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Four-run ninth pushes 'Ducks over Squirrels in thriller

May 19, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. – In a chaotic, back-and-forth game, the Richmond Flying Squirrels fell short, 11-9, against the Akron RubberDucks Friday afternoon at The Diamond.

RICHMOND, Va. – In a chaotic, back-and-forth game, the Richmond Flying Squirrels fell short, 11-9, against the Akron RubberDucks Friday afternoon at The Diamond.

The RubberDucks (19-17) scored six runs over the last two innings and tied the game on four different occasions against the Flying Squirrels (18-18).

With the score even, 5-5, in the bottom of the seventh, Andy Thomas drew a one-out walk and Akron brought in reliever Jordan Jones (Win, 1-1). Riley Mahan propelled a two-run homer to lift the Flying Squirrels to a 7-5 lead.

Juan Sanchez (Loss, 3-2) entered the game in the top of the eighth with two outs and began his outing with back-to-back walks. Aaron Bracho drove in two runs off a single to even the score, 7-7.

Carter Williams began the bottom of the eighth inning with a single and moved to second off a sacrifice bunt. After a walk to Simon Whiteman, Wade Meckler reached on a fielding error and Williams scored on the play to give Richmond an 8-7 advantage.

In the top of the ninth, Raymond Burgos came into the game with one out and two runners on. Julian Escobedo tied the game, 8-8, with an RBI single and Gabriel Rodriguez gave the RubberDucks their first lead of the game, 11-8, with a three-run homer.

Mahan drew Richmond closer at 11-9 with his second home run of the game, a solo shot to right field. Cade Smith (Save, 11) allowed a two-out single to bring the potential tying run to the box, but Akron right fielder Connor Kokx made a diving catch on a line drive from Robert Emery to end the ballgame.

Richmond took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning off two groundout by Emery and Meckler.

Akron responded in the third inning when Angel Martinez hit an RBI single to move the score to 2-1.

After a leadoff single in the bottom of the third, Carter Aldrete punched a two-run homer over the left field wall to move the Richmond advantage to 4-1.

The RubberDucks evened the score, 4-4, in the fifth inning off a Richmond fielding error and a two-run double from Jose Tena.

Aldrete gave the Flying Squirrels a 5-4 advantage in the bottom of the fifth off an RBI double that scored Hayden Cantrelle from first base. Aldrete finished the afternoon 2-for-5 with three RBIs.

Wil Jensen entered the game in the sixth with two outs and inherited a runner at first. Joe Naranjo lined an RBI double to left field and tied the game, 5-5. Jensen held the RubberDucks scoreless for the rest of his day, totaling two innings with three hits allowed and three strikeouts.

The Flying Squirrels will face the RubberDucks on Saturday with a 6:05 p.m. first pitch. Saturday is VCU Night and fans are encouraged to rock the black and gold and celebrate VCU. In-Your-Face Fireworks from up close and inside the fences will follow after the game presented by Virginia Credit Union.

Left-handed pitcher Nick Zwack (1-1, 6.17) will start for Richmond opposed by Akron left-handed pitcher Jaime Arias (0-1, 5.40).

Tickets are available online at, by phone at 804-359-FUNN (3866) or in person at the Flying Squirrels ticket office.