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 Richmond Flying Squirrels

Squirrels' Late Rally Falls Short in Home Opener

April 9, 2024 - Eastern League (EL)
Richmond Flying Squirrels News Release

RICHMOND, Va. - The Richmond Flying Squirrels dropped their home opener, 2-1, to the Akron RubberDucks in front of a sellout crowd of 9,810 on Tuesday night at The Diamond.

The Flying Squirrels (1-3) outhit the RubberDucks (3-1), 6-3, but a first-inning homer was enough for the visitors in the first game at The Diamond in 2024.

The crowd tied the third-largest in team history. The Flying Squirrels have sold out their home opener in all 14 seasons since the team's year in 2010.

In the top of the first, Kahlil Watson reached on a single to lead off the game. Hayden Birdsong (Loss, 0-1) struck out the next two batters and worked a two-strike count against Aaron Bracho before he belted a two-run homer to drive home the only Akron runs of the game.

Birdsong settled in to strike out six batters over four innings in his season debut.

In the bottom of the ninth, Victor Bericoto hit a one-out double and Logan Wyatt brought him in to score with a double off the right-field wall to cut the Akron lead to 2-1.

Akron reliever Andrew Walters (Save, 2) struck out Vaun Brown to end the game, stranding the potential tying run at second base.

Richmond pitchers held Akron offense to one hit after the first inning. Wil Jensen threw three scoreless innings and struck out two. Clay Helvey allowed one hit and struck out three in his two innings.

The Flying Squirrels continue the first homestand of 2024 on Wednesday night against the RubberDucks at 6:35 p.m. Left-hander John Michael Bertrand (0-0, 5.40) will start for Richmond opposed by Akron right-hander Ryan Webb, who will made his Double-A debut.

Wednesday is a Wine & K9s Night at The Diamond. Fans 21and older can enjoy $5 glasses of wine and $6 wine slushies from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Plus, dogs are admitted free every Wednesday home game.

Tickets are on sale for the rest of the season-opening homestand at The Diamond from Wednesday through Sunday online at, by phone at 804-359-3866 (FUNN) or in person at the Flying Squirrels ticket office.

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Eastern League Stories from April 9, 2024

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