In a come-from-behind melee which featured three home runs, the Richmond Flying Squirrels topped the Somerset Patriots, 6-4, on Friday night at The Diamond.
The Flying Squirrels (35-29) have won three of their last five games and collected their second come-from-behind victory against the Patriots (40-23) in the series.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Vince Fernandez cranked a go-ahead two-run homer to right field that wrangled a 6-4 lead for the Flying Squirrels. It was Fernandez’s 12th home run of the season, which leads the team, and has racked up eight RBIs in the series.
After trailing 3-1, the Flying Squirrels produced three runs in the fourth inning which gave Richmond a 4-3 lead. Simon Whiteman led off the inning with a walk, then stole second and third base on back-to-back pitches. Heliot Ramos walked and reached second on a caught stealing error and brought home Whiteman. David Villar delivered a game-tying RBI single that scored Ramos and Fernandez gave Richmond the lead with a sacrifice fly.
Somerset responded in the seventh with an RBI double off the bat of Oswald Peraza to even the score, 4-4.
The Patriots opened the scoring with a 2-0 lead in the in the fourth inning off back-to-back home runs from Brandon Lockridge and Michael Beltre with Sean Hjelle on the mound.
Richmond cut the deficit to 2-1 in the fifth inning off Brandon Martorano’s RBI single which scored Villar from second. Martorano has collected three RBIs over his past two games.
Somerset’s advantage grew to 3-1 after Lockridge delivered an RBI single in the sixth inning. With two outs, Raffi Vizcaíno entered in the sixth with two runners on and delivered a strikeout to retire the side.
The Flying Squirrels fought back with five runs in the final three innings of the comeback.
Richmond’s bullpen of Vizcaíno, Matt Seelinger and Joey Marciano (Win, 3-1) combined for 3.1 innings with one run allowed off two hits and four walks and five strikeouts.
Hjelle allowed 10 hits and three runs over 5.2 innings while striking out five Patriots in his start.
Luis Medina allowed four runs (two earned) off two hits over 5.0 innings through his start.
Game five of the series between the Flying Squirrels and Patriots is Saturday night. Somerset will send out right-hander Hayden Wesneski (1-3, 6.30) and Richmond has yet to announce its starting pitcher.
On Saturday, the Flying Squirrels continue the Richmond 34 Legacy Weekend with the commemorative Richmond 34 Legacy jerseys up for an auction with proceeds going to the creation of a Richmond 34 Legacy scholarship fund. In-Your-Face Fireworks will launch at the end of the game, presented by Capital One. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m. from The Diamond with gates opening at 5:00 p.m.
Tickets are available online at SquirrelsBaseball.com/Tickets, by phone at 804-359-3866 or in person at the Flying Squirrels offices.
Photos and Game Summary: Kickers Battle the Weather and Ft. Lauderdale to a Draw
Official Kickers Game Summary
The Richmond Kickers (4-4-4) battled back from behind to earn a crucial point at home, Saturday night, against MLS affiliate Fort Lauderdale CF (5-7-3) despite experiencing a cumulative two hours and 25 minutes of lightning-related delays.
The match started rocky after kickoff was delayed for 46 minutes. The Reds played forward early but were caught on the break in the sixth minute as Fort Lauderdale slotted a shot to beat Akira Fitzgerald and bring the scoreline to an early 1-0. Around the 21st minute, Emiliano Terzaghi earned a free kick outside of the Fort Lauderdale box. Ivan Magalhães stepped up for the direct kick but his shot flew just over the crossbar.
After another 15 minutes of back-and-forth play between the two sides, Richmond received the ball in a dangerous area and Stanley Alves fired off a side-footed volley at goal, but his attempt would fly just over the crossbar leaving eight minutes remaining of the first half. Richmond opened up even more creatively with a series of plays involving intricate flicks and passes into the box. The Reds would finish the half owning possession and duels won but the scoreline cruelly did not reflect the play.
Just several minutes into the second half, the game was delayed again because of lightning and the delay would keep both sides off the field for over an hour and a half.
Finally, both sides walked out of their respective locker rooms at 10:04 pm to resume play. The Kickers started off strong with a good counterattack and a shot by Matt Bolduc that was deflected for a corner by goalkeeper Drake Callender. In the 57th minute, Alves took on two Fort Lauderdale defenders with a few stepovers to get a shot off but his shot would once again pass just over the crossbar. Richmond’s renewed vigor and intensity earned the team overwhelming possession and quality chances created.
Richmond would continue on the front foot for another several minutes of heavy attacking play. At the 80-minute-mark, Chris Cole would lead the attack with a direct run at the Fort Lauderdale box to get a shot off but it would go wide of the post. Shortly after, Oalex Anderson, a substitute in the 72nd minute, carried the ball on the left wing, beat his defender, and put in a ball for Terzaghi to side-foot into the back of the net — leveling the scoreline for Richmond with only several minutes left.
