Reading R-Phils: How To Get Rid Of Squirrels

Photo: Steve Kiebach

R-Phils get out brooms, sweep Flying Squirrels off the field

(Richmond, VA) – Wednesday’s series finale on The Boulevard started fast between the Fightin Phils and Flying Squirrels, with both lineups turning over quickly as Reading looked to race home to start a seven-game homestand on Thursday night. Richmond starter Conner Menez was perfect over four innings, but started to crack in the fifth, when the visitors scored twice to tie the score. The seventh changed the whole game, and all nine Fightins came to the plate, with five runs scoring on just three hits as the boys returned to Baseballtown with a 9-7 record.

Making his third start of the season, Bailey Falter worked around a leadoff single and a walk in the first, getting a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Ryan Howard and a strikeout of Heath Quinn to retire the side. In the second, another walk to left fielder Dylan Davis and a bunt single from Johneshwy Fargas put a pair of runners in scoring position after Ali Castillo threw the bunt into the Squirrels dugout. Jin-De Jhang brought in his first run with a single into left, and the second run came across when Menez dropped a bunt that was misplayed for an error and a 2-0 Flying Squirrels lead.

Austin Listi got the comeback started with a leadoff walk in the fifth, and scored soon after when Ali Castillo rocketed a double to dead center. Grenny Cumana quickly tied it up with a two-bagger into right, narrowly beating the throw in before Menez retired the next three hitters. Over six innings, the lefthander struck out nine while throwing just 77 pitches to take some heat off the bullpen.

Falter surrendered just the two unearned runs across four innings on his 22nd birthday, giving the ball to Aaron Brown for his second appearance of the series. A walk to Howard with one out in the fifth was washed out when the Fightins turned another 6-4-3 double play with Luke Williams working in tandem with Castillo up the middle to retire the side. Brown (1-2) opened the sixth with his second walk, but salvaged the inning with a quick pickoff of Quinn and two quick outs to send the game to the seventh still tied at 2-2.

Facing Monday night’s losing pitcher Kieran Lovegrove, the Fightins displayed tremendous patience with Listi and Castillo drawing consecutive walks to open the inning. A passed ball pushed a pair into scoring position, and Cumana came through again with a two-RBI single over the shallow infield to break the 2-2 tie and give the Fightins their first lead. Lovegrove left after walking Arquimedes Gamboa, and Austin Bossart chipped in with a sacrifice bunt that put two more runners at second and third with just one out.

Pinch-hitter Josh Stephen worked the count to 3-1 against Melvin Adon, and bounced a two-RBI double down the right field line for a 6-2 lead. Two batters later, Mickey Moniak got the green light on 3-0 and roped a single back up the middle to make it 7-2. Jeff Singer tossed two perfect innings in his second appearance since being activated, and Jakob Hernandez shut it down with a quick ninth to complete the sweep. The Fightins finished the roadtrip 3-2, retiring the last 11 Squirrels that came to the plate. Richmond didn’t have a hit after the third, and drew just two walks over the last six innings as Fightins pitchers didn’t allow a runner past first.

The R-Phils return to Baseballtown tomorrow night for “Throwback Thursday” versus the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.  RHP Mauricio Llovera is expected to make the start for the Fightin Phils.

Eastern League Eastern
CLUB W L PCT GB ELIM# HOME AWAY DIV L10 STRK
Binghamton Rumble Ponies (NYM) 9 4 .692 2-2 7-2 3-4 7-3
Trenton Thunder (NYY) 10 6 .625 0.5 5-1 5-5 5-2 7-3 L2
Reading Fightin Phils (PHI) 9 7 .563 1.5 54 2-3 7-4 5-4 5-5 W3
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) 9 9 .500 2.5 52 6-5 3-4 9-9 5-5 W2
Hartford Yard Goats (COL) 9 10 .474 3.0 51 5-2 4-8 6-3 7-3 W1
Portland Sea Dogs (BOS) 4 10 .286 5.5 51 2-6 2-4 4-10 3-7 L1


Categories: Reading Phillies

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