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Photos and Game Summary: Flying Squirrels Wait Until the 8th to Secure the Win

The Flying Squirrels come from behind to down the Somerset Patriots, 6-4, on a steamy Friday evening.

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Official Flying Squirrels Summary

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.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Photos and Game Summary: Rams Comeback to Win in Extra Time

George Washington scored first but VCU tied it up and scored in extra time to take the win.

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Official VCU Summary

The short story: Redshirt senior forward Samantha Jerabek scored the golden goal in the 108th minute as the Rams collected a dramatic win in the opening game of the Atlantic 10 schedule.

QUICK FACTS

  • Jerabek scored her second goal of the season, the 26th of her career, and leads VCU with seven points on the season.
  • Senior forward Aileen Guthrie scored her team-high third goal of the season in her first start of the year.
  • Graduate forward Bri Kropinack notched her second goal of the year to tie the game late in the second half.
  • Junior midfielder Anna Bagley notched her second assist of the season on Jerabek’s goal, while sophomore midfielder Ella Higgins recorded her first point of the year, assisting Kropinack’s goal.
  • VCU out-shot George Washington by a wide 32-6 margin. The Rams also held a 10-2 advantage in corner kicks, while the Colonials committed 19 fouls compared to VCU’s seven.
  • This was VCU’s first match in two weeks after COVID-19 protocols within the William & Mary program canceled a Sept. 9 meeting with the Tribe.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • VCU controlled play in the first half, outshooting GW by a 12-2 margin and earning four corner kicks.
  • Jerabek was dangerous on the left wing in the early going, forcing saves at the near post in both the 17th and 20th minutes.
  • The Rams opened the scoring in the 30th minute when Bagley stepped to win a ball in the midfield, then played a through ball to spring Guthrie on a breakaway, where she slotted the ball into the lower right side-netting.
  • The Colonials equalized against the run of play in the 33rd minute through Isabelle Eskay, who finished Isabella Buck’s cross.
  • The Rams had a dangerous chance in the 40th minute from Jerabek’s free kick, as Gajdobranski pounced on a loose ball in the box and fired a shot on goal.
  • GW took a 2-1 lead in the 49th minute, with Kelly Amador scoring from a Maria Pareja assist.
  • The Rams tied the game in the 78th when Higgins played a through ball that split four Colonial defenders, that Kropinack touched around charging GW goalkeeper Tamaki Machi and rolled into the empty net.
  • Jerabek was a scoring threat throughout the two overtime periods, firing a shot just over the bar in the 91st minute, and forcing a pair of saves in the 104th and 106th.
  • The Chesterfield, Va., product ended the game a few moments later. After collecting a pass from sophomore forward Aisha Maughan, she took on a GW defender 1-on-1 to get into the box, then fired a left-footed shot inside the far post. The goal marked Jerabek’s sixth game-winning score of her prolific career.

UP NEXT
The Rams face their first in-conference road test at St. Bonaventure on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. Every A-10 match is streamed on ESPN+.

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Photos and Game Summary: Panthers Shred the Dragons

Virginia Union University and Virginia University of Lynchburg hadn’t meet on the football field since 1931. VUL will be happy if they don’t meet again anytime soon as they lost 49 to 7.

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Official VUU Summary

Virginia Union University and Virginia University of Lynchburg hadn’t meet on the football field since 1931, but VUU made up for 90 years of lost time by downing the Dragons 49-7 in the Willard Bailey Classic on Saturday, September 18, at Willie Lanier Field at Hovey Stadium in Richmond, Va.

“It’s always good to get the win,” said VUU Head Football Coach Dr. Alvin Parker.  “I think the guys needed it, we needed it.  It’s good to get the win in the fashion that we did.  I was happy to get a lot of guys to play and it was a great opportunity to get the win.”

The Panthers started the scoring early when Jaiden Reavis caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Khalid Morris with 2:32 left in the first quarter and didn’t stop the scoring until Kore Prentice-Coles capped the onslaught when he took the ball in from two yards out with 14:55 left in the fourth quarter.

In between, VUU racked up 416 yards in total offense and rushed for five touchdowns.

“Those guys (in the offensive line), Brian GibsonMatthew CurryMark LawtonJustin Meade and Savion Hopes, those are five starters right now, and they’ve been playing exceptionally well these past few weeks,” said Parker.  “We’ve been able to run the ball pretty effectively and they’ve been protecting the quarterback as well.  They may not get a lot of credit, but those guys have been doing such a great job and the numbers speak for what they are.”