Richmond pressed for the go-ahead but saw out the remainder of the half to earn a point at home as a consolation. Head Coach Darren Sawatzky praised his team’s resilience to overcome numerous delays and earn a comeback result during post-match comments with the media.
Richmond’s next match will be Wednesday, July 21 at North Carolina FC for the teams’ third matchup this season. Kickoff at Sahlen Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m.
|First Half||Second Half||Final|
Richmond: Akira Fitzgerald, Chris Cole, Ivan Magalhães, Jalen Crisler, Esteban Calvo, Victor Falck, Matt Bolduc (78’ – Hernan Gonzalez), Nil Vinyals, Jonathan Bolanos (72’ – Oalex Anderson), Emiliano Terzaghi, Stanley Alves (76’ – Stanley Alves)
Unused Substitutes: Austin Causey, Mumbi Kwesele, Nathan Aune, Damian Gallegos
Fort Lauderdale CF: Drake Callender, Brian Rosales, Aime Mabika, Modesto Mendez, Noah Allen, Ignacio Poplawski, Harvey Neville, Braxton Najib (62’ – Joshua Saavedra), Josh Penn (90’ – Frank Nodarse), Mitchell Curry, Shaan Hundal (76’ – Shaan Hundal)
Unused Substitutes: Andre Zulaga, Francisco Raggio, Dairon Reyes, Felipe Valencia
|Fort Lauderdale CF||5||2||17||1|
Referee: William Steffen
Asst. Referee: Jonah Kind, Max A. Smith
4th Official: Nickrod Fateh
Weather: Sunny, 91º F
Photos and Game Summary: Kickers Come from Behind Twice to Nab the Win
It was a goal-scoring extravaganza on Saturday, with the Kicker netting three and the visitors from Texas getting two.
Official Kickers Game Summary
The Richmond Kickers (4-4-3) earned a comeback 3-2 win over MLS Affiliate North Texas SC (3-4-3), Saturday night at City Stadium. Emiliano Terzaghi scored his second brace of the season while Jonathan Bolanos netted the game-winner late in the second half.
With the first half underway, Richmond began the match playing a high-pressing line with bags of energy. At the 11-minute mark, North Texas got a look at the goal, but Akira Fitzgerald deflected the shot away into safety. Shortly after, North Texas rushed down the left-wing and took a shot at Fitzgerald from the goal line but it was blocked away for a corner. North Texas would find its breakthrough in the 26th minute after connecting a combination of passes leading to a near-post goal by Kazu.
Richmond would answer back quickly. The Reds played their way from the defense all the way up to the North Texas final third where Victor Falck was able to drill a shot at goalkeeper Colin Shutler who deflected the ball out. Richmond recycled out wide to Juan Pablo Monticelli who crossed the ball into Terzaghi. The reigning league MVP gracefully awaited the ball and performed an incredible back-heel flick into North Texas’ goal to give the Red Army a world-class goal to watch and to bring the scoreline to 1-1.
However, North Texas would retake the lead shortly after. Almaguer found some free space following a throw-in in Richmond territory and let loose a shot that would find the back of the net, leaving the scoreline 1-2 at the end of the half.
The Reds made halftime adjustments and stormed ahead to find another equalizer. Around the 50-minute mark, Richmond won a corner and, after an attempt to play Terzaghi in the box, Terzaghi was fouled by a North Texas defender and awarded a penalty. The Argentine stepped up to the penalty mark and confidently drilled his shot into the bottom left-hand corner to convert for his second goal of the match. With the scoreline level at 2-2, both teams looked to regain leverage for the remainder of the half.
After a good start to the half for Richmond, the team was playing on the front foot and saw a few great attacks at the goal from Bolanos down the left-wing. After several runs at the North Texas goal, Bolanos fired a lofted shot floating it over several North Texas defenders, beating the goalkeeper, and hitting the far-post to bounce back into the goal, bringing the scoreline to 3-2 with Richmond in the lead.
Richmond saw out the remainder of the match to seal the first win over North Texas since both teams joined USL League One in 2019. However, the team would have to do it down a man after midfielder Zaca Moran was issued a second yellow card turning into a red card late.
Richmond returns to City Stadium to face Fort Lauderdale CF on July 17th. The Reds already played the MLS-affiliate earlier in the season on the road and will look to get a win back at their home field. Kickoff for the match is set for 6:30 p.m.
