READING, PA - Corey Oswalt launched his second home run of the season and added six strong innings on the mound to steer the Binghamton Rumble Ponies past the Reading Fightin Phils, 5-3, on Saturday night at FirstEnergy Stadium. Binghamton racked up 10 hits, including three from LJ Mazzilli, and pulled to within a half game of Reading for second place in the Eastern Division.
Before Oswalt could cruise, he hit turbulence in the second inning. Mitch Walding and Angelo Mora launched back-to-back homers to put Reading on the board. Oswalt surrendered two more hits, but escaped the inning without further damage.
Oswalt exacted revenge for the rocky inning with his bat in the top of the third. The Rumble Pony starter deposited Cole Irvin's 1-1 pitch into the swimming pool beyond the right-field fence, his second blast in his last four games. Binghamton grabbed the lead for good by plating two runs in the fourth. Kevin Taylor supplied a sacrifice fly and Tomas Nido skipped an RBI single up the middle.
Binghamton extended their lead with another pair of runs in the seventh. Reading second baseman Drew Stankiewicz booted a chopper from Luis Guillorme with two outs that enabled David Thompson to score. Mazzilli tacked on by zipping an RBI single into center. He capped his three-hit night with a double in the ninth.
The bumpy second inning proved to be Oswalt's only hiccup. Only three Fightin Phils reached base and no one advanced past first in his final four scoreless frames. Oswalt held Reading hitless in their final 10 at-bats before handing off to the bullpen.
Reading touched Corey Taylor for a run in the seventh, but failed to convert a one-out double from Kyle Martin into a tally in the eighth with Ben Griset on the mound. Cory Burns stepped around a single in a blank ninth to earn his 11th save.
Oswalt (7-3) struck out six and allowed two runs on five hits over six innings to earn his third win in four starts. Irvin (3-1) surrendered five runs on seven hits in 6-2/3 innings in his first loss as a Fightin Phil.
The Rumble Ponies (49-38) bid to complete a four-game sweep and aim to grab sole possession of second place on Sunday at 2:05 PM. RHP Casey Delgado faces RHP Tommy Bergjans in the finale. The Horizons Federal Credit Union Pregame Show can be heard starting at 1:50 PM on NewsRadio 1290 AM WNBF and the Binghamton Rumble Ponies channel on TuneIn.
POSTGAME NOTES: Corey Oswalt allowed two home runs in a game for the first time since May 12, 2015 when he pitched for the Savannah Sand Gnats…LJ Mazzilli notched his third three-hit game in July and raised his batting average in the month to .362…Binghamton improved to 8-4 in their last 12 games
Tickets for Binghamton's entire home schedule can be purchased at the NYSEG Stadium box office, online on www.bingrp.com and over the phone at (607) 722-FUNN.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.