Binghamton, NY - The Reading Fightin Phils had the quickest of turnarounds in Binghamton to start the weekend, arriving at 5:15 Friday morning before taking the field for a 7:05 first pitch. At first, it looked like they had things well in hand with a 3-0 lead before the Rumble Ponies roared to score three runs and eventually tie the score in the seventh. The Fightins left at least one runner in scoring position in six of their nine innings at the plate, and it came back to haunt them when Kevin Kazmarski ended it in the ninth with a game-winning single to snap Reading's eight-game winning streak.
Drew Anderson got early run support despite his mates leaving the bases loaded against Casey Delgado in the top of the first. In the third, Andrew Pullin belted a double and Kyle Martin chased him home with a single for a 1-0 lead. Two more singles in the inning came from Mitch Walding and Chace Numata , with Numata's base hit giving him an RBI in three straight games.
At the plate, Anderson made history with his first career hit with two outs in the second. He then struck out the side in the bottom of the inning despite loading the bases with a pair of singles and a walk. He'd escape another bases loaded jam in the fourth, both times retiring his counterpart Delgado for the final out to keep the Rumble Ponies scoreless.
Martin's impressive roadtrip continued when he laid into an 0-1 pitch and slammed his 13th home run with one out in the fifth to put the Fightins on top 3-0. Despite all the early offense, they wouldn't score the rest of the way, allowing Delgado to work seven innings for the first time this season.
During his final inning in the sixth, Anderson put the first three Ponies on to load the bases with no outs. He then got into a 3-2 count with Patrick Biondi, and ended his night with his seventh strikeout over five-and-a-third innings. Shane Watson took over and surrendered a sacrifice fly to David Thompson which made it 3-1. The play then continued after the catch was made by Pullin up against the left field wall. The throw back in skipped by shortstop Malquin Canelo and found Walding, who looked up and threw out Kevin Taylor at the plate as he tried to stretch and advance on the throw.
Binghamton went right back to work in the seventh, getting base hits from pinch-hitter Gustavo Nunez and Luis Guillorme to put the tying runs on base. L.J. Mazzilli made it three straight with a gapper into left center, tying the game at three with a two-RBI double. Joey DeNato then had to come in and looked sharp in retiring the next three hitters to keep the score tied at three.
The Fightins got a leadoff single from Numata in the eighth, but he was stranded at third base in a recurring theme throughout the night. In the ninth, Pullin got on with his third hit but was left at second, bringing up the Ponies for the bottom of the ninth.
Champ Stuart led off as a pinch-hitter and nearly ended it with a double that sailed high off the left field wall. A wild pitch pushed him to third as the winning run, and Guillorme made the first out with a lineout that nearly got through Canelo at short. Following a walk to Mazzilli, Kazmarski blooped the game-winner into center to end the Fightins winning streak and hand them their first loss on the trip.
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.