Fightins Drop Two, Split Series with Ducks
(READING, PA) - The Fightins concluded their season series with Akron with a pair of losses on Thursday night, dropping the completion on Wednesday's suspended game, 3-2 in eight innings, before falling 11-6 in the finale at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Wednesday's suspended contest resumed after another delay, with the game getting underway at 6:20 p.m. The teams had been tied at one through seven innings in the second game of Wednesday night's doubleheader and were set to head to extra innings when rain forced a suspension.
Upon resumption on Thursday, Addison Russ (1-4) took over in relief, with Alexis Pantoja starting the inning at second base as the free runner. Ernie Clement reached on an infield hit, setting up runners at the corners, and Ka'ai Tom ripped a triple to right to bring home both runs and put Akron up 3-1.
Reading (1-2) (40-30) got one back with two outs in the bottom half, when Darick Hall lined a single to left to score Jose Gomez. Hall made it to second on a wild pitch, before Rob Kaminsky secured a strikeout of Josh Stephen to earn the save.
Akron (2-1) (36-36) jumped ahead quickly in the series finale, when Mitch Longo led off the ballgame with a homer off Adonis Medina (5-3).
Reading roared back in the home half, as Mickey Moniak opened with a single off Adam Scott (1-0), and Stephen was hit by a pitch. Hall then delivered another opposite-field hit, a two-run double down the left field line to give the R-Phils the lead. With one out, Cornelius Randolph added a single up the middle to score Hall and make it 3-1.
Akron brought it back even with a Nellie Rodriguez homer and a Mitch Longo RBI double in the second, and went ahead 6-3 in the third on Alex Call's RBI grounder and a two-out, two-run single from Pantoja. Longo's second homer of the night made it 7-3 in the fourth inning.
Randolph worked a nine-pitch at-bat to start the home half of the fourth, then singled to right. Luke Williams followed by smacking a payoff pitch over the wall in left for his fourth long ball of the season, pulling Reading to within two. An inning later, the Fightins closed the gap to one when Stephen tripled, and Grenny Cumana knocked a grounder off the feet of the pitcher Scott to score Stephen and make it 7-6.
The RubberDucks pulled away with four runs off reliever Garrett Cleavinger in the top of the seventh, extending their advantage to 11-6. Tom added his 12th homer of the season in the eighth off Jakob Hernandez.
The Fightins hit the road for a six-day trip, beginning on Friday night in Portland. JoJo Romero takes the hill in the opener against the Sea Dogs, with first pitch at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on 610 ESPN and the Fightins radio network beginning at 6 p.m.
America's Classic Ballpark is proud to be a part of Pennsylvania's Americana Region and was voted the #1 stadium in all of Double-A by MiLB's Ben Hill. Follow the Fightins on Twitter at @ReadingFightins and like them on Facebook via www.facebook.com/fightins. Purchase tickets at the Seidel Auto Group Deck TODAY - call or TEXT 610-370-BALL, and download the Fightins game and promotional schedule at fightins.com/calendar.
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