'Ducks Comeback Snaps 5-Game Losing Streak

Defending champs take game one from Fightin Phils

(Dawn Plummer)

By Reading Fightin Phils | April 17, 2017 10:20 PM ET

Reading, PA - The Fightin Phils and RubberDucks battled into extra innings at FirstEnergy Stadium. Pitching was on display for both as the teams combined to strikeout 22 hitters. Starting pitchers, Brandon Leibrandt and Julian Merryweather kept the opposing lineup off balanced all night. Leibrandt allowed a run in the first on an RBI single by Yu Chang, but would settled down to face the minimum through the next three innings.

The Fightins bats were quiet through the first three innings, only managing to reach base on a pair of Akron errors. However, in the fourth, the bats came to life. Chace Numata reached on a fielders choice and Mitch Walding followed with his second home run in as many games to give the Fightins a 2-1 lead.

Akron got to Leibrandt in the fifth when Dorssys Paulino took the second pitch off the inning over the wall in left center field to tie the game at two. Leibrandt would bounce back to retire the next three batters to end his day.  

The game remained tied at two until the bottom of the eighth until Malquin Canelo led off with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Scott Kingery. With two away and Canelo on third, Carlos Tocci flared one into shallow right field to score Canelo and give Reading a 3-2 lead.

Akron would not go down without a fight and Yhoxian Medina led off with a single against Fightins reliever Jesen Therrien. Miguel Nunez would come on to replace Therrien and with one away and two outs, Yu Chang picked up his second RBI with a triple to right to tie the game.  

Reading would go down in order in the ninth against Akron reliever Matt Whitehouse, forcing the first extra inning game of the season.

Nunez would return to the mound for the tenth, striking out designated hitter Joe Sever. After walking Ivan Castillo, leadoff hitter Greg Allen doubled into left center to set up runners at second and third. That would spell the end of the day for Nunez, giving way to Yacksel Rios. After hitting Yhoxian Medina to load the bases, Francisco Mejia would give Akron its first lead since the fourth inning with a sacrifice fly to center. Akron added to the lead with a two run single by Bobby Bradley, making it 6-3. In his third inning of relief, Whitehouse retired Reading in order in the tenth to earn his first win of the year.

America's Classic Ballpark is proud to be a part of Pennsylvania's Americana Region. Season tickets for the 2017 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.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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