VUU’s Jada Byers, a freshman from Hammonton, N.J., majoring in Social Work, rushed for 201 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.  Byers was named the Offensive MVP of the Game for his effort.

“If you watch us play, you’ll see that #7 (Byers) is something special,” said Parker.  “He’s just a great kid to be around, first and foremost.  Even before you get to his play, he’s just a great kid.  His play speaks for itself.”

On the defense, Virginia Union” Marquis Hamilton, a graduate student from Washington, D.C., and who is majoring in Business, intercepted two passes and came within one yard of returning one for a score.

“Hamilton is a good guy for us,” said Parker.  “He bought right into our culture. He comes to work every day and you really don’t hear him make a sound.  But he had a big smile on his face after he made those interceptions, and that’s what we like to see.”

VUU is now 1-2 on the season while Virginia University at Lynchburg fell too 0-3.

The Panthers will now travel to Charlotte, N.C., to face Johnson C. Smith University at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 25, In the CIAA regular-season opener for both teams.

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Photos and Game Summary: VCU Goes Down a Goal Comes Back with a Vengeance

Despite giving up an early goal the Rams dominated play and ended up winning 4-1 over ETSU.

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Official VCU Summary

The short story: Two goals apiece from sophomore winger Celio Pompeu and senior midfielder Oquin Robinson led the Rams to a dominant win, the 100th of head coach Dave Giffard‘s career, in the fall 2021 home opener.

QUICK FACTS

  • Giffard notched his 100th career win in his 12th season at the helm of the Rams.
  • Pompeu’s brace gave the Brazilian a team-high three goals and seven points on the season.
  • Robinson’s brace were his first two goals of the year after picking up an assist last time out at RV/#24 Charlotte.
  • ETSU played with ten men for the final 32 minutes of the match after goalkeeper Cole Hunter received his second yellow card.
  • In a physical match, the Bucs received eight total yellow cards.
  • VCU out-shot ETSU by a 19-7 margin, and held a 5-0 advantage in corner kicks.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The Rams were dangerous right out of the gate, with Pompeu pinging a ball to redshirt freshman Ethan Manheim who turned and fired a shot from 20 yards just wide of the right post in the first minute.
  • ETSU’s Hunter picked up his first yellow card in the 14th minute when he strayed outside of the box to pick up a ball. Robinson took the ensuing free kick, curling a shot over the wall and forcing a diving save.
  • Moments later, the Bucs struck first on the counter. Gabriel Ramos played a long ball from midfield to Tarik Pannholzer, who cut in on his right foot and curled a shot to the lower right corner to put ETSU in front 1-0.
  • In the 34th minute, Pompeu drew a foul in the box that resulted in a yellow card for ETSU’s Dominic Foster and a VCU penalty kick. Robinson stepped up to the spot and slotted home his first goal of the season to tie the match at 1-1.
  • VCU’s fluid play continued into a dominant second half, with a quality chance coming in the 50th minute. Robinson threaded a perfectly-weighted ball to freshman midfielder Damian Gallegos on the right wing, where he played a dangerous cross that senior forward Biska Biyombo nearly redirected into the goal as he slid through the six-yard box.
  • In the 57th minute, Pompeu skillfully created space for himself in the box, and fired a shot just over the bar.
  • Biyombo was in on goal in the 59th minute, and Hunter came off his line and fouled him with a sliding challenge, collecting his second yellow and forcing the Bucs to bring on Josh Perryman as a replacement goalkeeper. Pompeu took the ensuing free kick from 24 yards out, beautifully curling it into the top right corner to put the Rams in front 2-1.
  • Robinson doubled his tally in the 67th minute, collecting a rebound from Manheim’s header off a corner kick and heading it into the back of the net form close range to push the lead to 3-1.
  • Pompeu put a bow on the Rams’ scoring in the 74th minute, collecting a ball from redshirt junior midfielder Pierre Fiorre Mane, taking a deft touch around a defender, and slotting home a finish with his right foot.

QUOTING HEAD COACH DAVE GIFFARD
“Tonight was an interesting game. We started brightly but had more control than we have the first few games, and I think that lulled us into a false sense of security at 0-0. We knew coming in that ETSU was excellent in transition, and that the number nine was absolutely quality. We didn’t deal with it very well, and sure enough, he scored a very good goal. We kept playing through and got it back and then in the second half our quality shone through over time.”

UP NEXT
The Rams open the Atlantic 10 slate with a road match at Rhode Island on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. from Kingston, R.I. Every A-10 match is broadcast on ESPN+.

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