Reading takes series opener with Richmond, 6-2

richmond flying squirrelsThe Reading Fightin Phils (8-4) starting pitcher Ben Lively was the story on Monday night at The Diamond in a 6-2 Reading win over the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

Lively (2-0) kept the Squirrels off the board through seven innings and also drove in a pair of runs at the plate in the victory. Richmond (4-8) once again made a late push with a pair of runs in the eighth inning but came up short. Hunter Cole, Ryder Jones and Rando Moreno all collected two hits in the loss. The two teams will play the middle game of the series on Tuesday at 6:35 PM.RHP Tyler Beede (0-1, 4.50) is slated to take the ball for the Squirrels against Reading RHP Nick Pivetta (1-1, 4.66).

Reading pulled ahead 1-0 off Crick in the first. J.P Crawford drew a walk and motored to third base on an Angelo Moa double. Dylan Cozens then rolled a groundball to second, scoring the runner Crawford from third to take the early lead.  Crick settled in over the next few inning but hit a snag in the fourth.  Cozens and Rhys Hoskins both opened the inning with walks. Crick then clamped down and retired the next two batters but lost the batter Jesmuel Valentine to load the bases. Ben Lively also worked a walk to bring in a run to take a 2-0 lead. The elongated inning forced Crick’s pitch count to 78 after four innings.

Crick worked into the fifth inning and was removed with a runner on and two outs in the frame. Mike Kickham relived Crick and stranded the runner to keep it a 2-0 Squirrels deficit. Reading would add to their lead off Kickham in the middle innings.

Reading starting pitcher Ben Lively continued to keep the Squirrels at a distance in his second consecutive start against Richmond. Lively worked around a two-out error in the first inning and a base hit to right from Rando Moreno in the third. Lively needed just 58 pitches to work through the first five innings. Ryder jones sprayed a base hit to left center in the fifth but was thrown out trying to steal second base allowing Lively to face the minimum in the frame. Overall, the Reading righty worked seven scoreless innings and allowed just a pair of hits in the win.

The Fightin Phils tacked on another run in the sixth stanza. With one out, Logan Moore and Jesmuel Valentine connected on consecutive base hits. Then the pitcher Lively drove home his second run of the game with a base hit for a 3-0 Reading advantage. Things took a turn for the worse in the sixth inning as the Phils added three more runs on five hits for a 6-0 edge. Rhys Hoskins doubled in a pair of runs and once again the pitcher Lively chipped in with a base hit to plate his third run of the game.

With Lively out of the game, the Squirrels offense came to life in the eight off reliever Ulises Joaquin.  Hunter Cole double to begin the inning and scored via a Ryder Jones base hit to left. Rando Moreno and Tyler Horan connected on two more hits to plate a run and cut the deficit to 6-2. The eighth inning runs forced Reading to go back into the pen and summon JeremyBleich. Bleich was able regain control and finshed the inning. Bleich closed out the game to earn the save. Squirrels reliever Tyler Rogers hurled an imprssive 1-2-3 inning in the top of the ninth for Richmond.

The Flying Squirrels continue the three game series with Reading with Turn Left night Tuesday, April 18th at 6:35 PM. RHP Tyler Beede (0-1, 4.50) is slated to take the ball for the Squirrels against Reading RHP Nick Pivetta (1-1, 4.66).

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