(PR) Reading, Penn. – The Somerset Patriots (44-29) dropped a 5-4 contest to the Reading Fightin’ Phils (30-44) Wednesday night at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Somerset struck first on a Michael Beltre sacrifice fly in the first inning, but it was a four-run second that led the way for Reading.
The Fightin’ Phils put four runs up on four hits in the second, highlighted by a Matt Kroon two-run double, Arquimedes Gamboa RBI single and Josh Stephen sacrifice fly.
The Patriots brought the game back within a run in the top of the third on a Beltre (13) two-run home run. Beltre finished the game 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. The Patriots’ outfielder now has two home runs and six RBI over the first two games of the series.
Reading extended its lead to 5-3 in the fifth on a run-scoring passed ball. Somerset responded the next half inning on an Isiah Gilliam (7) solo home run, once again bringing the team within one run. But that capped the scoring, as the Patriots stranded the tying run at second in the ninth to take the loss.
Austin Ross (W, 6-2) tossed a scoreless inning of relief to earn the win. JP Sears (L, 3-2) yielded four runs on seven hits across three innings to take the loss. Somerset reliever Shawn Semple allowed just one unearned run and struck out seven over four innings. Billy Sullivan (SV, 2) worked a scoreless ninth for the save.
The Patriots and Fightin’ Phils continue their series Thursday night. Hayden Wesneski (1-4, 7.28 ERA) takes the mound for Somerset against Reading right-hander James McArthur (1-4, 5.93 ERA). First pitch at FirstEnergy Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.