(Report courtesy of the Richmond Flying Squirrels)
The New Britain Rock Cats’ bullpen squandered a four-run lead Thursday night, enabling the Richmond Flying Squirrels to gain a 6-4 win in the Eastern League opener before a capacity crowd of 9,560 at The Diamond.
The Rock Cats reached Squirrels starter Daryl Maday for four runs in the third inning.
Mark Dolenc ignited the rally by beating out an infield hit. Catcher Danny Lehmann followed with a double that plated the game’s first run.
Maday walked Michael Hollimon. Yangervis Solarte moved the runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt and former Red Sox farmhand Ray Chang drove them home with a double. A double by Joe Benson gave Rock Cats starter David Bromberg a 4-0 lead.
The Squirrels answered with three runs off Bromberg in the fourth inning. Mike McBryde worked a one-out walk and scored on a double by Johnny Monell. Jose Flores split the left-field gap with a double and Justin Christian delivered him with a single.
Bromberg allowed three runs on six hits in four innings of work.
Richmond pieced together the game-winning rally against left-hander Spencer Steedley in the eighth inning.
Monell rapped an RBI double and Flores reached when Lehmann uncorked a wild throw to third on his sacrifice bunt. Monell scored the game-winning tally. Charlie Culberson added some insurance with an RBI single.
Right-hander Osiris Matos earned the win in relief by retiring the Rock Cats last batter in the eighth. Jason Stoffel closed the game with a perfect ninth inning.
The Rock Cats are expected to start right-hander Deolis Guerra in the second game of the series Friday night. Richmond counters with lefty Eric Surkamp.