First Half Second Half Final Richmond 1 2 3 North Texas 2 0 2
Richmond: Akira Fitzgerald, Juan Pablo Monticelli (45’ – Matt Bolduc), Ivan Magalhães, Jalen Crisler, Nathan Aune(45’ – Jonathan Bolanos), Zaca Moran, Victor Falck, Nil Vinyals, Chris Cole (69’ – Stanley Alves), Emiliano Terzaghi (87’ – Hernan González), Luke Pavone
Unused Substitutes: Austin Causey, Oalex Anderson, Cam Vickers
North Texas SC: Colin Shutler, Caiser Gomes, Collin Smith (86’ – Thibaut Jacquel), Rio Ramirez, Edwin Munjoma, Blaine Ferri (75’ – Michael Maldonado), Jorge Almaguer, Dominick Hernandez (75’ – Hope Avayevu), Bernard Kamungo, Kazu (65’ – Derek Waldeck), Gibran Rayo (64’ – Alex Bruce)
Unused Substitutes: Richard Sánchez
North Texas SC
88’ RIC Moran
Referee: Nickrod Fateh
Asst. Referee: Andrew Charron, Dallas Rosier
4th Official: Nicholas Seymour
Weather: Sunny, 79ºF
Preview: Kickers Looking to Blow Up the Score Board Against North Texas SC
The Kickers and their fans are looking for a win.
Opponent: North Texas SC (3-2-4)
Date/Time: Saturday, July 3rd, 6:30 PM
Last Result: Kickers 1, NCFC 2
Weather Forecast From WeatherBug.com
Three Things to Kick About
- Broken Promises – Since his arrival Coach Sawatsky has stated that he wants the time to play an exciting, fun-to-watch, high-scoring brand of soccer. Since the end of last season and half-way through this season that has definitely not been happening. The team has scored 12 goals which put them firmly in the middle of the pack. Six of those goals were in two games. The Kickers have taken a total of 106 shots which puts them 3rd lowest in the league and more than 50 shots behind FC Tormenta. You can’t score if you don’t shoot.
- Must-win – By no means is this statistically a must-win game. However, after losing to the league’s worst team this past Friday the team needs to show that they have what it takes to win games. There really was no excuse for losing last Friday. They went into the half up a goal and then proceeded to give up two goals against NCFC. NCFC has only 3 points on the table all of them courtesy of the Richmond Kickers.
- Attendance – Last home game attendance was abysmal. The Kicker only managed to draw 2,009 fans. This weekend could be even worse competing with Fourth of July weekend activities. The Kickers marketing department had done nothing innovative to motivate the casual fans into coming this year. I know it’s unfair to compare the Squirrels and the Kickers but tonight the Squirrels are getting people in the door with a Grateful Dead Night and free bucket hats. Then on Sunday they’ve of course got the fireworks. Had the Kickers moved this game to Sunday the fans could have sat in the stands and watched the Fireworks that will be going off in Dogwood Dell. I’m not asking for a free pony just some innovation.
I drove five hours round trip last Friday to Cary NC, 100% confident in a Kickers win. I was sorely disappointed and instead watched a team that couldn’t put the ball in the net or keep possession for more than a pass or two. They’ve had 5 home games and only won 2 of those games so my confidence has taken several hits. I am however a die-hard faithful (I’ve never pretended to be unbiased on these previews) so once again I’m hoping to see a Kickers team that lives up to their potential.
Kickers 2 – North Texas SC 0
Official Kickers Preview
Richmond would see out the first half holding their early goal over the North Carolina squad. However, shortly after the second half opened, NCFC’s Max Flick whipped a headed ball into the far post from a delivery by Jay Tee Kamara, bringing the scoreline level at 1-1. Approximately nine minutes later, Kamara would score what would become the game-winner for North Carolina. Despite being down a man for most of the second half, the Reds would nearly find an equalizer late with two opportunities near the goal mouth that included Oalex Anderson’s shot being cleared off the line as well as a last-minute header created by a cross from Akira Fitzgerald that went just wide.
Players to Watch
Nil Vinyals (#10) came in off the bench against North Carolina and made 12 passes in the opposition’s half. The last time Vinyals faced off against North Texas SC was in October 2020 when he wore a South Georgia Tormenta FC shirt. The maestro banged in a worldly of a free kick in the waning minutes of the first half for his fourth outside-of-the-box goal of the season.
Juan Pablo Monticelli (#2) has meshed with the Richmond backline well over the start of the season and has contributed a few goals upfront. Monticelli made three tackles, created one chance, and one clearance. With his size and tenacity, Monticelli has been an asset for the Reds on set plays.
Ivan Magalhães (#4) was named Keiter CPA Player of the Match against North Carolina. His defensive talent combined with his attacking output to create the goal for Terzaghi proved his veteran ability and his ability to play
North Texas SC
Michael Maldonaldo (#15) is a highly efficient halfback and had some impressive stats against New England despite the loss. Maldonaldo had an 88.1% passing accuracy, 90% passing accuracy in the opposition’s half as well as four tackles, two clearances, and one interception.
Gibran Rayo (#14) is a creative winger for North Texas and scored a goal against Greenville Triumph several weeks ago in their 3-0 win. Rayo had two shots on goal against New England but had both blocked by NE’s goalkeeper. Rayo will be a danger on the wing going forward.
Thibaut Jacquel (#22) is the leading goalscorer for North Texas SC with three goals but didn’t play the last match against New England. When he’s able to be on the pitch, Jacquel is a player that requires attention from the defense.