MANCHESTER, NH - The Richmond Flying Squirrels rode a masterpiece from right-hander Mike MacDonald and collected 13 hits as they pummeled the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 10-0, in front of 6,209 on Thursday night at MerchantAuto.com Stadium. The win netted the Squirrels the series victory as well.
Pitching against his former organization in a park where he flourished for parts of three seasons, MacDonald (4-7) turned in his finest performance of the season. He was dominant as he turned in the first nine-inning complete-game shutout in franchise history. He allowed just five hits, all singles, walked none and struck out five. He retired 13 consecutive batters stretching from the fourth inning through ninth inning as he won for a second straight start and the fourth time overall.
The Squirrels got out of the gates quickly, plating a first-inning run against New Hampshire righty Randy Boone. With one out, Nick Noonan chopped a single back over the mound. He advanced on a groundout from Thomas Neal and scored when former Hudson Hornet Brandon Belt singled into right field for a 1-0 lead.
Richmond stretched that lead to 3-0 with two more against Boone in the second. Sharlon Schoop provided a one-out single and Boone walked both Tyler La Torre and Brad Boyer to load the bases. Ryan Lormand then grounded into a fielder's choice to score Schoop. Noonan cracked a single into right-center field which scored La Torre, but Lormand was out at the plate attempting to score from first base. When the dust settled, Richmond led the ballgame, 3-0.
Belt led off the sixth inning against Boone and singled to start Richmond again as they began to pull away. Conor Gillaspie followed and drilled a two-run home run to right-center field for a 5-0 lead.
Boone left to the loss after the sixth, surrendering five earned runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out two as he endured his sixth consecutive loss.
The Squirrels added insult to injury against right-hander Clint Everts in the seventh and eighth. Everts entered in the seventh and promptly walked Brad Boyer. Lormand singled behind him and Noonan bunted the runners up. Neal then cracked a two-run single into right field for a 7-0 lead. That lead swelled to 9-0 when Belt launched a mammoth two-run home run to right-center field.
Richmond tacked on a run when Noonan crunched an RBI triple off of Everts in the eighth. The ball appeared to have left the ballpark, but was ruled to have hit off the top of the wall by first base umpire Joel Hospodka.
The Squirrels travel to Portland, ME, to open a three-game series against the Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox) at 7:00 PM on Friday night at Hadlock Field. RHP David Mixon (10-6, 3.56) will make the start for Richmond against RHP Casey Kelly (3-5, 5.40) for Portland.