READING, Pa. - The top two teams in the Eastern League battled until the very end at FirstEnergy Stadium on Friday night, with the Fightin Phils (41-28) coming away with a 9-7 victory against the Thunder (47-25).
Trenton got a run in the top of the first off Tyler Viza on a home run from Mike Ford, but that would be the only lead of the game for Trenton. Zach Coppola has settled comfortably into the leadoff spot, and for the fourth straight game led off with a base hit to set the tone for the Fightins. With one away, Scott Kingery plated Coppola with his fifth triple of the season, and later scored on a Kyle Martin sacrifice fly to give Reading a 2-1 lead.
The Fightins kept their feet on the pedal in the second, scoring five runs to go up 7-1. The big blow came early in the inning when Herlis Rodriguez took the first pitch of his Double-A career over the right field fence for a two-run home run and a 4-1 lead. After Kingery’s second run batted in on a sacrifice fly, Chace Numata capped off the inning with a two-run single to put Fightins up 7-1 heading into the third.
Trenton would not go down easy, scoring three runs in the fourth on RBI singles by Rashad Crawford, Dante Bichette, and Devyn Bolasky to make it 7-4 and keep the Thunder in the ballgame.
Victor Arano closed out the final two innings for the Fightins and secured the 9-7 win.
Game recap courtesy of the Reading Fightin Phils.
Video highlights courtesy of Service Electric.