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Akron RubberDucks rally to beat Richmond Flying Squirrels, 3-1

Akron RubberDucks rally to beat Richmond Flying Squirrels, 3-1
Photo credit: Brittany Chay/flickr
July 7, 2014
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(Richmond, Va.) July 7, 2014 – Tony Wolters stroked a double with the bases loaded in the third inning Monday night, driving in two runs and handing the Akron RubberDucks a lead they never relinquished in a 3-1 victory over the Richmond Flying Squirrels in the opener of a four-game series at the Diamond.

It was the long awaited, first meeting of the season between the top two teams in the EL West Division. The Flying Squirrels still hold the top spot, but saw their lead shrink to two games over the second-place RubberDucks (51-39), who won for the second straight day.

Richmond claimed an early 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI single by Ricky Oropeza, but let starter Cody Anderson off the hook when Kelby Tomlinson struck out with the bases loaded to end the inning.

In the third, the RubberDucks loaded the bases against Richmond starter Kyle Crick (5-4), and Wolters laced a double down the first base line to drive home a pair of runs and give Akron a 2-1 lead. The double gave Wolters 30 RBI on the season.

It was a much needed boost of confidence for Anderson (3-8), who settled down and worked five innings, scattering five hits. The win snapped a string of five losses in his last five starts and six straight losing decisions overall. It was Anderson’s first win since a 5-4 win at Altoona on May 2nd.

Crick was overpowering at times. He gave up just three hits and fanned 10 over five innings. The score stayed 2-1, until Justin Toole singled home Jake Lowery with an insurance run in the ninth off Hunter Strickland of the Squirrels to make it 3-1.

The ninth was anything but routine, as the first two Richmond hitters reached against righthander J.C Ramirez, who started the ninth in his first save opportunity of the season. Jarrett Parker doubled and moved to third on a single by Oropeza to place the tying runs on base. Ramirez then fanned catcher Tyler LaTorre in an epic 12-pitch at-bat that included eight consecutive foul balls. A fly out by Ryan Lollis and a groundout to first by Skyler Stromsmoe ended the game and netted Ramirez his first save.

Giovanni Soto chipped in two scorless innings of relief after Anderson, and Louis Head bridged the gap to Ramirez with a scoreless eighth. Anthony Gallas went 0-4, to end his 10-game hitting streak.

The RubberDucks and Squirrels will play game two of the series on Tuesday evening at 7:05. RHP Duke von Schamann (3-3, 3.95) will start for the RubberDucks, and RHP Austin Fleet (5-1, 3.30) is the announced starter for Richmond. The game will be broadcast on WARF 1350 AM and www.AkronRubberDucks.com.

The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The 2014 season is the 18th since moving to Canal Park and the first as the RubberDucks. For more information, including official team merchandise, go to www.AkronRubberDucks.com or call 330-253-5151. Fans may also follow the team on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks and Twitter at @AkronRubberDuck.

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