Reading, PA - 2015 first round pick Chris Shaw finished a triple shy of the cycle and drove in four runs, including the game-winning two-run homer in the eighth, to give the Flying Squirrels a 5-3 win at FirstEnergy Stadium on Friday night. Although the Fightin Phils got a three-run home run from Scott Kingery, it wasn't enough as the visitors evened the series at a game apiece with the finale coming on Saturday afternoon.
The pitching matchup between righthanders Drew Anderson and Sam Coonrod lived up to the billing as they both looked for their first wins of the season. Shaw wasted no time in the first when he singled home Miguel Gomez following a two out double to right center. Anderson, Baseball America's #30 Phillies prospect, settled in and eventually threw 5.1 innings as he watched Reading give him the lead.
Initially, it didn't come easy against Coonrod, who used his fastball to face the minimum through two innings. With a 1-0 lead, he had one stumble in the third, which is when the Fightins pounced to take the lead. Aaron Brown led off with a routine flyball to left, and was lucky to get up to second when Ryan Lollis lost it in the lights. A single from Angelo Mora put the tying and go-ahead runs at the corners, and Anderson contributed with a sacrifice bunt for the first out of the inning. Kingery quickly sent the crowd of 4,891 into a frenzy with a drive over the center field wall for his third home run and a 3-1 Reading lead. Unfortunately, Coonrod only picked up steam from there.
He struck out the side in the fourth inning and later departed after 6.0 innings, striking out nine while allowing just the three runs on three hits. With Anderson pitching well through five, he returned for the sixth and allowed a leadoff single to Brandon Bednar. After Gomez flied out to right, Shaw did it again with an RBI double off the right field wall to get the Flying Squirrels within a run at 3-2, effectively ending Anderson's night. In 5-and-a-third innings, he let up five hits and a walk while fanning three. Yacksel Rios entered from the bullpen and watched as Lollis blooped a single into right field to tie the game at three.
Still tied in the eighth inning, Rios (0-1) returned after striking out the side in the seventh. A one-out single from Gomez brought up Shaw one final time, and he silenced the crowd with a deep two-run homer to right to give Richmond a 5-3 lead. The talented Flying Squirrels bullpen did its job, getting 2.0 scoreless innings from lefthander D.J. Snelten (2-0) and a perfect ninth inning from Reyes Moronta, who locked up his second save.
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.