Senators the lead for good and changed the momentum of the game.
– Wilmer Difo was the only Senator with multiple hits in the game (2).
– The promotion at the game was the Cowboy Monkey rodeo. Didn’t even know that was such a thing but it was funny and interesting.
NEXT UP: The Senators begin a nine-game, eight-day road trip, beginning in Altoona tonight at 7:00 p.m. Richard Blier (4-2, 3.46 ERA) vs. Matt Benedict (2-2, 5.46 ERA).