Reading Phils edge Richmond, 5-4

richmond flying squirrelsThe Reading Fightin Phils evaded an eighth inning Richmond uprising and passed the Squirrels in the ninth on their way to a 5-4 win on Turn Left Night in conjunction with AAA and RIR at The Diamond.

Richmond (4-9) plated a pair of runs in the eighth to tie the game, 4-4, but stranded the potential go-ahead runs aboard. Reading (9-4) took advantage of the opportunity and plated a run off of Squirrels closer Ray Black in the ninth to score the winning run. Rando Moreno had a pair of hits in the loss and Tyler Horan homered in the effort. The two teams will wrap up the series on Wednesday at 10:35 AM.

The Squirrels found themselves trailing in the first inning for the second consecutive night Reading centerfielder Roman Quinn reached to begin the game with a bloop hit to short left field that ranged over the drawn-in infield. Quinn moved into scoring position via a wild pitch and Phils shortstop J.P.Crawford brought him home with a base hit to right centerfield. Richmond starting pitcher Tyler Beede used 20 pitches in the first inning and struck out a pair in the frame to strand a pair of runners.

Reading added another run in the top of the third for a 2-0 advantage. Crawford drew a walk to open the inning and moved to second on a base hit to right. Dylan Cozens followed with a soft grounder to move runners to second and third with only one out. Reading first baseman Rhys Hoskins then brought home Crawford with another ground ball to the right side of the infield.

Beede racked up five strikeouts through the first four innings, leading to 78 pitches thrown in that same span. His counterpart for Reading, Nick Pivetta, worked his way through the Squirrels lineup by facing one over theminimum in the first pass. Richmond was able to break through with a run in the fourth with two hits and a walk. Austin Slater singled into center and moved to second base when Pivetta walked Carlos Moncrief. Hunter Cole loaded the bases with an infield single and Ryder Jones reached on a fielder’s choice groundout to plate Slater to make it a 2-1 game.

Beede returned for the fifth inning and struck out Dylan Cozens on his final pitch of the game.  The righty finished with six strikeouts and three walks over five innings with two runs allowed. Beede was lifted for pinch-hitter Tyler Horan in the home half of the inning and Horan immediately tied the game with an opposite field home run.

With Beede out of the contest, the Squirrels turned to Jose Casilla to start the sixth. Casilla was greeted with a double and a hit batter. Reading catcher Logan Moore followed with a sacrifice bunt to move the runners intoscoring position. With one out and two runners on, Manager Miguel Ojeda opted to walk Jesmuel Valentine to load the bases and create a force out.  The Phils opted to pinch hit for Pivetta with Christian Marrero, but Casilla set him down with a change up for strike three for the second out. However, Casilla could not fully elude trouble as the next batter Quinn lined a base hit to score a pair and give Reading a 4-2 edge.

Tom Windle replaced Pivetta to begin the bottom of the sixth and he picked up a double play to face the minimum in the frame. Pivetta departed as the pitcher of record and hurled five innings, allowing two runs on five hits with five strikeouts in the no-decision. Richmond vacated the potential win for Pivetta by tying the game with two runs in the bottom of the eighth againstreliever Severino Gonzalez. With one out, Carlos Moncrief hit a smoldering grounder to right for a double. Hunter Cole then worked a walk and Ryder Jones pulled the Squirrels to within a run, 4-3, with a base hit to right. That allowed Eliezer Zambrano to push a base hit to left to tie the game, 4-4.

Ray Black entered in the ninth and walked the first batter Crawford. After Black blew away Angelo Mora for out number one, Dylan Cozens reached on an uncaught third strike, moving Crawford to third. Rhys Hoskins then brought home Crawford for the wining run with a sacrifice fly to centerfield. Black(0-2) was hit with the loss despite striking out three batters in the effort. Edubray Ramos closed out the game for Reading to earn the save.

The Flying Squirrels conclude the homestand with the series finale on Wednesday at 10:35 AM. LHP Adalberto Mejia (0-0, 1.86) is slated to take the ball for the Squirrels against Reading RHP Ricardo Pinto (1-1, 11.88).  Season tickets, mini plans, and group packages are currently available by contacting the box office at 804-359-FUNN or online at www.squirrelsbaseball.com.

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The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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