Patriots Walk off Fightin Phils on Friday Night
BOX SCORE (Somerset, NJ) - A comeback effort, capped by a ninth-inning walk-off, propelled the Somerset Patriots to a Friday night 4-3 win over the Reading Fightin Phils. The win guaranteed Somerset at least a split of this week's series. As the Fightins have done all week, they struck first
(Somerset, NJ) - A comeback effort, capped by a ninth-inning walk-off, propelled the Somerset Patriots to a Friday night 4-3 win over the Reading Fightin Phils. The win guaranteed Somerset at least a split of this week's series.
As the Fightins have done all week, they struck first to start the game. Carlos De La Cruz reached on a single, then Johan Rojas followed with a single to move De La Cruz to third. Rojas stole second, and with runners on second and third, Oliver Dunn hit a ground ball out that scored De La Cruz. Nick Podkul followed with a single to center to score Rojas and put Reading up 2-0.
Reading tacked on another run in the top of the third. Rojas singled again and stole second for the second time in the game. After Dunn walked, Podkul drove in his second run of the day with a single to right field that scored Rojas and put the R-Phils up 3-0.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Fightins starter Mick Abel got into some trouble with the bases loaded. Jasson Dominguez hit a one-out ground ball to second, but Reading was unable to turn two and just got the runner at second. The fielder's choice scored Caleb Durbin to make it 3-1.
Abel's day was done after five innings, and it was a strong bounce-back for the Phillies' No. 2 Prospect, after struggling last Friday against New Hampshire at home. Abel allowed two hits, one run that was unearned, and picked up three strikeouts. On the other side, Clayton Beeter also went five innings for Somerset. Better allowed three runs on six hits, with five strikeouts. Neither starting pitcher factored into the decision.
As the game shifted into the bullpen, Somerset rallied in the bottom of the sixth against Reading's Tyler McKay. Two walks and a single allowed from McKay loaded the bases for the Patriots. Brandon Lockridge then singled to center to score TJ Rumfield and Durbin and tie the game at three.
Both bullpens settled in and the teams traded five-straight scoreless half-innings to take the game to the bottom of the ninth inning, still tied at three. Brett Schulze entered the game for Reading and loaded the bases. With one out, Rumfield hit a fly ball to deep center that was in and out of the glove of Rojas, which allowed Trey Sweeney to score and give Somerset the 4-3 win.
The win went to Lisandro Santos for Somerset, who improves to 1-1 on the season. Schulze suffered the loss for Reading to drop to 2-2.
With the win, Somerset improves to 23-13 on the season, while Reading falls to 13-23 with the loss. The teams return to the field Saturday at 6:35 p.m. for game five of this week's six-game series. LHP Josh Hendrickson is scheduled to get the start for Reading, and he will go opposite Somerset RHP Gray Fenter. Radio coverage will be available starting at 6:20 p.m. on rphils.com/radio. The game can also be watched on MiLB TV or the Bally Live App.
The Fightin Phils return home on Tuesday, May 23, at 11 a.m. to begin a six-game series against the Harrisburg Senators (Nationals). Tuesday is a school kid game, Thursday and Friday feature postgame fireworks and Sunday showcases an appearance from the Philly Phanatic. Tickets to all games remain available and can be purchased at rphils.com/tickets, by calling 610-370-BALL or in person at the Customers Bank Ticket Office.
The 2023 R-Phils season is presented by Pepsi. Follow the Fightin Phils on Twitter @ReadingFightins, like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram @Fightins.