READING, PA - The Reading Fightin Phils jumped out to an early 7-0 lead to sack the Squirrels, 8-5, in game one of a three game series on Monday evening at FirstEnergy Stadium. Reading (3-2) chased Squirrels starter Matt Gage after just two innings and cashed in a solid outing from starter Anthony Vasquez in the win. Squirrels centerfield Austin Slater picked up three hits in the loss, including his first Double-A homerun. Kyle Crick will start game two of the series for Richmond on Tuesday night at 6:35 PM.
The Fightin Phils came out swinging with seven runs over the first two innings against Squirrels starting pitcher Matt Gage. J.P Crawford, Rhys Hoskins, Jorge Alfaro and Angelo Moreno all doubled in the first frame to produce three runs. The Phils added four more hits in the second, including another RBI double from Alfaro for a 7-0 advantage. Gage was pinch hit for in the top of the third inning and finished the outing with seven runs allowed on nine hits over two innings of work
The Squirrels were able to scratch across a pair of runs in the top of the third innings against Anthony Vasquez. With two outs, Myles Schroder singled and scored on a double off the bat of Christian Arroyo. A wild pitch moved Arroyo to third and he scored on an Austin Salter base hit to right centerfield. Vasquez was solid in his season-debut to earn the win. The veteran southpaw lasted seven innings and allowed just six hits with six strikeouts in the win.
With Gage out of the game after two innings, the Squirrels turned to LHP Christian Jones for relief. Jones tossed three innings and allowed just one run (unearned) with three strikeouts. Jose Casilla followed with two scoreless innings and Pedro Rodriguez hurled a harmless eighth.
The Squirrels and Phils will play game two of the series on Tuesday at 6:35 PM. RHP Kyle Crick will start for Richmond against Reading RHP Alec Asher. The Flying Squirrels 2016 home schedule begins April 14th at 6:35 PM against the Altoona Curve with Hall of Fame Running Back Jerome Bettis throwing out the first pitch. Season tickets, mini plans, and group packages are currently available by contacting the box office at 804-359-FUNN or online at www.squirrelsbaseball.com.