Bats Erupt Before Roadtrip
(Reading, PA) - Looking for offense just 24 hours after being held to one run in the middle game against the RubberDucks, the Fightin Phils enjoyed their second best performance of the season on Wednesday night at FirstEnergy Stadium. After going back and forth early on, the Fightins (8-12) wouldn't stop hitting, and finished with 9 runs on 15 hits en route to a 9-7 win to take their second series of the season.
Base hits from Malquin Canelo and Damek Tomscha in the first brought back memories of last season as Jiandido Tromp came through with a single for his second 2-RBI game and a quick lead against RubberDucks lefthander Sean Brady. Akron would storm back to take the lead, however, getting a solo homer from Mark Mathias in the second and a two-run shot from Willi Castro over the short porch in right field in the third.
In a recurring theme throughout the night, the Fightins came back with a huge third inning and sent all nine batters to the plate. Two batters in, Tomscha crushed his team-leading fourth home run down the left field line to re-tie the score at three. Later in the inning, a single from Cord Sandberg and a double from Austin Bossart tacked on a pair of runs to put the Fightins ahead 5-3.
The top of the fourth belonged to the RubberDucks, who took advantage of Fightin Phils starter Franklyn Kilome on a night where failed to record an out in the fourth. After loading the bases with a pair of singles and a walk, Andrew Calica made it 5-5 with a double down the right field line. The Fightins then had an issue with the relay throw, allowing the third runner to race around and score to give Akron the lead once more at 6-5.
Tyler Gilbert was one of the keys of the ballgame, relieving Kilome with three perfect innings of relief in which he allowed just one ball off the infield. The bats then went to work for him in the fifth when Bossart hit into a double play with the bases loaded to tie the score at six. With two outs, Heiker Meneses came through with a tiebreaking infield single for his first run batted in as a member of the Fightin Phils to go up 7-6.
The two out magic continued for the Fightin Phils in the bottom of the sixth off reliever Jordan Milbrath, who took over for Brady after he threw 84 pitches and allowed 10 hits over three innings. Tromp sliced a double into the gap in right center, and Zach Green plated him up with a bullet down the right field line for a double and an 8-6 advantage. The final run came across on Jan Hernandez' single into left, giving the Fightins a healthy cushion going into the last two-and-a-half innings.
Trevor Bettencourt fanned two over two scoreless innings after Gilbert (2-0) and Luke Leftwich earned his second save despite allowing an unearned run in the ninth. The Fightin Phils will travel to Portland on Thursday before opening a weekend series at Hadlock Field to start a six-game roadtrip.
America's Classic Ballpark is proud to be a part of Pennsylvania's Americana Region. Season tickets for the 2018 season are available online at Fightins.com, by phone at 610-370-BALL, and in-person at FirstEnergy Stadium. Follow the Fightin Phils on Twitter at @ReadingFightins and like them on Facebook via www.facebook.com/fightins.
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