After getting rained out on Friday night, the Fightin Phils and Flying Squirrels started their series on Saturday night to start the 2019 home slate at FirstEnergy Stadium. Both teams came into the weekend 4-2 courtesy of their pitching, and for the second time in as many starts, Ramon Rosso didn’t surrender a single run. A couple of early runs batted in from Darick Hall got things going, and a big sixth inning kept the teams separated as Reading rolled 5-1.
Rosso’s first two innings featured a pair of strikeouts and a couple of soft base hits before he went 1-2-3 in the third and fourth. The run support arrived early as the R-Phils capitalized on a couple of errors from Flying Squirrels second baseman Jalen Miller in the first and third. Mickey Moniak reached in the first error, then stole second, allowing Hall to wallop an opposite field double to left center for the game’s first run.
Hall provided again in the third, coming through with the bases loaded and one out. After Adam Haseley reached on the second error, Moniak lined a hard single through the left side. Austin Listi worked a walk, and Hall’s hard smash to first resulted in a fielder’s choice and a 2-0 lead.
Rosso (2-0) surrendered back-to-back singles to open the fifth and sixth, leaving with the tying runs on base after finishing Chris Shaw with his seventh and final strikeout. Luke Leftwich got the first look from the bullpen, striking out Heath Quinn before former Phil Brock Stassi grounded out to retire the side.
Leftwich added another strikeout in a scoreless seventh, but pitching wasn’t even the highlight of his night. In the home sixth, Cornelius Randolph singled off Menez (0-1) and stole second base. Luke Williams then lined a double into left for a 3-0 lead, stole third base, and came home to score with no one covering the plate. Austin Bossart then reached on a walk, and after advancing to second on a wild pitch, Leftwich laced an RBI double into right center to make it 5-0.
The Flying Squirrels scored their only run in the top of the eighth when Miller’s third single scored shortstop Ryan Howard , who led off with a walk before moving to second on a wild pitch. In the bottom of the inning, Williams added his second two-bagger with a lined shot into right field, giving Reading three doubles of their six hits. With three outs left, Addison Russ made his team-leading fourth appearance, striking out a pair in a non-save situation for the win.